The Power of Experiential Marketing

by Stacy Wyatt

Three extraordinary examples of how to use experiential marketing to cut through the clutter and connect directly with the end user.

Best Experiential Marketing Event – Mandell Entertainment, Toronto, ON for Roots Northern Lights

The boom in experiential marketing may lead many to think this is a relatively new marketing strategy but the truth is, the concept has been around for a long time. At the 1893 world fair, companies showcased their latest innovations in front of large groups eager for a once in a lifetime experience. Car shows in the 1920s became a popular way to market automobiles to consumers. They did more than just showcase cars in a museum-like atmosphere; they created showy events that motivated people to buy and treasure their cars. Who can forget the Miller Lite Taste Challenge designed to reach people from different demographics in memorable ways.

Today, more and more brands are recognizing the opportunity live events offer to cut through the clutter and connect directly with customers.

Here are three unique examples of companies marrying strategic marketing goals with innovative event design to create powerful experiential activations.

Wildfire Experiential and Events decided to meet the needs of style-hungry people across Canada by creating the Style HappyTour. They transformed a van into a bright pink mobile salon that traveled across the country with a team of four on an epic Canadian road trip. They visited big cities, small towns and everything in between. The objective was to find people across the country having #badhairdays or feeling #blah about their style, transform them into #stylehappypeopl and get young Millennials excited about the Chatters brand.

The journey began in Vancouver, BC and traveled to key cities across Canada including Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Toronto, London and
wrapped in Ottawa, ON on June 29th. Along the journey, the Style Happy team stopped in small communities with the Style Happy Van to provide a pop up salon experience offering blowouts, styles, haircuts, fun and Chatters Salon products. Guests were welcomed into the Style Happy Van, invited to select their style service of choice and then pampered and transformed by on-site stylists. Video captured people’s stories on the spot and their team spread the Style Happy story beyond the communities we visited by creating rich social media content including six online episodes and tutorials. Not only did this experiential campaign generate significant excitement and walkup audiences along the route, numerous local influencers also visited to get the latest topknot, beach waves or fishtail braids, which they then shared via their Style Happy story with the
rest of Canada.

THE RESULTS?

  • Visited 5 provinces, 9 cities, and many towns across Canada
  • Created 6 Style Happy episodes capturing footage of the pop up salon executions
  • Visited numerous iconic Canadian places and landscapes
  • Created complimentary online hair tutorials
  • Had over 500 Canadian styled in the Style Happy Van
Mentos Hello Freshness campaign, Citizen Relations

For the Mentos Hello Freshness campaign, Citizen Relations introduced Canadians across the country to Mentos Pure Fresh gum through a buzz-worthy experience that created shareable content for consumers. They built a story using characters called Yeti’s from planet “Fresh” to form a Yeti Invasion across Canada whereby they had run out of Mentos Pure Fresh gum on their own planet and came to earth for more. Citizen created a team
of 20 Yetis — custom-made costumes with Mentos blue faces, hands and feet – wearing various branded props. Each costume was designed and “propped” to amplify individual personalities of each Yeti. Yetis were accompanied by 50 Brand Ambassadors
wearing Mentos branded t-shirts, and deployed around high-traffic downtown locations, and university campuses, in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

The activation took place on the same day at the same time in each city requiring over 70 activation staff. Teams hit the streets in over a dozen locations throughout downtown cores to create a “takeover effect” — coupled with a strong out-of-home media campaign and PR influencer program to support creating a true “invasion”. In addition to the guerilla street teams, the Yetis and Brand Ambassadors also invaded frosh events on university campuses continuing to make fresh connections. 10’ x 10’ branded tents anchored the experience. Students played branded Plinko games to win full size bottles of gum. Adding a 9′ inflatable Mentos Pure Fresh bottle to the footprint increased visibility, while also acting as a great photo backdrop for photo shoots with the Yetis. They also visited Stanley Park and Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, dog parks, Kensington Market and Chinatown in Toronto and the Gay Village, Jacque Cartier Bridge skate park and Square Victoria in Montreal. Yetis rode bikes and skateboards, tried poutine and their first Japa Dogs — engaging with consumers and these interactions were captured on video to create social media content which deployed over the 30-day campaign

THE RESULTS?

Consumer’s got to meet the Yeti’s in real life forming those connections that can only be made from a high-five, hug or sharing that memory together. Consumers were eager to share their Yeti experiences on social media, while sharing their second piece of Mentos Pure Fresh gum with a friend resulting in distributing over 174,000 samples and garnering
+200 million impressions.

Mandell Entertainment, winner Best Experiential Marketing Event at the 2018 Canadian Event Industry Awards for Roots Northern Live

Mandell Entertainment took a different approach to experiential marketing, whereby they didn’t go to the consumer, they brought the consumer to them for a true 360
immersive brand experience.

Using a combination of technology, social media, and live event design Mandell Entertainment created a live marketing event for Roots which completely revolutionized the way buyers and influencers interacted with the brand during its peak winter campaign.

Mandell was hired to create this experience for fashion media and influencers. The objective was to use a live event to reimagine the highly anticipated and traditional holiday gift guide with a game-changing shopping experience for the beloved Canadian lifestyle brand.

Roots Northern Light combined live music, technology, art, and fashion, with guests being able to shop the collection as they were seeing it walk down the runway using the “Roots Live” mobile app.

To create this epic experience, Mandell used over 400 ft. of screen surface to cover 3 sides of the ballroom. The Roots Live app worked a lot like Shazam but for live events. It scanned the music that was in the room and picked up the ultrasonic sound waves, populating the screen with the individual products guests were seeing on stage. The custom musical score was created by classically trained violinist Andrew Forde with vocals performed by the up-and-coming Canadian pop artist Ryland James and accompanied by an original video viewed on huge screens covering three walls of the venue.

Everything seen on the video was completely original artwork, meant to celebrate the best of Canada from elements to artists and icons acting as the backdrop for the runway, the video also featured life-sized models, which at times, looked so realistic that they could be mistaken for flwe real models walking the runway. Mandell shot the video on a green screen and then had animators’ custom animate all the backgrounds to put the models in. The result was a surreal blend between the dreamy and the mystical aspects of the holidays that paired with what was in the room creating a sensory overload.

The event concluded with a performance by JUNO Award Vifinning multi-platinum recording artist Ruth B.

The use of social media, allowed Mandell to live stream the entire show, extending the live launch of the brands holiday line to the masses and opening an online portal to allow them to buy off the runway as well.

THE RESULTS?

  • Video Views +1.1MM
  • Reach +2.7MM
  • Impressions +7.1MM
  • Mentions 441
  • Engagement 43,000
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