Experiential marketing involves bringing a brand closer to its customers by immersing them in interactive, visual events.
As the volume of content released online everyday reaches astronomical levels, an increasingly important part of storytelling is happening in real life. Here are 5 companies I think are winning in experiential marketing…
1) The Economist: Insect ice cream
Following the publication of an article making the case for an insect diet to combat the growing global population, The Economist offered Londoners free samples of insect-infested ice cream. With flavours including chocolate with grasshopper chunks and strawberry with meal-worm swirls, experiential marketing proved a great way to bring a publication to life for consumers whose only experience with it is online and in print.
2) Carlsberg: ‘Probably the best poster in the world’
In April 2015, Carlsberg unveiled its billboard named ‘Probably the best poster in the world’ in Brick Lane. People could pull their own pints from a working tap attached to the centre of the poster, and queues quickly stretched far down the street.
Aside from garnering favour by offering customers free beer, this was an interesting reaction to the surging popularity of craft beer and ale in Shoreditch, where the billboard was erected.
3) Not On The High Street: ‘Gift-O-Matic’
Aimed at last-minute Christmas shoppers, Not On The High Street’s ‘Gift-O-Matic’ was essentially a Twitter-powered vending machine.
Passers-by were invited to tweet Not On The High Street with one of five hashtags, including #Foodie and #PetLover, in return for a free gift related to that personality type. A great example of an online retailer bringing the high street to life.
4) Red Bull: Stratos Jump
Pretty much everything Red Bull does is based around experiential marketing, from its Air Race and F1 team, to its extreme sports events.
However, none of these garnered the same global attention as the Stratos Jump; in which Felix Baumgartner passed the speed of sound as he broke a 52-year-old record for the highest recorded parachute jump.
Due to the 8 million people watching live, and huge international excitement, it was impossible not to feel in some way a part of it.
5) Milka: ‘dare to be tender’
Across France & Germany, Milka took a square of chocolate out of 13 million chocolate bars, instead presenting customers with a unique code and the opportunity to either claim their missing square of chocolate for themselves, or to send it to someone else with a personal message.
The shareability and personal nature of the campaign ensured that its reach went far beyond that which traditional marketing would have afforded.
At its best, experiential marketing evokes emotion and appeals to the senses, and brands that put on an unforgettable event or engage with consumers in a novel and rewarding way can evoke surprisingly warm and fuzzy feelings in their customers. Marketing has always been about storytelling – but as these 5 brands are demonstrating, experiential means that rather than dictating stories, brands are beginning to invite customers to be a part of them.