Experiential Branding – The Future of Marketing?
Feb 05, 2020
With each new decade comes a whole new horizon of possibilities. Whether its music, art, film, or advertising, every decade is defined by its trends – and the 2010s gave us plenty. From the rise of streaming services and podcasts, right through to Brexit and the #MeToo movement... it’s safe to say that a lot has changed since we said goodbye to 2009. So it’s no surprise that companies across the world did a good job of keeping up – as we saw the building blocks of what could become the future of marketing... the immersive brand experience.
While it’s easy to see advertising as a means to encourage your audience to reach out and engage with their favourite brands, the fast-paced world we find ourselves in has led big names to turn this idea on its head and directly reach out to their audience – taking them by the hand, and bringing them along for the ride. For brands with a well-established heritage, it’s allowed customers to join them on a real-life trip down memory lane. In 2019, Jim Beam teamed up with Airbnb, and invited a select few bourbon-lovers to step back into their two century-long history by spending the night at their Kentucky distillery; and Mattel celebrated Barbie’s 60th anniversary with the Malibu Dream House, where rose-tinted glasses were exchanged for hot pink – as guests got chance to live the life of their childhood heroine. Suddenly, the goalposts had been moved. Branding had shapeshifted into something three-dimensional and real. A new chapter had been opened. So where do we go from here?
With the new demand for a stronger relationship between a brand and its audience, a host of big names took their cues from the newfound connectivity brought on by social media – and the explosion of new technology – to personify their brand in ways previously unheard of. Using sensors, virtual reality, and elaborate audio-visual productions, it’s now possible to curate events and experiences that are uniquely tailored to each visitor.
In Dallas, the annual Adidas GA cup provided international youth soccer players with an engaging multimedia environment where they could hone their skills and create their own personalised apparel – all the while highlighting Adidas’ latest Virtuso range. And the possibilities don’t stop there. In Brooklyn, Booking.com’s interactive Addam’s Family Mansion not only captured the macabre atmosphere of this iconic and much-loved series, but allowed guests to actually take part in it – whether it’s tinkering with Pugsley’s sinister inventions, or perfecting their “you rang?” as they pressed Lurch’s famous bell. While themed hotels simply invited along honorary guests, enveloping, widescreen experiences like these put customers in the starring role.
By its very nature, immersive marketing allows brands to connect with people on a far deeper level than before – by tapping into all five senses. And all across the world, brands as diverse as Netflix, Uber, Vans, and Smirnoff – among many others – have seized the opportunity to wow potential customers by boldly going where no advertising campaign has gone before.
Fast forward to early 2020, and the ice-cream brand Magnum took Blue Monday, the so-called ‘most depressing day of the year’, as their cue to cheer up their customers with an unforgettable launch for their latest product, Magnum Ruby. The ‘Ruby Room’ appeared on London’s South Bank on January 20th, and while it was unusual enough to see an illuminated, bright pink installation sitting by the Thames, one step inside revealed something even more breath-taking.
Using colour psychology to invigorate the senses and rejuvenate your mood, the Ruby Room enhanced the delicate taste of Magnum’s latest offering by creating the ultimate multisensory experience – leaving a lasting impression on all who took part. The addition of an ‘infinity mirror’ delivered the perfect selfie opportunity – ideal for boosting that much-needed impact on social media – but it was the custom soundtrack that truly completed the package. Rich, calming, and evocative – it transformed a simple yet striking marketing event into an expansive, engrossing moment to which customers could really connect.
With big brands ditching the advertising tactics of yesterday in favour of something more all-encompassing, there’s never been a better time to invest in audio as a key part of your marketing strategy. Whether at a weekend event... an overnight stay... or on-hold... the possibilities to inspire your audience through creative multimedia experiences are endless. So here’s to the next decade, and making the roaring twenties truly roar.