All-Of-The-Ron-Burgundy-Dodge-Commercials-So-Far-VideoExperiential marketing works because it connects customers to brands through live, face-to-face experiences. This strategy carries an inherent risk: if your campaign isn’t engaging and compelling, the result is probably worse than that of a poor flyer, email, or TV ad. With the latter, more traditional marketing methods, users already have an element of disconnection - they can turn away, click a mouse or change their TV channel. But with experiential marketing your target audience is slap bang in the middle of your campaign. For that reason, it’s vital to know what you’re dealing with and how to do it well. 

When experiential marketing campaigns succeed, they usually do so in explosive, incredible ways. It’s useful to highlight a couple of brilliant experiential marketing campaigns to take note of the creativity.

Lets take a look at 2 recent experiential marketing examples: 

1. Blinkbox’s Game of Thrones Skull

Last summer, Blinkbox, UK's leading on-demand movie streaming service, planted a huge skull – the size of a London bus – on Charmouth beach on Dorset’s Jurassic coast (famous for dinosaur fossils) to promote the fact that season 3 of Game of Thrones was on their service. They did no advertising. The skull was subsequently found and the story made the news, dominated social media and landed on the homepages of Mashable, Buzzfeed and Reddit. The end result? On the day the show started, Blinkbox enjoyed its biggest-ever day of viewers. 

 2. Carrie: A Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

In a nutshell, to advertise the remake of the Carrie horror film, viral video marketing agency ThinkmodoMGM and Screen Gems pulled off a stunt that shocked and stunned some people in a New York coffee shop. Coffee shop customers played witness to real life telekinetic rage after a young woman flicked her hand that resulted in a man being throwing against the wall and raised towards the ceiling after he accidentally spilled coffee on her laptop. The campaign ticked all the key PR stunt boxes – it made people sit up and take notice. It shocked. It surprised. It was memorable. And… it went viral.

Summary

In conclusion, effective ‘live’ experiential marketing is all about engagement. Gone are the days when it was a simple concept (like just plonking a sparkling new car in a showroom); modern campaigns are far more interactive and, as a result, often deliver brilliant outcomes.

Many brands are using experiential marketing – or ‘retailtainment’, as some campaigns are referred to – by making the most of sensory techniques, genuine emotions, virtual experiences and brand personalities to boost their bottom lines. Do it well too and you could be on to a winner.

Topics: Branded Entertainment, Advertising, Experiential Marketing

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.