Gilmore Girls Experiential Marketing
Image Source: Twitter / Event Marketer

I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I spent 360 minutes over Thanksgiving weekend glued to Netflix to see how the past ten years have treated Lorelai and Rory. I regretfully didn’t get to experience one of the Luke’s Diner pop-ups for myself this fall. But you sure as heck should know that the show’s experiential activation evoked FOMO in me – in a good way. I certainly imagined what it would be like to be at Luke’s first-hand.

A plethora of tweets from lucky ones who did sip coffee from a Luke’s Diner raised my engagement. These fan photos kept the release date top-of-mind – and the anticipation soaring.

I was personally motivated by this brand experience, even though I was miles away from the nearest pop-up shop.

That’s the beauty of today’s marketing and technology.

The 2016 Event Track research by Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic supports the idea that people like to create and share personal content. They found 98% of consumers create digital or social content at branded experiences, and 100% of those people share that content.

The proliferation of live streaming platforms will amplify more events throughout the coming year.

Take Airbnb, for example. In this AdWeek article, CMO Jonathan Mildenhall talks Airbnb Trips launch and Facebook strategy: “There are six of these trips taking place over the next 24-hours, each one of them is being broadcast live on Facebook so that people all over the world can take a look at what a magical trip looks like on Airbnb.”

He continues in this Campaign article to say, “This kind of live technology allows us to reinvent what we mean by experiential marketing. Experience marketing has historically been marketing that is experienced by a few lucky people who happened to be there. Now we have the technology, such as Facebook Live, that allows this type of marketing to be shared by millions.”

We understand the importance of integrating your experiential marketing campaign with the leading social media platforms and latest technology.

We also understand the human touches that people crave during an experiential marketing campaign. This brand-to-consumer connection, when done well, is what motivates the most positive and plenty of social media shares.

We’re still very much living in a selfie society. Photos are the most popular content created at events, and 49% of people create videos (source: 2016 Event Track). When an audience creates and shares branded content, they become advocates that help increase a brand’s exposure and engagement.

Our attention spans have shrunk. Content is everywhere. We’re surrounded by smart objects that are replacing human interactions. Traditional marketing is struggling to break through, and digital marketing is faced with ad blockers and bot fraud. People turn to social media for word-of-mouth referrals directly from their friends and family.

Experiential marketing provides an opportunity for a brand to invite an audience to take notice, to look up from a device or escape from their routine. It can provide personalized content that is easily shareable. It can humanize the brand with a real-life engagement.

“Instead of reaching 100,000 people for 10 seconds we can reach 10,000 for 10 minutes,” writes Johnny Davis in this AdWorld article. “We can create a bond and if the experience is relevant our 10,000 people will share and influence the wider network.”

Experiences also help shape our future contact with a brand. All other brand messages will stand out to us; they’ll be enhanced by the memory and reinforced through the personal connection. Experiential adds value to the rest of the media mix and future advertising investments.

An AdAge article by Saul Colt and Bob Knorpp makes the argument that a clever ad is not the beginning of the consumer journey at all. They write, “Even the most carefully crafted and well-stewarded brand imagery is completely meaningless without experience.” They continue, “Essentially, leading with the ad concept often ignores a crucial step of the branding process, which is to craft personal, shareable experiences with our products that nurture and grow lasting affection for our brand.”

Personal experience is the largest factor in determining brand preference. That’s why it’s critical to develop hands-on consumer engagements.

And the perk, social media and live streaming will help fuel the reach of your campaign to motivate a wider audience.

If this experiential marketing makes as much sense to you as it does to us, give us a call. Let’s get to ideating!