Most people think of marketing in terms of mere communication. Experiential marketing ups the ante by aiming to create a more significant connection between brand and customers. Keep reading to learn more about experiential marketing and discover seven experiential marketing ideas to take your brand to the next level.
In this post we’ll cover the following concepts and examples:
- What is experiential marketing?
- Hospitality Uncorked
- The Museum of Plastic
- .Paak House in the Park
- Google Impact Challenge
- Nike Go Tour LA
- Sugarplum Popcorn
- Experiential marketing: Wrapping it up
What Is Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing is the natural evolution of traditional marketing. Marketing as we used to understand it was focused on persuading an audience by delivering a targeted message. Experiential marketing takes this concept even further by turning a message into a total experience.
Unlike traditional marketing where the audience was the passive receptor of a message, experiential marketing creates unique situations that consumers can participate in to experience firsthand a brand’s core values.
Reading a brochure or watching a video about a brand is one thing. Experiencing a brand and interacting with it in meaningful ways is something else altogether. That’s what makes experiential marketing so powerful and groundbreaking.
Do you want to sprout wings? Or maybe become a taxi driver in a black-and-white New York? With experiential marketing it’s possible, at least for the time it takes to snap a picture.
Hospitality Uncorked, a celebration of the hospitality industry in Southern California, was even more memorable in 2020 thanks to a couple of experiential marketing ideas that entertained attendees—and ensured that the event stays in their mind for a long time.
People attending the event were able to take pictures in front of a graphic that displayed a pair of beautiful wings or behind a cutout of a taxi driving through Manhattan. It was great fun, and attendees couldn’t help but smile as they posed for the camera and fulfilled their fantasies, at least for an instant.
Key lesson: When you offer people an occasion to have fun, you can rest assured that they will remember you.
The Museum of Plastic
With experiential marketing and large format printing, even the most mundane objects can be interesting and exciting.
Take, for example, this giant receipt for the Museum of Plastic in Miami, Florida. Taking an everyday object and turning it into something new and interesting helps drive home your point almost instantly.
In this case, the power of experiential marketing is used to underscore the idea that relying on single-use plastic comes at a high price. The giant receipt lists some of the things you could pay with the revenue from water sold in plastic bottles. Some of the items include eight million college degrees, ending world hunger for a year, and the rights to the Beatles catalog.
Key lesson: Surprise is a powerful emotion you can use to reach your audience more efficiently.
.Paak House in the Park
Natural public spaces can be difficult to brand. Unlike convention centers, in this type of space there are no walls where to hang a sign and no big glass surfaces where to install a window graphic.
This challenge becomes even more daunting when the event is original and dynamic by nature. For example, how to live up visually to the energy of an event based on music, creativity, and community engagement? Experiential marketing is the answer.
“Conventional” is the last word you would use to describe .Paak House in the Park, an event that blends live music, food, and various fun activities at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles.
Here, the unique atmosphere of the event was enhanced by a series of visual solutions attendants could interact with, from step and repeat banners to cutouts people could pose with and large format graphics that interacted with the natural environment of the park.
Key lesson: Experiential marketing can liven up even the most challenging spaces.
Google Impact Challenge
One of the highest goals of marketing is to create products that reflect your values. But what if you could make your audience inhabit those values?
That’s precisely what Google achieved with its experiential marketing campaign to promote the Google Impact Challenge, an initiative geared towards taking on accessibility challenges all over the world.
A cubic structure evokes simplicity and universality. White, the dominating color, creates a balanced and peaceful atmosphere in tune with the spirit of the project. Naturally, all entrances are accessible for people with disabilities. The wide, tall doorways let in plenty of natural light, conveying a sense of transparency and harmony with the natural surroundings. Wall graphics and signs inform about the purpose of the project and add touches of color and visual flair.
All these elements converge to create a cohesive whole that is more than the sum of its parts. As visitors step into this environment, they get to experience the Google Impact Challenge not only as a concept, ut as a reality with tangible implications.
Key lesson: Turning your values into an experience is a powerful way to connect with your audience.
Nike Go Tour LA
As one of the most popular types of experiences, a tour offers many interesting possibilities from the standpoint of experiential marketing.
Nike understood the potential of this idea but executing it was another matter. After all, a bus is not the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of exciting marketing events.
With .Paak House in the Park we saw how difficult it is to create a memorable experience in an open space. Well, the opposite situation (working in constricted spaces) comes with its own set of challenges—and rewards.
By taking advantage of the full breadth of possibilities of large format printing, a double-decker bus was transformed into a unique space where every detail is designed to create a total sensorial experience that includes colors, textures, graphics, light, and sound.
This way, the bus itself becomes a unique experience within the larger experience of participating in a tour.
Key lesson: Even the most unexpected places offer unforgettable branding opportunities thanks to experiential marketing.
Using experiential marketing makes even more sense when you sell a product whose goal is to provide a unique experience.
For example, Playfoam is a squishy material with many fun applications that range from children’s toys to board games for adults.
In this case, allowing people to experience personally a new product is key to gaining new customers and growing your brand.
Here, experiential marketing can be a total gamechanger because it helps brands put their best foot forward, by letting potential customers get a taste of the emotions and fun they will experience if they decide to make a purchase.
A stand for SculptaPalooza, a sculpting party game, and another one for PlayFoam Pals, plastic pods that contain PlayFoam and a toy inside, are two excellent examples of how you can use experiential marketing to give potential customers a preview of the good times they will have with your product.
Key lesson: Experiential marketing is particularly effective when you want to promote experience-based products.
There is more than one way to use experiential marketing. In some cases, you can use experiences not directly related to your product to grow your brand.
Glade is a great example of this approach. As you know, their core business is air fresheners. However, they decided to come up with something unique to promote Sugarplum Fantasies, their new line of scented products.
To do this, they created a popcorn stand to be displayed at the premiere of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, a movie that ties in nicely with Sugarplum Fantasies.
The look and feel of the stand evoke the character of the line of products it promotes. And you can rest assured that as moviegoers munched down their popcorn, Sugarplum Fantasies was foremost on their minds!
Key lesson: Use experiential marketing to associate your product with pleasant experiences in the consumers’ minds.
Experiential Marketing: Wrapping It Up
More than traditional communication, experiential marketing is about connecting with your customers in memorable and meaningful ways.
This connection is built through experiences that generate emotions, which in turn position your brand in the consumer’s mind.
As we saw through the numerous examples presented here, experiential marketing has a wide range of applications, from festivals and museums to children’s toys and social initiatives.
In short, experiential marketing represents the next step in advertising, and brands would be wise to commit to exploring its exciting possibilities.
CR&A Custom: Experiential Marketing at Its Best
Looking for a partner to execute your experiential marketing ideas? CR&A Custom is a Los-Angeles-based large format printing company proudly serving customers of all types and sizes in the United States and abroad.
When you choose CR&A Custom, you get all the benefits that come with working with a leader in the large format printing industry: fast turnaround times, comprehensive expertise, certifications, and a solid track record of success.
Contact us today by telephone (213-749-4440), email (email@example.com), or social media (Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn) for a free quote or to learn more about our wide range of visual solutions.