The art and science of experiential marketing

Intel Experiential marketing

Intel  Experiential marketing

People are pretty fickle. Don’t try and deny it; we are. It’s a fact that marketers and advertising execs the world over have been battling with for ages now. We get bored very quickly and move our attention to the next best thing to come along. We are spoilt for choice now and marketers are forced to get more and more creative about how they engage with us, cue: experential marketing.

Essentially this is an immersive way of getting more one of a person’s senses to engage with a marketing intervention. Take for example what Intel (together with Ogilvy and KillowattAV) has developed. It is essentially the world’s first “invisi” (un-polarised) screen activation game featuring some custom animation of a hypothetical future Cape Town.

The units were unveiled at activations across the country this past Easter at select malls across the country.

Passersby were asked to enter their details into a custom designed touch screen interface, and were then challenged to find 3 hidden Intel objects inside the animation in under 30 seconds. To view the image on the screen they created a viewfinder that slides along the screen and allows users to see the animation underneath, they went further to create some custom glasses so friends could also watch. Once all three items were found they could win Intel merchandise.

Coinciding with this event, mass retailer Game offered Intel laptops and PCs at a discounted rate for the weekend.

In another example: which was done on a far more limited scale (in terms of active participants) but was repackaged for a television commercial, Renault gave test drivers of their new Clio something to remember.

Now the thing with experiential marketing is that I wonder how well this all translates to revenue? I am sure that Intel cannot tell you (apart from the special discount that was offered on the day) how many more Intel sales can be attributed to their experiential marketing initiative. I am equally unsure if any of the test drivers then went on to buy the Renault (with or without the va va voom button)!

I am not saying for a second that experiential marketing doesn’t work or doesn’t translate into sales. I am saying that as with every form of marketing or advertising; it is vitally important to track and see if you are able to show a positive ROI for your efforts.

Both of the examples above are extremely innovative and should be applauded for that. If these campaigns were “brand awareness” campaigns; then they succeeded with flying colours. If these campaigns were “activations” to push product, I think that maybe they were less successful.

I think the moral here is to be as immersive in your marketing as you can possibly be; and definitely take a leaf out of both of these examples books; but be sure to remember that in essence ALL of your marketing and advertising should be there to push product (whether overtly or covertly) at the end of the day.

At the time of publishing no sales data was available to track the alignment of the activation to sales for both campaigns. However Intel claims that it saw an uplift in sales during the period of activation with some stores selling out of the promoted product.



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