The Secret to Standing Out in a Sea of Marketers: Experience Marketing

Camie Dunbar   |   Jan 30, 2018 2:19:00 PM
Being different is good – especially when it comes to standing out in a sea of other competitors. Who says a little competition isn’t good – right?
Think about it…. What makes you stop and listen? Why would you consider one company, but not another? What is it that one marketer has over the other? In most cases, it is something that makes them stand out from the rest, something that makes you want to learn more about what they offer, something that simply makes you feel good. And more and more companies are realizing they can’t draw you in with traditional marketing, so in order to be different, they are turning to Experiential Marketing to accomplish just these things in order to evoke emotion.
 
According to a study conducted by the Center for Media Research, only one out of five Americans pay attention to a traditional advertisement. For this reason, marketers are moving away from the standard advertising model, and choosing to be different through experiential marketing. According to ANA, spending on sponsorship activations grew to an estimated $595 million last year and forecasting suggests that number could rise further in the coming years. The reason? Companies understand the importance of standing out.

The Super Bowl

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, companies are looking for ways to garner attention. According to a recent article in the Star Tribune, “activation” is the new buzzword. With just 10 days of event marketing and promotions available to them, you can find many new activations and experiences from well-known brands to help set them apart. The Super Bowl Host Committee even has someone in charge of “activations.” That’s how strong this form of experiential marketing has become.
 
Schwan’s is just one example. They have set up a “truck tower” along Nicollet Mall, where visitors can get food samples, participate in trivia games, and make virtual bobbleheads that can be shared on social networks.  It’s all about giving the guest a memorable experience and expanding their customer base.
 
At last year’s Super Bowl, the City of Houston wanted to provide an all-encompassing platform to promote the diversity, culinary richness, and uniqueness of the city. Therefore, they worked with Innovative Group to conceptualize and create an experiential activation that brought the diverse local restaurant scene and massive art exhibit into a one-of-a-kind production. MAXimus (MAX for short), the most advanced, interactive, mobile cooking display kitchen and entertainment stage in the world was programmed to provide restaurant showcases for the 10 days leading up to the big game. Hundreds of thousands of attendees enjoyed the 92-foot mobile kitchen and dined on many different Houston-themed dishes, as local chefs presented their flare. Vickie Kloeris, a NASA certified food scientist was also brought on to show fans what tailgating in space might look like. Visit Houston was the shining star with lots of TV exposure, an extensive Social Media outreach, and local community impact...truly touching Houstonians and visitors alike.

Festivals

Another great venue for Experiential Marketing Activations is at festivals. HBO used this to their advantage to stand out at SXSW in 2017. The Escape Room phenomenon has become incredibly popular over the last few years. Riding this momentum, HBO created a mega Escape The Room experience at SXSW 2017, combining three separate rooms into one huge mystery. Each room was a recreated set of a popular HBO show. The three shows were Veep, Silicon Valley, and Game of Thrones. This experiential marketing tactic proved to be very successful because it forced attendees to be fully engaged. Given that HBO is known for its incredible shows, recreating the sets of these shows for fans to literally be a part of was an ingenious way of bringing these fictional narratives to life.
 
Being different has worked for these brands, and it can work for you too. Be bold, stand out, and see what experiential marketing can do for you.