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The Evolution of Technology in Experiential Marketing

In its earliest form, experiential marketing consisted of tactics so simple that they might not even be considered “experiential” today. For example, CPG companies relied heavily on free sampling to allow consumers to experience the benefits of their products in the hopes of inciting an in-store purchase down the road. Though oftentimes a successful strategy, companies started turning to ‘digital carrots’ to entice people during activations. Flash forward to today, where technology is the centerpiece in most experiential marketing campaigns.

It wasn’t until about fifteen years ago that companies started relying on technology in their quest for consumers’ loyalty. Now every viral video on Facebook and Twitter involves high-tech activations, i.e. virtual reality, pop up shops, interactive displays. With the right engagement and the right technology, brands can develop highly customized interactions that appeal to every consumer with unmatched scalability. Some of the most successful campaigns to date began as a simple idea backed by powerhouse technology. Here are some brands who are slaying the game.

 

OREO

Oreo was able to capture the growing interest in 3D printing when they activated at an event in 2014. Attendees would receive “deliciously hyper-personalized and customized snacks based on real-time data collection” as they tweeted their made-to-order request from over a dozen options and finishing the tweet with #eatthetweet, the campaign’s clever hashtag.

 

 

NISSAN BET EXPERIENCE

Brands understand that consumers today value experiences over material goods. In the wake of technological advances, companies can now translate even more emotion into the branded interactions. Everything from transporting your attendees to various locations with VR to harnessing the power of 3D printing, brands are laying it all out on the table and leaving no stone unturned.

 

VOLKSWAGEN

In 2009, Volkswagen converted a dreary staircase in a Swedish subway station into an oversized piano to encourage subway goers to take the stairs. The Fun Theory, developed by Volkswagen, highlighted fun as the easiest way to change a person’s behavior. Through this installation, 66% more people than usual opted for the stairs over the escalator and they garnered over 2 million YouTube hits on their viral video.

 

HBO

Last year, HBO utilized the increasing popularity of escape rooms to enhance interactions among attendees at SXSW 2017. Consisting of 3 rooms, each the set of a different and highly-followed series, fans could be fully immersed in their favorite HBO show and showcase their knowledge to escape before time ran out. This activation was the perfect way to ensure attendees were fully engaged and also allowed HBO to collect personal information from users when sending out the final ‘I made it out!’ group photos.

 

IKEA

Augmented reality has recently become a popular trend in experiential marketing. IKEA utilized AR when launching their catalog-based application in 2014 as an alternative to visiting their physical locations. This app allowed users to scan pages in their annual catalog and place virtual furniture in users’ homes to determine which pieces they wanted to purchase and assist in the buying decision. By understanding the needs of their consumers, IKEA was able to bring the store to them and make the process easier for those who prefer to avoid the chaos that comes with an in-store visit.

 

Brands understand that consumers today value experiences over material goods. In the wake of technological advances, companies can now translate even more emotion into the branded interactions. Everything from transporting your attendees to various locations with Augmented Reality to harnessing the power of 3D printing, brands are laying it all out on the table and leaving no stone unturned.

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Katie WalkerKatie is the Creative Marketing Coordinator and a recent Georgia Tech grad. She is the resident cat-lover and can usually be found with a book in hand.