What we mean by Experiential Marketing
on August 22, 2014

Experiential marketing has become something of a fashionable phrase in the last few years, as ever when that happens it has become harder to define what it means. Further complicating this is the fact that in this day and age marketing campaigns rarely just use one type of marketing. For example, this ad by Mercedes

Mercedes ad

and this ad by Tropicana

have both been described as experiential marketing. They certainly involved experiences, for the people of the town of Inuvik, all 3,500 of them, and for all the people who happened to walk down the right street while Mercedes’ Fast in Park installation was in place, in our book, those numbers don’t count. Realistically these campaigns were entirely about creating an ad, they are to advertising what reality TV is to television. Tropicana’s real goal wasn’t to get the inhabitants of Inuvik to buy more juice but to get the 550,000 YouTube viewers to do so.

At the other end of the scale you have things like Audi’s ‘Audi City’ branches, this certainly isn’t an effort to make a successful YouTube video, but it’s also a lot more than just marketing, they’re not trying to get people at the top of the purchase funnel, they’re much more focused on the bottom. They’re giving people a brand experience certainly, people want to come in to use the ‘cool’ technology to design a car. From there Audi get their contact details, sign them up for a test drive, and send them home with their design on a USB. However they also, often, sell people a car, sales at Audi City London are up 60% from the traditional Audi showroom that previously occupied the site.

For Mirror Brand Experiences experiential marketing is something in between these two extremes, the brand should be interacting with the consumer, not just advertising at them. The consumer should want to be involved, they should get something out of it, some entertainment, surprise or even just a sated sense of curiosity, and whatever it is the experience should be very clearly linked to the brand in question. This wall in the New York subway achieves all this.

The best form of experiential marketing, and that which we always strive for, are events that actually draw people to the experience, events that people will talk to their friends about. Coupled with digital and social media integration, the positive emotional experience of the event can live on well after the experience, so that as well as marketing the brand and giving people an enjoyable experience, you’re also driving footfall to the location hosting the experience. That way you get to kill three birds with one stone, and for us that’s what experiential marketing is all about.