The State of Experiential Marketing: August 2018

Posted by Samantha Stallard on August 8, 2018
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As Bernstein & Andriulli's senior brand experience agent, Alma Lacour, so eloquently put it in our recent interview with her, "Experiential is a movement not a trend." Beyond establishing brand loyalty, engaging consumers, and evoking positive sentiment, experiential marketing is a huge financial win for brands. Compared to traditional marketing channels, experiential campaigns offer incredible payoffs.

History shows, events make consumers significantly more likely to align themselves with a brand through purchases, tune-in, or alignment. Brands are focusing their events on live experiences—personalized, one-to-one engagement—which goes beyond mere brand awareness to gathering data to provide real-time insights on engagement and other behaviors to drive ROI.

In fact, these experiences are so important that 77% of brands view experiential marketing as a vital piece of their marketing strategy. And roughly two-thirds of brand marketers see increased sales because of their experiential marketing campaigns. Case in point, live experiences connect consumers to brands in a personal and purposeful way that traditional forms of advertising just can’t achieve.

2018 has brought some new, and some improved upon, experiential marketing trends. Here is a preview of the most innovative, celebrated, buzzed about, and creative experiential marketing activations from 2018 (so far). To see our full list of activations and categories, download our latest industry report, The State of Experiential 2018.


Museum of Ice Cream: An Instagram-able ice cream-themed pop-up museum touring the country and taking over your Instagram feeds. Highlights include fun photo-ops such as a banana room, pool of sprinkles and oversized ice cream bars, etc. The MOIC pop-up has traveled to New York City, San Francisco, Miami, and Los Angeles

Refinery 29's 29Rooms: A funhouse of style, culture, and technology presented by Refinery29. This interactive, multi-sensory playground comprising 29 individual rooms, each an exhibit space for an independent artist, visionary or brand collaboration. Visitors are encouraged to touch and interact with the exhibits, to document it all on social media

29rooms_22017's 29Rooms in Brooklyn, NY


HBO’s Westworld ExperienceHBO recreated a massive replica of Sweetwater, the town featured in their blockbuster hit Westworld at SXSW. The experience featured actors playing out elaborate Westworld scenes in real-time at salons, restaurants, barber shops, cemeteries, etc., which served guests with custom old-fashions, spicy beef jerky, knife throwing lessons and more!

Meow Wolf: The Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return is a unique art experience, designed by over 135+ local Santa Fe, NM artists. The wildly imaginative 22,000 square foot art space is an explorable, immersive art installation filled with technology, and fantastic environments to inspire visitors of all ages, a unique combination of children’s museum, art gallery, jungle gym, and fantasy novel

IMG_1866-546972-editedMeow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM


The Stella Artois Sensorium: The experience inside a large dome was comprised of a five-course meal meant to challenge attendees’ sense of taste, sight, smell, sound and touch from start to finish. The dome was infused with aromas meant to trigger memory and emotion among attendees and an original 360-degree film was projected inside the dome, reinventing diners’ sense of space

Lincoln Motor Company’s Navigator Experience: This activation kicked off Lincoln’s multi-year collaboration with the Seaport District NYC. The experience invited guests to explore how taste, touch, sound and smell combine to help create Lincoln’s 2018 Navigator. Guests could design their own fragrance, create their own unique chocolate creation, take a dance class, test drive the Navigator, etc.

condé_navigator-388-1The Lincoln Navigator Experience in Lower Manhattan, NYC

Explore even more experiential activations and categories including Instagram-worthy food and artist collaborations

Download the 2018 Experiential Trends Report


Topics: news, marketing trends, brand experiences

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