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Experiential Marketing - The Power of Experience UNLEASHED! The new-age customers, crave personalised experiences and desire meaningful interactions with the brand

By Valay Lakdavala

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In an ever-evolving digital universe, where the customer's attention span has reduced to less than 8 seconds and is challenging every brand's marketing strategy, it has become increasingly difficult to retain consistent customer interactions. The new-age customers, crave personalised experiences and desire meaningful interactions with the brand, making experiential marketing, with its "Power of Experience', a necessity.

Experiential marketing is a true value creator that empowers organisations to build brand affinity, create a chain of conversations, encourage unique content creation, and attract earned media, which in turn creates a lasting impression on the audience.

Here are some case studies that have made a mark in the experiential marketing realm:

1. The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour:

This iconic ad campaign began its journey in 1995, and created a legacy that lasts till this day. The popularity of the campaign, back in 1995, introduced the truck tour that made its official debut in Great Britain in 2010. Lucky customers who visited the truck had a chance to experience the magic of holidays including a host of activities that combine traditional with cutting edge technological innovations including an interaction with Santa, and going on a virtual sleigh ride. Every year, new and unique activities are added to the kitty, to the delight of regulars who look forward to celebrating the holiday season with a free Coke, and exciting services. This iconic truck has travelled over millions of kilometres, with 350+ stops, engaging more than 2.5 billion happy consumers over the years, and is still going strong.

2. The Red Bull "Stratos' - Super Sonic FreeFall:

Red Bull has always been at the fore of unique and extreme sports experiences, but in 2012, they raised the bar to a whole new level. The Red Bull "Stratos' was a feat of human strength and bravery, wherein the brand housed Austrian skydiver and daredevil Felix Baumgartner and launched him up into the stratosphere using a large helium-filled balloon. The truly remarkable part of this journey was that his ascent and preparation to jump alone, allowed him to break another record before landing safely back on Earth. Red Bull streamed the entire event online and witnessed the highest viewing traffic of any live stream ever broadcasted on YouTube — over 8 million views. Till date, this video on YouTube has 400 Million views and counting.

3. Google Pop Up Donut Shop:

To promote interest in Google's personal virtual assistant - the Home Mini, Google has been opening pop-up doughnut shops across the world — starting from the USA. The rationale behind this enticing experiential campaign is that the Home Mini is about the size and shape of a doughnut. At the pop-up store, people can see a conveyer belt with a number of doughnut boxes. On asking the smart device a question, they get one of those boxes which contain one of two things — a doughnut, or a Google Mini. This campaign is still a massive hit with its ability to boost consumer interest in personal virtual assistants while showcasing a playful and fun way to surprise audiences.

4. Budweiser Beer Garage:

In 2016, Anheuser Busch decided to mesmerise the audience at the Southwest Annual Tech and Innovation Expo in Austin, TX. They accomplished this and more by creating a Beer Garage powered 4-D VR journey, allowing the audience to virtually experience, with sensory elements, the way Budweiser is made. It soon became the talk of the social world, with its unique customer interactions, successfully establishing an emotional connect with the brand while emerging as a leading technology innovator.

5. "Unlimited Stadium' by Nike

When Nike wanted to engage with their audiences, they created the world's most innovative training environment. This avant-garde stadium let the runners compete with their avatars on a 200-metre running track lined with a running LED screen, which blended the virtual and real world together. The intent behind this track was to bring the best in every athlete, and they were handsomely rewarded for their efforts, with 15 Cannes Lions for their incredible masterpiece showing human spirit in the best possible form.

6. Stop Wild Life Trafficking by World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

To address the issue of wildlife trafficking, and encourage people to sign a petition to end the crimes against wildlife, WWF came up with a brilliant idea of a hologram elephant that would roam the streets of London. With the right mix of technology and content, WWF was able to create a moment to emotionally connect with the audience. This creative campaign was etched in the minds of the audiences and received more than 1 lakh signed petitions for the cause.

7. Lean Cuisine - #WeighThis

When the word "experiential' is mentioned, this is one of the campaigns that reigns supreme, despite it being an older one. With the tagline "If you're going to weigh something, weigh what matters," Lean Cuisine launched an experiential event right in heart of New York City. It included a wall installation with weighing machines and a professional painter who would write down a personalised message about the way each one wanted to weigh themselves. This heart-warming campaign went viral, garnering more than 204 million impressions online.

8. Glenfiddich: Join The Experimentality

To introduce their new experimental series, Glenfiddich set up a tasting event in London where attendees had to log in to an application and share information basis which a personalised drink was created to match their profile. It proved to be a smart combination of technology gamification and personalisation that fuelled the interest of consumers, and created massive brand recall, with relevance even today.

9. Guinness Class Experience

One of the best techniques in experiential marketing is in the aspirational form, and Guinness sure knows how to do that. For a week, brand ambassadors dressed in flight attendant uniforms entered bars in UK and surprised customers with the opportunity to win aspiring prizes — ranging from a keychain to a free trip to Dublin in a private jet. Word rapidly spread across the globe, with millions of audiences connecting to the brand emotionally. This experience successfully associated the brand Guinness with personal aspirations, which proved to have a lasting bond.

10. Google "Building a better Bay Area'

The power of making a difference goes a long way, and Google perfectly optimised experiential marketing for the same. When the search engine giant donated $5 million+ to a not-for-profit, they gave the power to their consumers to choose where it would go. It enabled people to cast votes through a digital board installed in local areas like bus shelters, restaurants, and others. This allowed people to interact with the brand at their convenience, and that's the reason 72% of people today, express a positive perception towards brands providing great experiences.

These examples of experiential brilliance impart huge learning — innovative experiential marketing techniques with the right mix of technology, creativity, emotions, and imagination do not have any boundaries. With this, it is safe to foresee an awe-inspiring future of experiential marketing.

Valay Lakdavala

Director - Client Relations, NeoNiche Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

A curious marketeer who believes that there is a 6th sense that guides the success of a brand, a sense which is at the intersection of a meaningful experience and a perfect execution.

Full time Business Manager and entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in business leadership. Valay, comes with a very unique mix of experience in Project Management and Customer Relationship. As a Co-founder of NeoNiche an award winning experiential marketing company that design and delivers brand marketing solutions for organisations from past 7 years, he stands accountable to strategise and execute organisation Client Relationship goals.

With an experience to have designed and executed close to 1300 marketing campaigns for more to 70 brands. He started his journey as a part time executive and grew to become a Business Director in 13 years, over the years his strong command on business and management principles have been his shield to conquer the challenges and deliver the set objectives. His core skills include Resourcefulness, Problem solving capabilities, an attentive learner who is not afraid to incorporate opinions of valued team members into policies and planning. And when we shift away to the other part of his life, Valay likes globetrotting and exploring different cultures or getting glued to a computer game with friends.
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