campfire - large scale installations, marketing brand activations, and pop up experiences


Campfire is an experiential design agency that uses immersive and interactive experiences to promote brands and entertainment products. Known for their work promoting upcoming television shows, Campfire has a knack for introducing the world to brand new characters and stories.

  • Offices located in New York City
  • Founded by Mike Monello, one of the masterminds behind the Blair Witch Project’s groundbreaking online campaign
  • Has designed immersive activations for HBO, Lego, FX, Sonos, AMC, USA, National Geographic, and many more
  • Designs include a high level of interactivity, often featuring live actors and dazzling special effects

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More on Campfire

Campfire was founded by Mike Monello, who currently serves as Creative Director. In 1999, Mike and his partners at Haxan Films devised the brilliant and groundbreaking marketing push behind The Blair Witch Project. In the early days of the internet, the film’s marketing team spread rumors about the film online, creating the illusion that the found footage was entirely real. It worked beyond the team’s wildest expectations, leading to a phenomenal run at the box office and one of the first true examples of viral marketing. The Blair Witch marketing strategy continues to influence experiential marketing to this day. One could argue that, with today’s skepticism about online content, we may never see such an effective campaign again.

In the years since its founding, Campfire has welcomed Creative Director Steve Coulson, who has helmed a number of ad agencies, and Business Development Director Mike Knowlton, who comes from the world of software and technology. Together, they develop brand activations with a “trans-media” approach, utilizing many forms of communication and entertainment to earn their audience’s attention and engagement.

Well before the premiere of Westworld, Campfire produced an immersive experience that included interactions with live actors, as well a VR experience for the HTC Vive, which brought guests into the show’s futuristic theme park. For HBO’s 2019 show Watchmen, Campfire created phone booths that, through the use of augmented reality, turned guests into the all-powerful superhuman Dr. Manhattan. The show also included interactive telescopes, spaceships, and of course themed drinks and merchandise.

For FX’s vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows, Campfire created three “Vampire Libraries” strewn throughout downtown Austin, Texas. Once the sun set, guests could enter the libraries, chat with a vampire host, and take a book as well as some swag from the show. For the audio technology company Sonos, Campfire built two beautiful immersive domes – one with a beach theme and another with a forest theme. Guests were given a Sonos portable speaker and encouraged to explore the micro-environment and expel some of the stresses of their day.

From the Campfire website:

“Campfire was born from our passion for storytelling.

Yes, our founders made The Blair Witch Project. But if you think it was just a movie, you’d be mistaken. It was a tale that evolved in the press and online and through genre fans and dozens of other little experiences to create an experience much larger than any single film could contain. The movie was just the centerpiece in a complex series of encounters. Legends were seeded. Stories evolved. Advocacy grew. And the film became a sensation before it ever reached a single theater.

This transmedia approach to telling stories across multiple channels and media was a new way to create and manage a brand launch. Since this lofty beginning, we’ve applied these principles to generate unprecedented buzz and engagement for dozens of companies.”


may, 2022


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