The premise of experiential marketing is to create a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience.

If a branded event stirs positive emotions in people then they are more likely to associate those emotions with that brand. This encourages brand loyalty and the stronger possibility of sales further down the line.

To this end experiential marketing can be more effective than any kind of display ad, a promoted Tweet or a Facebook ad, however it’s also possibly harder to measure as conversions may not happen till much further down the line. 

However this all ties into one of the most valuable metrics of all: customer lifetime value (CLV).

The experience of a brilliantly realised experiential marketing campaign will encourage customer loyalty so they will hopefully keep coming back for more.

Here are some brilliant recent examples of experiential marketing.

Carlsberg

Last month, Carlsberg unveiled its billboard named ‘Probably the best poster in the world’ in Brick Lane, London, and for many people this genuinely delivered on its promise.

As you can see from the billboard above, there was an actual working tap attached to the centre where people could pull their own pints.

Here’s the queue that quickly formed…

Images courtesy of Ad Week.

There were caveats though. Only one beer allowed per person, and there were some plain-clothes security on-hand ‘just in case’.

The positioning of this on Brick Lane is a clever tactic, not only is Carlsberg capturing the interest of an already busy, vibrant street full of Indian restaurants but also it’s just around the corner from Shoreditch, where the taste for craft beers and ales is taking dominance over more mainstream lagers.

This is clearly something high on Carlsberg’s agenda.

Delta Air Lines

At the 2015 Ted conference Delta Air Lines created an installation called Stillness in Motion, based on the book The Art of Stillness. This was part of a suite of different products designed to make a more productive use of your time than kicking the chair in front of you out of boredom.

The installation itself required the attendee to enter a tranquil, spa-like room where biometric sensors would provide a unique experience based on the visitor’s heartbeat.

As the visitor relaxed (or found their stillness) the room would respond in kind and the experience would become calmer and clearer. At the end, they would be presented with a glowing orb containing a recording of their lowest heartbeat.

Almost half the Ted attendees visited the Delta experience and according to Anne Quito’s piece for Quartz 95% of the approximately 800 visitors  tweeted about it, resulting in 9.3m Twitter impressions.

Facebook

Last week, The London Eye became lit up with Facebook election data as part of a seven day-long display to show in real-time the conversations around each political party.

This impressive yet simple visual representation was powered by roughly 52m interactions, with each evening devoted to a different topic, from conversations around party leaders to social media mentions, all within view of parliament.

Obviously though this wasn’t just for the benefit MPs, this was more of a showcase to prove just how useful Facebook’s data can be, and how social media debate is influencing and challenging the way we vote.

The Cake Shop in the Garden

For the launch of a new novel by Carole Matthews, The Cake Shop in the Garden, Tin Man Comms built an edible garden in Central London last month, constructed from 15 different types of cake, 4kg of icing, a Swiss-roll bird bath and 300 leaves of edible ivy.

Image courtesy of The Independent

Bud Light

As Andrew Broadbent explained in his article from February, Bud light’s #UpForWhatever Party for this year’s Super Bowl XLIX took place inside a massive purpose built 75,000 square foot 'House of Whatever' structure.  

Bud-light-house-of-whatever-super-bowl-2015

This event was invitation-only, where the participants had to prove they were 'up for whatever', including making spontaneous videos drinking a Bud Light and tweeting them using the #upforwhatever hashtag.  

Bud Light also sponsored a double decker party bus providing free transportation in between popular stops, which was good of them to act as a designated driver.

Bates Motel SXSW

According to Ad Week there were loads of great examples of experiential marketing at SXSW this year.

Mostly they were all large, interactive, specially built constructs that immediately drew the attention of the crowds, including a Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart truck and a replica of the Iron Throne.

However the best of the bunch was a fully operational replica of Bates Motel, built by A&E for its television prequel to Psycho. 

You could actually stay the night here, with full access to mini-bar, maid service, working shower facilities and other special ‘night-time surprises’.

Now it's time to honour your own work...

If you are responsible for a brilliant experiential marketing campaign enter it into the Experiential and Events category at The Masters of Marketing awards, brought to you by Econsultancy and Marketing Week. 

This is a major stage for sharing and promoting true mastery and excellence in the marketing industry and can lead to a year-round programme of reputation building publicity and press coverage for your business, your work and your team.  

The deadline is 23 September 2015.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 13 May, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (3)

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Jay Whetsel, Manager at Self Employed

Great blog, I love seeing companies use experiential marketing. Those who use them seem to care more about the consumer, I say that because of the interaction and, as you stated, "lifetime experience". The more someone remembers and has fun within a brand and its marketing campaign, the more likely they are to buy and tell friends about said product.

over 1 year ago

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Lisa Malin, Marketing Manager at Green Room

Glad to hear that Jay.

As a retail design agency, we always strive to offer customers innovative, exciting and unique experiences which they will remember, and in turn will benefit the brand.
We have worked on several experiential campaigns so far, but are particularly proud of the success our Nike Flyknit one got (http://greenroomdesign.com/our-work/flyknit-experience/) as part of the experience was to actually also make the products even better for the consumers; steaming the products to ensure an even better fit for runners visiting.

over 1 year ago

Joss Davidge

Joss Davidge, Director of the Unexpected at BEcause Experiential Marketing

It’s always inspiring to see brands that have pushed the experiential marketing envelope, and I’m particularly pleased when I spot campaigns that have been delivered successful activations with a very clear target audience, and measurable goal, in mind.

NIVEA’s recent SunSlide in South Africa (https://www.becausexm.com/blog/niveas-fun-filled-experiential-stunt-tackles-the-sun) did a great job of targeting parents while also getting across an important message about the harmful effects of the sun. Similarly, the introduction of LEGOLAND Dollars for a limited time only (https://www.becausexm.com/blog/legoland-targets-families-with-experiential-campaign) created a very special opportunity for fans while putting the resort well and truly back on the map.

All of these examples, and more, can be found on our blog, which is updated weekly with experiential marketing inspiration.

about 1 year ago

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