8 Experiential Marketing Campaigns That Will Give You Serious Event Envy

Work events are genuinely hit or miss. Letas be honest: How many times have you find yourself anxiously fidgeting with a newspaper napkin in the corner of a stuffy networking happy hour?

Thatas why I was not only relieved, but also surprised and delighted, when I attended a holiday party that featured a live, interactive version of an arcade game.

An entire room had been curated to look like a video game put, and people were dressed up as characters from it. There was a giant, real-life scoreboard, boppy electronic music, and best of all, there was no tedious small talk.

It wasnat merely another tired work event … it was an experience. And in our line of work, that sort of thing has a name: experiential marketing.

While a surprising number of people havenat heard of the concept, itas kind of a big deal — thereas an entire three-day summit dedicated to it, and 65% of brands that use it say that it positively correlateds with sales.

But what is it, exactly? And how has it been used effectively? We procured eight of the coolest experiential marketing campaigns that really break down how it works, and how those lessons can be applied to marketers everywhere.

What Is Experiential Marketing?

To understand experiential marketing, just look to its name. It’s a type of strategy that engages an audience with a real-life invitation to engage with — or experience — a brand and what it stimulates or represents. It’s participatory, hands-on, and tangible.

It might sound a little bit like event marketing, which induces sense — experiential campaigns do tend to be event-centric. But there are also hours when they have nothing to do with a specific event, as youall see from the examples we picked.

And when they are event-centric, theyare less dedicated to the type of event — like a concert, celebration, meeting, etc. — and be concentrated on interaction a specific brand.( If you already have an event in the works, you might want to check out this guide to adding experiential parts to it .)

These campaigns can take an integrated approach. The primary purpose is to experience a brand in a tangible, offline route, but youall still want an online dialogue around it. When you consider that 49% of folks generate mobile video at branded events39% of which is shared on Twitter — it makes sense to incorporate a digital part. A branded hashtag, for example, can get people talking about the experience.

8 of the Coolest Experiential Marketing Campaigns Weave Seen

1) Refinery2 9: 29 Rooms

For about three years now, lifestyle brand Refinery2 9 has hosted the 29 Rooms event: What it calls “an interactive funhouse of style, culture,& technology.” As the name suggests, it consists of 29 separately branded and curated rooms — and attendees can experience something different in each one. The rooms are designed and created with brand partners, who range from personalities like artists and musicians, to consumer-facing companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Dyson, and Cadillac.

Each year, 29 Rooms has a different theme, with this year’s being “Turn It Into Art.” Attendees, it seems, are encouraged to enter each room and use the surroundings to create something — one room, for instance, invites participants to put one over punching gloves and make punch bag that each make a different sound when contacted to create a symphony of sorts. A truly hands-on experience, indeed.

Takeaways for marketers:

Go nuts, but keep it on-brand. An experience should be memorable, but relevant to the people attending. Partner with inventors like artists and musicians to create experiences, especially if they are recognizeable within the region where you’re trying to build or augment an audience. Donat interrupt — especially if youare trying to grab someoneas attention in New York City, like Lean Cuisine was. If you create an experience that provides value to the people who pass by it, theyare more likely to participate. Figure out the message you really want to your brand to send — that may or may not be immediately tied to an actual product, and it might be something that your brand hasnat said before. Then, build an experience around it. To learn about and vote for local nonprofits To interact with the brand in such a way that doesnat require using its products To indirectly learn about Googleas community outreach Create a branded hashtag that participants can use to share the experience on social media. Then, make sure youave integrated an online part that allows people to participate when they learn about it this style. Keep it local! Itas always nice when a large firm devotes some love to its community — in fact, 72% of folks say they would tell friends and family about a businessas endeavours like these. Remember the ayouare already therea approach. Find out where your audience is already hanging out and engage them there, instead of trying to get them to take action where they donat usually expend their hour. Visually represent the impact of taking part in the experience. People interacting with this display were shown exactly where their fund was going — like slicing bread for a hungry household.( Infographics run nicely here, too — check out our templates .) Partner with another brand to create an even better experience. In such instances, Misereor worked with Stripe.com for the pay technology, and with financial institutions to get a branded message on usersa bank statements.( And remain tuned — weall talk more about the value of co-branding here afterward .) Donat be afraid to nurture your leadings. Even if you donat use something like a branded hashtag to incorporate the experience with an online part, find a way to remind someone that they participated. Suppose about the things your target audience might aspire to, and that youad like to associate with your brand. Then, build an experience around that. If you do require a product purchase in order to participate in the experience, make it convenient. In this case, people had to buy a pint of Guinness to win a award, but they were already in a bar that served it. Experiential marketing does work for B2B brands. Think about who youare selling to, and create an involvement that would not only attract that audience, but also present an opportunity for them to experience your product or service first-hand. Get uncomfortable. If your business centers around something thatas difficult or atabooa to talk about, creating an experience around it can prompting a dialogue. But make sure you keep it respectful — donat stimulate people so uncomfortable that they have nothing good to say about your brand. Build an experience for people who arenat sure about how they would use your product or service. Find routes for them to interact with your brand in such a way that creatively spells out how it can benefit them. Bring your data to life. We love numbers, but creating a live installment that shows them can help people understand exactly what they entail. And since 65% of people is considered that live events help them understand a product, this setting is a great place to do it.

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