Marketing

Types of Experiential Marketing Campaigns

Audience Reach, Experience Type, and Experience Modality are 3 important dimensions to categorize Experiential Marketing events. Learn the details of these 3 dimensions, famous examples and the pros and cons of each.

Experiential Marketing, on the onset, can be simplistic to understand: any campaign or event that involves people actively engaging with your brand or product instead of being passive recipients to your marketing messages can be an experiential marketing event. However, there can still be diverse facets and types of experiential marketing. Let's have a look: 

 

This post is a part of our series on Experiential Marketing (visit the main page by clicking on this link) or download the guide directly in PDF format from below.
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Experiential marketing strategies can be categorized based on three dimensions:

  1. REACH
  2. TYPE OF EXPERIENCE
  3. MODE OF EXPERIENCE


We'll be discussing all of the three dimensions in detail below. 

A) REACH

Based on how your experiential marketing campaign is meant to REACH your audience, the campaigns can be of two types - "Direct and Indirect"

1. DIRECT REACH


This is when your campaign aims to interact directly with your audience. A simple example of this would be using augmented reality applications to show  customers what their chosen piece of furniture would look like when placed in their living room. Direct reach is something that Ikea seems to have perfected in the recent years.

 

2. INDIRECT REACH


This is when your target audience is primed to find out about your campaign through other media platforms as opposed to directly interacting with it. Our favourite example of this is Red Bull’s Stratos Jump. These are bold campaigns that rely on word of mouth, spreading like wildfire, creating a viral marketing campaign around an event that everyone would talk about for ages to come.

Another apt example of this is sporting events as they have become synonymous with big brands. The sportsmen who are competing in a sport are the only ones directly  and physically experiencing the game, however with the advent of technology,  the audience gets to participate in sporting events while cheering for their favourite players.

This is not just watching the sport through an augmented reality app – like Hawkeye, but also use of immersive 360-degree video to make you feel as if the action is happening in your near surrounding.

 

B) TYPE OF EXPERIENCE

To make it easier for you to decide on what kind of experience you would like to craft, we have identified 4 types of EXPERIENCES you can choose from. These are:

1. PRODUCT SHOWCASE


This is arguably the most popular type of experiential marketing campaign at the moment. The idea is simple – rather than listing out the product features and benefits through traditional media, allow the end user to actually experience it. If you have confidence in your product, there cannot be a better option.

Remember the tagline with which Ghari detergent managed to beat down Wheel’s market share? “Pehle istemal karen, phir vishwas karen” (Don't take our word for it - first experience it, then believe us).  This is a tried and tested method, which in most cases, manages to grab the audience's attention.

With the rise of virtual reality and augmented reality technology, you need not even have the actual product ready to allow the end-user to experience it. You can craft an immersive experience at a low cost, and then build the actual product based on the users' reaction. This trend is being picked up by automobile industry to showcase demos of yet to be launched cars in the market.

  

2. IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE


This is pretty much self-explanatory, how, you ask?

Well, for starters, by using virtual reality technology to craft an experience where the users are fully immersed in a world, you have made them experience the benefits of your products.

Of course, the immersive experience can be created by mixing the real world and the virtual world as well. One of our favorite examples of this is the Westworld immersive experience where participants got to experience it first hand, and not just on a screen. This was at South X Southwest Conference, 2018.


westworld interactive experience 2018 - men and women in cowboy dressing with hats are running
Westworld Interactive Experience (Source: IMBD)

3. CONTENT GENERATING STUNTS


Here, stunts are those that involve the ambitious use of content with a large audience in mind. The premise being, for these to work, the content has to be immensely shareable and relatable to some extent. Based on the brand and the target audience, it also needs to be very diggable  – i.e. allowing the audience members to dig deep into the content to find other layers of its meanings.

A good example that comes to mind is Heineken’s Departure Roulette. Not many people were directly affected by it, but just seeing those few people take a chance created content that attracted a large audience:


4. BUSINESS INNOVATION AND SERVICES


Experiential marketing campaigns that solve a real-world problem have proven to be most effective. This type of marketing is not a quick fix that is aimed at generating instant sales. Instead, it is a long-term activity to build a brand among its target customers, so much so that it may not even look like marketing to a casual observer. One of the most powerful examples of this is Dulux’s Let’s Colour Project.

lets colour project colorful staircase

Image Source: Let's Colour Project

C) MODE OF EXPERIENCE

It is important to note that experiential marketing campaigns can many a times be disguised as other marketing strategies as well. Here are four types of experiential marketing campaigns based on the MODE OF EXPERIENCES.

1. EVENT MARKETING 


Experiential marketing has come to be associated so closely with events that many people use the term synonymous with event marketing. It is important to remember that while not all experiential marketing is events oriented, all events are experiential by their very definition. Events are an effective way to provide a platform where one can  have a tangible, face-to-face interaction with their audience within a fixed time period. 

2. BRAND ACTIVATION


The launch of a new product or service is called Brand Activation. This is a perfect fit for experiential marketing. As we have mentioned above, product showcase is probably the most well-known use of experiential marketing – and it works best for a new product. You can turn product sampling into a micro event, letting the customer see your best side.

3. GUERRILLA MARKETING


Guerrilla marketing aims to start a conversation about the campaign as well as adding an element of surprise. Such campaigns, typically, do not ask for permission and could even create legal problems if not executed with care. For example, when Elon Musk left his “submarine” at the site of a Thai cave saying it could be of help to rescue workers. Well, it wasn’t, and he got sued. 

 Also see: How to Create an Experiential Marketing Campaign: Step by Step Guide for Beginners

But when done well and received well,  Guerrilla Marketing leaves a strong impression. While Pepsi had a great ambush campaign with the tagline “nothing official about it”,  it was not an experiential campaign as no element of experience was involved.

On the other hand, when Bavaria stationed 36 young women in bright orange dresses - who could chat with the spectators - around the stadium during 2010 FIFA World Cup, they had enhanced Pepsi’s idea by adding experience to it – and won newspaper headlines for it.

FIFA and Budweiser were unimpressed and threatened the ladies with 6 months of jail time. Of course, they promptly left when asked to leave – but their goal scored.

4. RETAIL INSTALLATION


These are kiosks built at retail outlets to allow the customers to have an immersive experience. We have spoken about how these can be used and how AR is making them even more powerful than before.

As you have read and comprehend above, Experiential Marketing has the power to not only engage even the most uninterested audience but also leave a lasting impression. If you would like to discuss what type of experiential marketing strategies  will best suit your audience, just drop a line to WOWSOME and we'll be at available to assist you.


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