Case Study – Jack Daniel’s

Experiential Marketing

The Summary of it all

Coming off a successful activation of a series of Marketing Toolkits, which distributed multiple custom-built marketing assets to 6 markets, consisting of a brand-specific barber shop, photo op, Entryway photo moment, and a VR Lounge, we were approached again by our Agency partner to execute a very special birthday activation and pop-up store experience.  The 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel’s brand, which would embark on a multi-city tour.  Activating in various size buildings, in multiple different shapes and configurations, we set out to produce a modular, brand-specific, fun, engaging, and intricate build in under eight weeks’ time.


The Ask:

Our client approached us coming off a previous project with Jack, to build out a modular touring pop-up store with eight specific and unique stores with a store, each area showcasing a different way that the  Jack Daniel’s brand has infiltrated and influenced so much of the American culture we all know and love today.

They were looking for an experience that could go into buildings of all shapes and sizes ranging from 3687 sq ft up to 10,000 sq ft if need be. This all kicked off in New York City, and then I moved on to visit over 12 different cities in multiple iterations, including Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Austin.

The Space:

This was a fun one because when we first set out to build the New York store, only one of the other locations had been scouted and selected.  With the other ten cities a big TBD.  We encountered shapes of all sizes, from squares, to long and rectangular, to L shaped.  Ceiling height was also critical and something we had to be adaptable to, having many structures over 12ft and some ceilings ranging from 8’6” Tall to 20’+.  We also had the fun challenge of not knowing how the items would be loaded.  Sometimes loading docks and forklifts were available.  Other times we had a crew sitting at a traffic light waiting to cross the road when heavy eight-lane traffic stopped in order to get the items from the trucks to the venue.

The Creative:

The agency partner we worked with did not have any 3D design capabilities and leveraged their team’s fantastic ability to create realistic-looking Photoshop designs in 2D.  Our team then had to interpret the images, along with a series of google slide swipe files and inspiration images, and transform that into a physical 3D model we could then adapt to ensure the right dimensions were met.  Taking into account products being sold (Some still not designed or confirmed), POS systems, electrical, Audio Visual, etc.

The overall design took heavy inspiration from the actual distillery and general store back in Lynchburg, Tennessee, a beautiful town of only 6,644 souls.


With back-and-forth conversations with the creative team, our team’s 3D drawings and build plans, multiple paint samples to nail the custom finishes, and tons of other inspiration and details to include, the team came to a decision on which items to produce with the specifics of materials, dimensions, and integration of lighting all detailed in a  comprehensive set of build drawings.  The process took about 1 ½- two weeks to nail down 90% of the build, with the remaining items being reliant on new sale items that were being finalized, and those details got figured out along the way, and the bulk of the build got started.


Like much of our standard process, the vignettes within the store got set up in our shop, quality control checked, and labeled for transport into New York City for the event.  The production utilized many elements being cut on our 5×10 Techno CNC Flatbed wood routing machining center, giving us the ability to recall parts and pieces that were cut by computer for future store iterations.  This allowed us to add to, rearrange and modify components that were on the other side of the country, sometimes with components our team could fly with to help transform that next venue into something that looked like it had always been built there.


The first store took four days to load in, about 1 ½ for the main build, and the remaining time was spent working with the creative and merchandising team to adjust and make modifications as the client saw everything come together for the first time.  Many of the larger items were custom crated for protection when going from city to city and to help expedite loading.  Locking casters were added to all components to help move these pieces without the need to rent large equipment, which would drive activation costs.

Subsequent builds only took 1-2 days, depending on the market and the size of the build.

All in all, the build consisted of a bakery, a stage, a barrel-making station, a Checkout counter, over a dozen retail display fixtures, a barber shop, a music hangout, and a VR Travel lounge where you could take a VR tour of the distillery and the quaint, but culture influencing town, of Lynchburg, TN.


The best and most humbling result of any project is to be offered more work from the same brand.  And nearing the completion of this project, we were tasked with integrating the pop-up store into another experience, which our agency partner did not feel was being handled appropriately, and we took over, reviewed, and refined the build of the other activation to reduce trucking costs, reduce labor costs, and increase the speed and execution of the otherwise clunky and cumbersome builds.

The Pop-up store itself consistently came in under budget and was set up on time, even with curveballs and changes made onsite due to last-minute entertainment changes, shifts in the venue, or local municipality involvement.

Benefits of Working With Breakthrough:

  • Provide agile, quick, professional turnaround on impactful experiential marketing spaces from concept to strike.
  • Transform bland or ugly spaces into dreamlike atmospheres that charm and delight your customers and clients
  • Meet and exceed your expectations for converting concepts into modular designs that revolutionize the space without damaging it.
  • Increase profits and virality of the pop-up store space through incredibly appealing and eye-catching builds.
  • Make your business and brand the star of any pop-up experience in any city in the USA
  • Rapidly design and install impactful theater sets or Disney-like environments for your production.