“Nat Geo, WeWork recreate ’90s workspaces to promote dot-com bubble series” by Erica Sweeney, Marketing Dive

Dive Brief:

• National Geographic and WeWork partnered on an experiential campaign to promote the network’s new limited series “Valley of the Boom,” which focuses on the dot-com bubble, according to news shared with Marketing Dive.

• Today (Dec. 3), WeWork locations in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be turned into the “Valley of the Boom Internet Café,” a ’90s-era workspace featuring authentic desktop computers from the era with classic games like “Oregon Trail,” “Doom” and “Tetris.” More modern social vending machines will dispense ’90s candy, toys and trading cards in response to tweets and Instagram posts using the hashtag #ValleyOfTheBoom.

• Created with BCXP, the experiential division of Berlin Cameron, the takeovers will also offer on-site consultations with LinkedIn experts, professional headshots and practical career development opportunities. In January, WeWork will host screenings of the first two episodes of “Valley of the Boom” followed by discussions with series talent and experts.

Dive Insight:

WeWork and NatGeo aim to put a modern spin on the idea of the “infamous ’90s startup garage,” Jill Cress, the publisher’s CMO, said in a statement. By allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the workplace culture and timeframe of the “Valley of the Boom,” the experiential campaign could boost interest in the show and for WeWork, which is layering in some actual professional services as part of the partnership.

The effort could particularly appeal to millennials, a generation with a strong sense of nostalgia, especially for the ’90s era when they grew up. While the pop cultural touchstones on display are decidedly retro, like the original “Doom” and “Oregon Trail,” NatGeo and WeWork are clearly trying to encourage online sharing through the social vending machines.

The tie-up underpins WeWork’s growing role as a marketing player as it expands beyond its co-working space roots. Along with partnering with more brands and publishers, the company earlier this year purchased the agency Conductor as it looks to modernize its approach to both digital and real-world services.

NatGeo has explored several other co-branded collaborations recently as a means of growing revenue. This fall, it worked with Heineken on a branded content series called “A Wild Lager Story” that detailed the history behind the brewer’s H41 Wild Lager, a limited-edition beer made from rare wild yeast discovered in Patagonia in 2010.