Experiential Marketing Standouts from 2017

As reliable as traditional and digital marketing strategies are, sometimes brands need to shake things up in order to combat banner blindness and become/remain top-of-mind for consumers.

Enter experiential marketing, where the definition is all in the name. This type of marketing focuses on creating an experience around your brand to engage with your audience in real life. Experiential campaigns typically use surprise and delight tactics to get people talking and, even more importantly, sharing on social media.

Whether you’re a new company or an established brand, an “out of the box” activation is a great way to attract new leads, strengthen relationships with your existing client base, and make memorable impressions.

As we wrap up 2017, below are three of our favorite experiential marketing campaigns from the year:

H&M at Coachella

At Coachella 2017, H&M set up a dreamy, immersive house where guests could get out of the heat and wander through a garage, living room and patio set-up complete with Instagrammable-moments, such as an infinity room, and a pop-up clothing shop.

As a long-term sponsor of Coachella, H&M is the perfect example of a big brand knowing and targeting its marketing personas (aka depictions of target audience segments)—that’s crucial for any experiential campaign. Coachella brims with twenty-something fashionistas, making it a perfect market for the clothing powerhouse to roll out engaging activations.

M&M’s ARcade in Times Square

To promote the release of M&M’s Caramel, the candy brand turned Times Square into an interactive ARcade. Using an augmented reality app, visitors were able to scan billboards in Times Square. This turned them into retro arcade games that they could play on their phones. Brand reps were on hand to explain the experience and pass out M&M’s Caramel samples.

With the rise of augmented and virtual reality, brands are increasingly utilizing digital resources for experiential purposes. In most cases, a physical presence is essential during an experiential campaign. However, adding a digital element is a great way to extend the reach of your efforts. With that in mind, M&M’s allowed people everywhere to access the arcade experience by picking up a bag of M&M’s Caramel and scanning the barcode within the AR app.

David Lloyd Clubs’ Napercise Class

David Lloyd Clubs, a UK-based gym chain, began holding and promoting “napercise” classes, where members participated in 15 minutes of stretching followed by 45 minutes of blissful rest, to highlight and combat the lack of sleep many people are faced with. The gym also released a video to coincide with the class rollout.

Most brands don’t have a budget large enough to support a Times Square takeover or Coachella sponsorship, but that doesn’t mean experiential marketing is out of the question. David Lloyd’s napercise classes garnered international press without needing expensive location permits or a large production team. The key is to come up with a fun, interactive idea. This will build on your brand and catch people’s attention.

Experiential marketing is undoubtedly on the rise—don’t let your brand get left behind! With 2018 right around the corner, now is the time to see how a unique campaign can fit into your marketing strategy.

About the author

Jenna Handley

At Bigfish, Jenna oversees project management for a number of clients, serving as the primary point [...]