Experiential marketing sounds alluring and exotic. It’s like an obscure dish on a foreign menu in a haute cuisine restaurant. With a raised brow, you stare and wonder what it could bring. Despite the futuristic name, experiential marketing has been around since the tail-end of the 19th century. Companies attended world fairs in Chicago and Paris to showcase new innovations and products in front of large amounts of people.
The 1920’s saw the use of car shows to market to consumers. It was more than just an expo, it was a community built upon the passion of buying and caring for cars. Today, experiential marketing can be considered as an umbrella term for all things that can be experienced, such as a pop-up shop, virtual reality, interactive art installations, sample testing in supermarkets, events created by brands, and so on.
People love personalised and unique experiences. There’s no ‘right’ way to create an experiential campaign, just provide your audience with a memorable and enjoyable life experience and you’ll reap the rewards.
Here’s a handful of the best experiential campaigns that 2017 had to offer:
Brekkie champions, Nestle, created a cereal-wonderland that generously offered 12 different cereals with a myriad of toppings and yoghurts – catering for the sugar fiend and the conscious eater. Like Willy Wonka’s chocolate emporium, Nestle’s Aisle of Wonder was a magical pop-up cereal factory. This colourful and fun experiential campaign allowed customers to be adventurous and discover new ways they could enjoy Nestle’s cereals. Mixing shreddies, Frosties, Cheerios with all kinds of toppings like yoghurt, different milks and fruit.
Nestle also provided their audience with an opportunity to personalise their own box of cereal. I wish I was there!
Sports and Outdoor clothing company, The North Face, gave us a campaign that embarked on topics of community, collaboration and inclusiveness.
When you think of a wall, you might get a sense of segregation or division. In today’s milieu, Trump immediately springs to mind. But The North Face challenged these preconceptions. They raised the proverbial wall and proceeded to knock it down.
In doing so, they asked people to reconsider the way they look at walls. Are they monolithic partitions dividing communities or places where people in the rock-climbing community come together to test themselves, build trust and work together?
The experiential bit: The North Face brought a giant rock climbing wall to the public in cities around the globe. Strangers came together to get strapped in the harness to take on the great wall, offering a helping hand to one-another. The North Face created a sense of community through sport and transformed a negative view into something emotionally positive.
The company also made a charity donation of $1m to The Trust for Public Land to support public climbing walls in more communities, making the sport more accessible and bringing people together. On top of this, they brought out a line of clothing and accessories with ‘walls are meant for climbing’ slogan … Nailed it!
29 Rooms is the experiential dream. Based in LA & NYC, it’s an annual exhibition where 29 brands are invited to showcase their craziest and most imaginative and interactive ideas.
Marc Jacob’s World of Daisy
Marc Jacobs created a beautiful room filled with giant daisies and a daisy-waterfall pouring from a sticker of the iconic ‘Daisy’ perfume. Apparently the stall smelt just like Jacob’s Daisy, fulfilling all senses of Marc Jacob fans!
Benefit cosmetics launched its’ yearly charitable campaign with a cute pop-up store selling all things pink at Covent Garden, London. The Bold is Beautiful campaign raised funds for two UK charities, Refuge and Look Good Feel Better, which empower and support women and girls up and down the country. The pop up shop sold all sorts of pink items from clothing, furniture, accessories, to miscellaneous bric-o-brac. 100% of the sales were donated to both charities.
5. 13th floor halloween lift – Fanta
Fanta took to creating a bone-chilling virtual reality experience inside a lift which was aimed at engaging with more millennials by creating something that was exciting and innovative with technology. After that horrifying experience, I know what would chill me out… an ice cold can of Fanta Fruit Twist! Watch the experience below.
Would you ever hold an experiential marketing event for your brand?
They require lots of hard work and careful planning, but incredibly rewarding and exciting for the team and consumers. If so, what would you love to do? Let us know in the comments!