The A-Z of Experiential Marketing – M for Mobile

Posted by: Lawrence Andrews on October 10th, 2013 IN Experiential marketing


In a world where recent reports claim that 91% of the global population owns a mobile phone, with 56% owning a smart phone, it’s vital that we look to embrace the latest mobile technologies and trends to harness their potential in experiential projects. So this week, in our series the A-Z of Experiential Marketing, we focus on M for Mobile.


It’s certainly fair to say that no event lives in isolation anymore. It is hard to draw a line between live experiential marketing and the content created around any event that is designed to pull people in, enhance the live moment and create content to share before, during and after the event. Here we take a look at what mobile technology has already bought to the party and bring you some of the latest trends.

Mobile as social enabler

Social amplification

Live experiences are no longer just for those in attendance. The life of an experience can be extended via social amplification. Encouraging people to take photos, share thoughts, get involved with an online community means that the content reaches hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of people around the world.

Creating a community

Adding a #hashtag to a live experience, or championing online conversations that happen around your event will help to build an online community that can create a deeper connection between the brand and its intended audience.

Handheld experiences

Putting the event experience into the hands of your audience is powerful. It allows people to feel personally connected to the content and drives pre, during and post event engagement.

Mobile trends

Second screening

In a recent study by Harris Interactive, 63% of adults said they had watched online video while watching broadcast content. Of those respondents, 27% watched content related to the show they were viewing, while 48% viewed unrelated content.

This trend towards second screening is being seized as an opportunity by savvy marketers. For instance, X Factor has introduced a 5th Judge App that is designed to ensure that second screeners stay with the X Factor experience during broadcasts and beyond.

Whilst this app is designed to avoid distraction, Disney has gone a step further by encouraging children to bring iPads to the cinema to enhance what is already a pretty immersive experience.

Billed as Second Screen Live, Disney have re-released The Little Mermaid in selected theatres in the US and created an app that makes the viewer ‘part of the film’ allowing them to interact with the film and compete with the audience whilst following the action on the big screen.

Parents may struggle with the idea since the attempts are often made to reduce children’s daily screen time but we can’t think of a child who wouldn’t jump at the chance and feel sure it’s a first of many to come. And not just in cinemas, the principle could be applied to any kind of event.


Brands have realised the potential in creating live experiences with gaming in mind. Adding an element of competition and challenge can be a great way to drive engagement and brands are appealing to younger, gaming audiences by creating interactive content that allows consumers to compete for a ‘prize’ – sometimes physical, often virtual. 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 that is based on fun, reward and competition.


MOBILE Starbucks

Earlier in the year Starbucks launched a digital version of its loyalty card, instead of collecting stamps on a card loyal cusmoers filled up a coffee cup with stars. Alongside this feature the app also allowed users to send eGifts and locate nearby stores.

Nike +


Nike+ is probably the best known fitness app that allows users to log their physical activity and gain points that build up “NikeFuel”. The app challenges people to reach their fitness goals and allows them to win ‘awards’ and gifts from Nike.

Image sharing and tagging

The camera-phone has evolved, the first incarnations involved bolting a camera onto a phone and the images were pretty hopeless and were seen as a novelty. Now the camera is a vital part of a phone, it is used to document our day-to-day life, capture moments and, more often than not, share them with contacts online and off. Nokia has just released its Lumia 1020, with a show-stopping 41 mega-pixel camera as the hero feature.

The bottom line is we want to take pictures, we want to document and share our experiences so marketers can take advantage of this. By encouraging photos at events and enabling people to tag them appropriately with a brand/event hashtag or geotag you can get people talking far and wide.

We have also seen an increase in events having a photo area, where branded images taken are instantly uploaded to social networks and then shared on by the consumer.

HP Photoball

New mobile ideas


Vine came to the market in January 2013 as a free iOS app but it now available for Android devices and Microsoft have unveiled plans recently for a Windows 8 version of the app. Founded in January 2012 and bought by Twitter in October 2012, the app is growing stratospherically. It gives users an instant video upload of up to 7 seconds long, recorded via the Vine in-app camera and is the latest landmark in video sharing.

These stop motion ads from Dunkin Donuts broke in ESPN’s 5 second billboard ad breaks during Monday Night Countdown and are designed to attract the attention of second screeners and tie in with the brands Twitter feed hashtagged #DunkinReplay. The aim is a deeper engagement with their important game-watching audience and we think they are breaking ground here and creating a strong precedent for other brands trying to keep the attention of distracted second screeners.

Vine is already the most downloaded free app in the iOS App Store and we can only see its influence growing.

QR Codes and NFC

Using technology that links your consumer directly to the right content is a great way to encourage more people to engage with it. QR codes have been adopted my many marketers to link people through to a competition or product information, enabling the consumer to embark on a digital journey with the brand. We’ve seen some creative eye-catching uses of QR codes, but people still need to make the decision to scan. Taking that step away was the next frontier for marketers and the (relatively) new kid on the block is NFC, near field communications, which allows people to instantly access digital content without the need for scanning.

MOBILE Guinness

NFC’s apparent strength is at events where it can be used to store delegate information, track progress, replace tickets and link people with useful content. Although there have been attempts from brands to use the technology to connect with consumers, it hasn’t really taken off. But there are some brands adopting NFC in the public domain, Guinness has recently fitted over 11,000 founts across the UK with NFC technology, allowing drinkers to tap the fount with their phone to see if they have won a complementary pint of stout.



Building on the idea that people like to take photos and share them at events, Eventstagram created a way to allow consumer photography be grouped together. Using the nigh on ubiquitous photo platform Instagram, event photos posted with a specified event #hashtag are displayed live on a big screen and shared online. The idea of getting their images up on a big screen for all to see encourages more people to join in, producing great live content and online noise.

Creating shareable content that will engage consumers, enhance events and extend your reach has never been more important. If you can think of any other great examples of branded use of mobile it would be great to hear in the comments. We love straddling the real and virtual world here at Line Up, so if you want to discuss a project then please get in touch.

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!

Lawrence Andrews

Lawrence Andrews

Lawrence Andrews is Head of Content at Line Up. He is focused on blending new ideas with high-end production values and is always thinking about how to create campaigns that deliver real results for clients. He likes Guinness and has a natural, and somewhat unexpected, ability when it comes to riding camels.

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