The A-Z of Experiential Marketing – D for Digital


When planning an experiential marketing campaign there are many factors that need to be considered. Over the course of 2013 we are publishing a series of articles on the A-Z of experiential marketing. This time we focus on D for Digital.

D for Digital

Digital experience

Definitions of the word ‘event’ often assume a single occurrence and almost certainly a fixed geographical location. Experiential marketing was, for a long time, associated with ‘an event’ or a series of ‘events’ – live occasions of a fixed time period that one would have to ‘attend’ to experience.

However, the extraordinary rise in consumer adoption of digital and mobile technologies in recent years has handed marketers a brilliant set of tools. Today’s marketers can create real connections with consumers without being restricted by physical and geographical barriers.

Undeniably, it is attending an event and living it first hand that puts you at the epicentre of the brand experience. But savvy marketers can now embrace the power of digital to enhance every aspect of traditional ‘events’. In so doing, they can create a fully integrated experiential campaign with reach far beyond a single place or moment in time.

Here are some great examples of how marketers have used digital technologies in five different ways to create far more rounded brand experiences.

The ‘event’ as content catalyst

Content marketing is what every marketer is talking about this year. The challenge is making sure your content is targeted, relevant, conversation-worthy and shareable. A great starting point can be to create your own talking point. Undoubtedly the best example of this in recent times was Red Bull’s audaciously bold Stratos project in 2012. The success of Stratos was not just down to the feat itself (the ultimate expression of the brand’s values), but also the digital strategy behind it, designed to hook viewers, encourage sharing, inspire conversations and broaden interaction.

Content as the event catalyst

Many brands have realised the value in releasing content online that drip feeds consumers and makes them part of a community. When this is teamed with an event it can be incredibly powerful. This was done to an extent with the Stratos campaign, but that only really came alive during and after the stunt. Frucor’s V Energy brand distributed content over several months that teased consumers and built up anticipation for a one-off event. Building fans into a frenzy so that when the event finally went live it was an instant viral success. The resulting music track created at the event even made the number one spot on the New Zealand dance music charts.

Here is one of the pre-event webisodes

The exclusive ‘reward’ event

Another 2013 buzzword is gamification – brands are now appealing to younger, gaming audiences by creating interactive content that will engage consumers to compete for a ‘prize’ – often a VIP brand event. This kind of branded gaming ensures that consumers are continually coming back to the branded content over a period of time and establishes a dialogue on gaming terms.
Perrier used the gaming concept to attract young, digitally-focused social influencers to the brand when it celebrates its 150th anniversary in March. An edgy, surreal world was created where users could be one of 60 characters on a mission to find hidden Perrier bottles. Those who found the well-hidden bottles are now in the running to attend one of five exclusive experiential parties being hosted in cities across the world later in the year.

The digital experience at the heart of the ‘event’

A great way to generate curiosity and promote engagement at an event is to embed a digital, shareable element at the heart of it. When Coca-Cola asked Line Up to create a stand-out presence for them at 66 City Celebrations on the route of the 2012 Olympic Torch relay, we came up with the Beat Generator. This music generation game championed music, sport and refreshment, whilst reinforcing the brand’s global ‘Move to the Beat’ Olympic campaign. The addition of a connected digital element to this roadshow helped to deliver over 1.7m Facebook impressions and thousands of content shares directly from the music pods to consumer social media networks.

The digitally enhanced live environment

There are lots of ways that digital can be used to enhance a live environment. 3D projection mapping is a great example. It is no longer new technology, but it continues to improve at a fantastic rate. Brands are making the most of this to create truly stand-out events and environments that not only live spectacularly in the moment but create fabulously shareable content.

H&M opened its Amsterdam store with a fantastically surreal fairytale that was projected onto the storefront whilst press, bloggers and gathering onlookers gathered their video assets to spread the message further afield.

Another great way to enhance an environment is to use Augmented Reality – like 3D projection mapping this has developed at an incredible rate over the last few years. Here is a great example from Lynx where commuters in London Victoria were treated to a moment with the Lynx Angels.

D for digital – an enormous topic to explore within the world of experiential marketing and we have just scratched the surface here to bring you what we think are some world-class examples.

Want to read more of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing posts? You can now download and keep A-N as a PDF ebook.

Or select another of the posts from the series to view online:

Audience | Brief | Content | Digital | Engagement | Fun

Global | Hindsight | Insight Journey | Knowledge | Logistics

Mobile | New | Old | Product Launch | Q&A | ROI | Social Media

Target Market | User Experience | Venues | Word of Mouth | X for X Factor | Y for Youth | Z for Zeitgeist

a-zilineupebookDownload our ebook!
You can now download the first part of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing series as a ebook to keep for reference or read on the daily commute!
We are well on our way to Z, but in the meantime click here to get hold of the A-N ebook!

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