American demographics are rapidly changing. And, unfortunately for marketers, those changes come with an increased difficulty in defining target audiences and advertising to them accordingly. As if that wasn't enough, the majority of consumers have changed the way they interact with brands through an increased awareness and aversion to traditional advertising. In short, brands are targeting the wrong consumers — and consumers are prepared to scroll past the advertisements that actually reach them.
Event attendees rarely think about the work that goes into its creation – the countless hours of planning, negotiating, and problem solving. And, as creators, we don’t want them to. We want them to walk into a world that seemingly appeared overnight, in which every detail, from the entertainment to the wine glasses, works together in harmony.
In April 2017, a new, exciting, and exotic music festival was set to take place on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma. Organized by media mogul Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, Fyre Festival was marketed as a luxury music festival and promoted on Instagram by it-girls Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski. Many of the models/social media influencers did not initially disclose that they were being paid to post and thus, would not actually be attending.
The best social posts are authentic. Not bribed. Not coerced. But, originally conceived from their poster for the pure joy of sharing. At a brand event, it can be difficult for the company behind-the-scenes to trust that attendees will say all the right things, share product photos, use the hashtag, and invoke positive messaging with every Instagram Story. Instead of filling Twitter feeds with an inauthentic "barter posts" (retweet to win a T-shirt!), put a plan in place in the weeks leading up to the event. Here are four of our favorite authentic attendee social sharing strategies:
A brand ambassador shows a traveler the immersive, 10’ tall Echo Dot in Amazon Music's Terminal 5 activation space last month. The music streaming service took over JetBlue's terminal at JFK, allowing consumers to play with the technology, ask questions, and sign up IRL.
Experiential marketing was on everyone's radar in 2017. From the Super Bowl to Art Basel, Sundance to Cannes, brands across the globe invested more money than ever into crafting personalized, creative experiences for their consumers. Beyond establishing brand loyalty and evoking positive sentiment, custom experiences are huge financial wins for brands. Compared to traditional marketing channels, experiential campaigns offer incredible payoffs. History show, events make consumers significantly more likely to align themselves with your brand through purchases, tune-in, or alignment.
We published 101 blog posts in 2017 - we interviewed co-workers; we interviewed partners; we recapped our concerts, screenings, stunts, festival-appearances, owned activations, and everything in between; we shared our experiential marketing wisdom; and we highlighted other agencies doing kick ass experiences.
To quote Donald Trump, 2017 was a HUUUUUUUUUGE year for experiential marketing. According to the Freeman Global Brand Experience Study, which was released in May by brand experience agency Freeman and data company SSI, one in three CMOs is expected to allocate between 21-50% of their budget to brand experience marketing over the next three to five years. Brands activated across the world this year both at big-ticket events like Comic-Con and SXSW as well as stand-alone experiences. Here are our seven favorite experiential activations from 2017...
When we speak of FOMO (the fear of missing out) we are almost undoubtedly speaking about the Millennial generation. As a Millennial myself, I won't get into a diatribe defending those who entered the workforce during one of the largest recessions in our country's history (though the urge to go on a tirade is very real). Marketers' love the acronym and use it to their advantage in sales material and social media content, especially for the promotion of a brand experience or event.