Pinterest’s Real-World Pins Let In-Store Shoppers Save Real Items to Virtual Boards

DM9DDB tests the app in Brazil's biggest furniture store

Headshot of Tim Nudd

It's a real pin that looks like a virtual pin that looks like a real pin.

In a bit of reverse engineered skeuomorphism, Pinterest has taken its virtual "Pin" button, which was always visually modeled after a physical pin, and actually made it a physical pin—for an intriguing campaign in Brazil that lets people pin items in stores and save them immediately to virtual inspiration boards on Pinterest itself. 

Agency DM9DDB created the technology and tested it in a campaign for Tok&Stok, Brazil's biggest design furniture store. 

The biggest challenge, of course, was how to get the pins to know who is pressing them, and thus to whose Pinterest boards the furniture items should be posted. To solve this, the pins use Bluetooth low energy (BLE) to connect with a "PinList" app that the shopper must download to his or her phone. This technology helps the pin locate the nearest person and connect with their app.

It's explained in more detail in this video:

"The innovation is in the app's easy and intuitive use and all the technology backing it up, so that you don't have to leave the app open or pair your cellphone's Bluetooth with the physical button," says Igor Puga, vp for integration and innovation at DM9DDB.

E-commerce has tried so hard to mimic the in-store experience; it's fun to see the reverse happening (even if these real-world Pinterest buttons are awfully big, and look kind of goofy when sitting on every item in the store).

"Pinterest has become a source of inspiration in the decor segment with 10 million ideas in Brazil every month. Tok&Stok has been so innovative in combining the process of discovery with saving what you find," says Mariana Sensini, managing partner of Pinterest in Brazil.


Client: Tok&Stok

Title: PinList

Agency: DM9DDB

Chief Creative Officer: Aricio Fortes

Executive Creative Director: Paulo Coelho

Digital Interactive VP: Igor Puga

Creative Director: Adriano Alarcon, Carlos Schleder e João Mostério

Content Coordinator: Pedro Baptista

Community Manager: Thiago Martinez

Art Director: Daniel Lobo

Designer: Daniel Matsumoto

Illustrator: Big Studios – Rafael Nakahayashi and Rodrigo Alves.

Project: Eduardo Martin, Fernando Tolusso, Rafael Gomes

Account: Marcelo Passos, Claudia Almeida, Tania Pena, Beatriz Rodrigues, Thais Moura

RTVC: Fabiano Beraldo, Juliana Henriques, Ana Lucia Marques

Production: Clariana Regiani da Costa, Nereu Marinho

Digital Production: Bizsys

Approved by: Flavia Lucena

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.