The Austin, TX based festival, South by Southwest (referred to as SXSW or simply South by for those in the know), is an experiential, and experimental, marketing opportunity for the world's boldest brands. With 72,000 registrants and artists in attendance, SXSW is one of the most effective channels for promoting your business to professionals connected in the interactive, film, and music industries. SXSW's 100+ sessions, parties, screenings, and keynotes are all centered around one, simple message - the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.
Experiential campaigns used to be a race among brands to see who could fill the largest arena and give away the most free samples - it was quantity over quality and the results reflected their imperfect goals. 2017 will bring positive changes to the experiential marketing industry, with a newfound focus on the individual experience rather than mass appeal. Check out the following four trends that are going to be everywhere this year:
VidCon, Comic-Con’s younger sibling, is a three day, millennial-centric extravaganza. Celebrating the creativity of today’s youth and the ever changing entertainment environment, Vidcon is a bit of a double edged sword for the marketing industry. On one hand, it offers a one-stop-shop ticket to connect with thousands of millennials. The problem, however, is that this demographic is programmed to tune out anything that remotely resembles an advertisement, so marketing can be a bit tricky.
As an intern in the P2L marketing department, I’ve seen so much behind-the-scenes work in action - endless brainstorming sessions, production planning with clients and vendors, building and breakdown, and everything else that goes into executing a successful event. So it was about time I had the (amazing) opportunity to experience an activation!
Comedy Central’s latest mini-series, Time Traveling Bong, staring Ilana Glazer, Lucia Aniello, and Paul W. Downs is a surprisingly insightful social satire disguised as a stoner comedy. A popular sketch from Glazer and Downs's pre–Broad City days, the three-night event began as a no-budget webseries about the drug-induced misadventures of a couple cousins who, as the title suggests, discover a smoking device that allows them to travel through time.
Experiential marketing is all about... experiences. Weird right? ; ). Sometimes these experiences are viral videos that you stumble across on a YouTube binge or while Facebook stalking an ex, but most of the time, they take place live, in person at an event. The goal of experiential marketing events for brands is to get consumers (both new and current) interested about the brand and engaged with their product(s). The benefits are boundless.
Unexpected, awesome experiences that cut through the usual marketing “noise” by entertaining and surprising us. Sure, we love the traditional press hits, but a great stunt also turns real-life consumers into an army of trusted brand ambassadors who share their impressions via tweets, photos, videos, etc.
To get psyched up for Sunday's big game, the Pop2Life team reminisced fondly about Super Bowl moments of the 2000s, from the biggest flubs to the most inspiring halftime performance ever. We wonder if there'll be something from 2014 to add to this list...