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Creative Technology in Experiential Marketing

Experiential Marketing

In 2021, the bar for crafting a memorable brand experience is higher than ever. Gone are the days when a simple ad boosted impressions. Consumers want brands to find new and creative ways of delivering experiences that resonate with them. Enter the magic of creative technology in experiential marketing.

Creative technology offers tools to connect with consumers in exciting ways. Whether VR or interactive photo experiences, integrating creative technology into brand experiences opens endless audience engagement opportunities. Not sure where to start? Check out these three innovative and successful examples in New York City.

Creative Technology for Experiential Marketing

What is Creative Technology?

The average consumer sees creative technology every day. But, it’s such a normal part of our world, they may not even realize it when they see:

  • Motion sensors when they approach a kiosk to start a transaction. 
  • Using smartphones at a store to scan QR codes for coupons or more information on a product.
  • Going to a restaurant and using a tablet to look at menus and place an order.

Creative technology takes digital design and media and creates multi-sensory experiences that transport consumers into a world that excites and engages.

Mastercard Helps NYC Commuters Travel Smarter

When marketers use creative technology, we think of digital experiences that blow audiences away. But it’s also a way for brands to educate consumers about their products and services. 

Mastercard recently launched an engagement marketing activation introducing its Tap & Go™ contactless technology. For New Yorkers, commuting can be stressful. Mastercard let them see how easy their commutes can be with just a simple tap. 

Using trained brand ambassadors and branded food trucks to pique consumers’ senses and interest, Mastercard stationed experiences at three New York subway stations. Participants were invited to watch a contact kiosk checkout demonstration to see the simplicity of using Tap & Go™. They also received free Metrocards, and snacks made by award-winning New York chef JJ Johnson.

 H&M’s Smart Mirrors Merge High Fashion With High Tech

Retailers are struggling to survive against the domination of eCommerce. That means using creative technology that offers consumers things that won’t find online.

H&M wanted to launch an in-store experience for shoppers and used its location in New York to test smart mirrors that served as virtual personal shoppers. H&M’s smart mirrors were deployed to create a seamless shopping experience that combined voice and facial recognition.

Customers were able to use voice commands to take selfies that integrated with H&M’s catalog to give outfit suggestions in real-time. If customers liked what they saw, they could order their new looks from H&M’s website using a QR code.

The Daily Show’s Interactive Political Satire Wins Big at Cannes

The Daily Show has built a successful brand based on biting political satire. In 2018, the Comedy Central program took its topical humor on the road by blending it with a digital art installation.

Poking fun at former-President Donald Trump’s now-defunct Twitter feed, The Daily Show curated a museum’s worth of his infamous tweets and put them on display in several cities around the U.S.

The show’s use of mobile, interactive creative technology was so popular, it won a Grand Prix at that year’s Cannes Lions Festival.

Build Your Brand Bolder and Better With Creative Technology

The best way to maximize the success of your experiential marketing campaign is to understand your audience. Who are they? What are their interests? What tactic will engage them best? Most of our lives revolve around the use of various technologies. That’s why so many brands are using creative technology to separate themselves from the rest. Successful brands understand using digital technology means they can make their dreams a reality. With the help of creative technology, they can connect the dots between brand awareness and audience engagement.

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Experiential Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Campaign

Experiential Marketing

2020 was a year full of twists and turns. Undoubtedly, it turned the world of experiential marketing on its head. What will 2021 bring? Definitely adaptation in an ever-changing landscape. Brands will continue to embrace experiential marketing examples that are as authentic as they are flexible to meet consumers’ needs. With that, let’s check out seven successful trends that are inspiring the future of experiential marketing.

Zara Embraces Cause Marketing by Showing Its ‘Pride’

A 2018 survey revealed more than 50% of Gen-Zers said knowing a brand is socially conscious influences their purchasing decisions. 2019’s Pride Parade in New York commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Zara and JustWater wanted to take part in this milestone and show their pride. Using a three-sided glass truck customized into a 3D Pride flag showcasing 9,000 bottles of JustWater, paradegoers stayed hydrated as Zara’s field marketing team provided a rainbow selection of complimentary JustWater. Zara’s cause marketing campaign netted over one million impressions on social media worldwide while highlighting the brand’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Glass Truck Experiential Marketing Example

User-Generated Content Helps Ocean Spray Reach Its ‘Dreams’

User-generated content is one of the most organic experiential marketing examples. What it lacks in finesse, it makes up for with authenticity, which is always valuable. Over the past few years, content created by consumers has become a cornerstone of many marketing strategies. In a 2020 study, 86% of brands are repurposing their social media followers’ content. 

Last fall, Nathan Apodaca combined skateboarding, Ocean Spray cranberry juice, and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” to create a viral moment. His TikTok took the Internet by storm, with celebrities, Ocean Spray’s CEO, and even Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood uploading their renditions. Brands that take advantage of user-generated content endear themselves to consumers who appreciate messaging that’s made by people just like them.

Ocean Spray Tik Tok

Adidas’ ‘Run For The Oceans’ Stresses the Importance of Sustainability

In a world where large-scale events are often activated, consumers appreciate responsible brands that actively reduce their environmental footprint. In 2018, Adidas created  Run For The Oceans, uniting one million runners and raising $1 million to educate and empower 100,000 families living in coastal areas affected by plastic pollution. Adidas created five million pairs of shoes using recycled ocean plastic. 

By showing commitment to creating a sustainable future, Adidas developed a platform that brings consumers and its global brand together. In 2021, brands are executing experiences that focus on strategies that amplify messaging and tangible commitments to saving the environment.

Adidas Experiential Marketing Example

Activating Experiential Marketing Examples Without Leaving ‘Höme’

COVID-19 has forced brands to rethink how they launch multisensory engagement without the impact of in-person experiences. Over the past year, industries have activated experiential marketing examples that bring those moments to consumers’ homes. 

Last holiday season, IKEA offered customers a free “Gingerbread Höme” kit allowing them to furnish gingerbread houses with edible versions of the brand’s famous furniture. To boost impressions, IKEA encouraged customers to share their creations on social media using the hashtag #IKEAHoliday.

Ikea Gingerbread Home

Mastercard’s IRL Demonstration Showcases Immersive Promotions

Brands turn to immersive promotions to educate consumers by letting them take their products for a test-drive. As contactless technology becomes the preferred transaction method by increasing safety, cleanliness, and service, Mastercard launched its Tap & Go service. Wanting to teach customers the ease and simplicity of using Tap and Go, Mastercard had New Yorkers use its contactless technology to make their commutes more efficient. 

Using a branded food truck with complimentary cuisine provided by famed-New York chef JJ Johnson, Mastercard set-up interactive stations at three busy subway stations in Manhattan. Commuters were invited to test the speed of Tap & Go for themselves and received free Metrocards for participating.

Mastercard Experiential Marketing

Experiential Marketing Examples That Enhance Everyday Life

Some of the most successful experiential marketing examples allow consumers to imagine how products can improve their lives. Experiential marketing that hits close to home already has one foot in the door with winning over consumers. 

Located at Paris’ Boulevard Diderot, designer Marc Aurel created “the bus stop of the future,” a multi-purpose public space designed to blend into the surrounding urban environment. Aside from purchasing a bus ticket, passengers can have a coffee, borrow a book, recharge their phones, and more. By reimagining the ordinary, Paris made the conventionality of waiting for the bus an experience that fosters social interaction and engagement.

Montana Inspires Virtual Wanderlust

In 2016, to boost tourism, VisitMT.com brought “Big Sky Country” to the streets of Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle. Montana might not be on everyone’s wish list, but the “Treasure State” wanted to show what it has to offer.

VisitMT’s experience featured knowledgeable brand ambassadors and a food truck converted into the state-landmark Polebridge Mercantile. Receiving complimentary “made-in-Montana” huckleberry ice cream and bison jerky, visitors got a taste of the real Montana experience.

Visit Montana Experiential Marketing

Exploring Experiential Marketing Examples Will Set Your Brand Up for Success

Every marketing campaign is different, but the ultimate goal is always the same: to reach new consumers and keep old ones in the fold. These successful experiential marketing examples will help enhance your brand strategy and foster lasting connections with customers. Because when a brand can stir genuine, positive emotions with consumers, they have the power to change the conversation.

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Why Experiential Marketing Is a Great Strategy for Small Businesses

Experiential Marketing

When businesses think of experiential marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the spectacle of activations that are lavish and grand; the largest companies in the world budget millions of dollars each year to captivate consumers with show-stopping and headlines-grabbing events. 

But those aren’t the only types of experiences available. Successful experiential marketing doesn’t have to be intimidating because it’s about immersing consumers in the world of your brand to build better awareness and better relationships. And there are many ways small businesses can create that level of engagement because experiential marketing is less about the money spent and more about the experience itself. 

Check out the benefits experiential marketing brings for small businesses and some ideas that’ll help introduce you to one of the most effective marketing platforms at your disposal. 

An Introduction to Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing creates meaningful connections between a brand and its customers. Unlike traditional forms of marketing, experiential marketing turns a passive audience into active participants who engage directly with a brand, its identity, and its values. 

Experiential marketing’s immersive and multi-sensory experiences cement a long-lasting impression in consumers’ minds. And the numbers don’t lie. According to Event Marketer, 74% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase a product or service because of branding marketing experiences. 

For small businesses, experiential marketing is a powerful tool that’s simple to activate and can quickly increase customer loyalty and direct sales. But, a winning experiential marketing campaign isn’t a one-off introduction. It’s a loyalty network that activates new customers and keeps old ones from going somewhere else. 

Awareness is a key component of a business’ longevity. The more people who know your brand exists, the more potential customers you can target. Experiential marketing provides a solution to increasing word-of-mouth exposure. In fact, between 50% and 80% of all word-of-mouth promotion comes from experiential marketing.

The Benefits of Experiential Marketing for Small Businesses

Like no other marketing channel, experiential marketing pulls potential consumers through the entire sales funnel with one touch. Driving deep consumer-to-brand connections turns new customers into fans and eventually into advocates for your small business. There are many other benefits experiential marketing brings from small businesses: 

  • Experiential marketing improves your business’ awareness and perception within your community. 
  • Generates shareable content for your business’ social media accounts to increase impressions and word-of-mouth reach.
  • Boosts earned media from TV, print, and radio, creating more exposure.
  • Whether in-person or virtual experiences, you get instant face-time with potential customers to build relationships. 
  • Builds your business’ reputation and credibility.
  • Impacts your bottom line with new leads or data collection. 
  • Creates meaningful experiences that resonate with customers and increase lifetime loyalty. 

Experiential Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Something important to note, and something many businesses get wrong, is that experiential marketing isn’t a publicity stunt. While experiential marketing does incorporate surprise and showmanship, experiential marketing is a long-term strategy and not a one-time event. But don’t feel overwhelmed. Your small business doesn’t need a million-dollar budget to execute a successful experiential marketing campaign. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  1. Product sampling events are easy to execute and make use of your existing inventory. They’re a great tactic to introduce your business to new customers, launch new products or services, or raise awareness for what you already sell. Consumers like the concept of ‘try before you buy’ and are more likely to appreciate your business’ transparency without any strings attached.
  2. Street team marketing is one of the most cost-effective experiential strategies. These ‘brand ambassadors’ will do all the leg work by hitting the streets and promote your business directly to consumers. Street team marketing is also a great way to distribute product samples and offer giveaways, incentivizing the public to visit your physical or online location.
  3. Event hosting turns your brick-and-mortar space into a creative vessel for a unique experience. Own a coffee shop? Host a morning event where customers can sample brews from around the world. Want to promote your crafts store? Team up with a local artist for an evening workshop where customers can learn to paint while enjoying a glass of wine.

Put Your Small Business on the Map With Experiential Marketing

The most successful experiential marketing campaigns always involve these three elements:

  1. Active audience participation and engagement. 
  2. A clear and accessible message that resonates, promoting a brand and its values.
  3. An experience that provides long-term and long-lasting value.   

With a host of tools available to reach consumers, both in-person and online, edging out the competition has become a matter of survival. To grow and prosper, small businesses must build strong relationships with customers and engage in meaningful and memorable ways. 

The most effective way to make those goals a reality is to take advantage of experiential marketing. When your small business delivers extraordinary experiences, you can capture hearts and minds. And that’s how any business, no matter its size, not only survives but thrives.

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