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 events — 39% 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.