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Published June 5, 2018

Experiential marketing, also called engagement marketing, is a great way to promote your brand, product or service. This type of marketing is advantageous as it engages the audience in an actual experience; hence the name ‘experiential.’ Instead of just bombarding people with adverts (which they can ignore, block or avoid) it brings a more hands-on approach to the table. Although professionals have long associated this marketing strategy with trade shows, exhibitions and events–where people take part in contests and head home with giveaways–it is slowly evolving into something much more. Experiential marketing is now used in lots of different scenarios apart from shows. Here are some experiential efforts that had a huge impact.

Lean Cuisine’s #WeighThis campaign

Healthy frozen food brand Lean Cuisine conducted this campaign at Grand Central Station. Women were asked what they wanted to weigh themselves by instead of their actual weight. They wrote down accomplishments, like caring for 200 homeless children or going back to college at 55, on small weighing scales, which were then displayed for everyone to see. The brand conveyed its message quite effectively: some things matter more than what’s on the scale.


Mastercard and Swarovski’s virtual reality (VR) shopping app

Mastercard teamed up with crystal manufacturing company Swarovski to create a unique VR e-commerce app. At the New York Advertising Week, people donned a VR headset to see what high-end Atelier Swarovski chandeliers looked like in different spaces. Those who wanted to buy one could do so directly via the headset, using Masterpass, Mastercard’s digital wallet.

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Gatorade’s Combine

Sports drink brand Gatorade held an athletic evaluation in Combine format for attendees at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin. People got to try three different tests just like rookie athletes. These tests were designed by companies like Kitman Labs, STRIVR and Sparta Science. They evaluated users on their movement function, decision-making accuracy and speed, and force production.

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JetBlue Icebreaker          

American airline company JetBlue set up a fun ice-breaking challenge in a bid to promote their flights to Palm Springs from New York during the winter. Their six-by-six foot block of ice was filled with summer accessories like beachwear, flip flops, and even a free airplane ticket to sunny Palm Springs. New Yorkers used different tools to break the ice and take their prizes from the block.

About 79% of brands plan to execute more such experiential strategies in 2018 as compared to 2017. And that’s not surprising, considering how these campaigns had an enormous impact on everyone who took part in the fun activities. Experiential marketing is a great option when you want to create a positive and lasting brand impression. It is moving beyond the realm of trade shows and conferences, advancing into a lot of other spaces to reach out to businesses’ target audience.

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