For a period of time, there were some that insisted millennials were singlehandedly killing industries. Music, TV, brick-and-mortar shopping – little was safe from the wrath of the disruptors. But what’s old is new again, at least according to this Medium article. While many people believe experiential marketing to be an emerging discipline, the truth is that experience-driven marketing “has been around since the days of PT Barnum.” And in the modern world or “experience economy”, the tactic has allowed for once-“doomed” industries to thrive.
Experiences and event marketing allow brands to connect with their consumers in an intimate environment. It can open new avenues of revenue and help brands stand out in what is an oversaturated marketing environment. In one recent example, Spotify created a multi-sensory experience to launch music artist Billie Eilish’s newest album. Unlike a one-way music performance, the brand activation featured 14-rooms that were based on the album’s songs – giving attendees something that they were not likely to forget.
For the past 5 years, Beautycon has grown from an exclusive YouTuber-only event to a consumer-facing tour-de-force. The concept brings in an excess of $10 million every year and hosts more than 15,000 attendees across the globe. But the largest factor that causes Beautycon to stand strong is its demographic. Specifically, the 13 to 34-year-olds (a.k.a. Gen Z) and the event’s ability to connect with this new generation of consumers.
In fact, Beautycon has uncovered insights on this new, bigger generation, who they now refer to as “pivotals.” Different from their millennial predecessors, this generation self-educates, holds brands accountable for the positions they take on social issues, and above all, requires brands to be transparent in this experience economy.
As mentioned above, consumers are looking to brands to take a stance on social issues. One in particular that has been causing a stir surrounds reexamining gender norms. Recently Gillette received mixed reviews when they debuted their “The Best a Man Can Be” campaign, even creating a divide with some consumers. But the brand stood by the campaign, showing conviction in the face of adversity.
Punctuating their point, the company recently partnered with digital media brand, Fatherly, to create a Father’s Day experience unlike those from the past. The pop-up gallery gathered a panel of experts who explored fatherhood and the impact of our masculine “norms.” Additionally, attendees were able to read through open letters to young men from a wide range of personalities. Check out the full details of the experience.
Traditionally, pop-up shops live in high-traffic areas so brands can connect with as many people as possible. This generally translates to using a large city like London or Los Angeles for the activation. But beer brand Busch recently chose a different direction. In a YouTube video, the brand announced a pop-up shop in the middle of a secret forest. As Daniel Blake, Senior Director of US Value Brands at Anheuser-Busch, put it, “We wanted to take the concept of the traditional pop-up shop and flip it on its head in a very Busch way.”
The pop-up shop, scheduled to launch on July 20th, features a scavenger hunt to help people get outdoors. The campaign is a part of a larger partnership with the National Forest Foundation, which pledges to plant 100 trees in a national forest for every visitor who finds the pop-up. Check out full details here.
These days, there is little doubt surrounding the value that music festivals provide to brands. But what about comedy festivals? Why haven’t they gotten in on the action? Does anyone know that they actually exist?
Clusterfest, a comedy and music festival based in San Francisco, would argue that comedy festivals have the potential to do better. The rationale is that brand activations can work in tandem with the performances, making the experience for festival attendees even better.
In this Earmilk article, the author speaks with Superfly’s Chad Issaq, who explains, “The areas from which we consume comedy truly are limitless and therefore can be relatable to almost any other sector.” The article goes further by citing specific examples from a past Clusterfest, including a Seinfeld buildout for which fans lined up for hours.
Advancements in laboratory technology have helped take the beauty industry to a new level. Beauty brands are now able to find and isolate components that help consumers erase the signs of aging. But as more information is shared within the beauty community, there is an increasing call to action – consumers want “clean” beauty products. They want to achieve the same results as tech-driven brands, but without synthetic compounds.
Beauty brand Bastide heard this consumer call and relaunched in 2015 as a clean beauty line. The company, which now focuses on French beauty rituals and its (minimal) ingredients, is focusing on authenticity, starting with sharing the backstory of its ingredients. Along with micro-influencers, the brand is hoping to prove what makes them unique.
In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development described sustainability as “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” And while the concept has been around for some time, in recent years we have heard a louder call to action from consumers, asking brands to embrace a sustainable future.
And while companies like Adidas have committed to sustainability with 100% recyclable shoes by 2020, the event industry is still ranked as one of the most wasteful industries. But there is hope. Here Sparks agency lists 4 tips to create an eco-friendly experience. Some of these can be as easy as making small changes, like using renewable materials like bamboo or energy saving LED lights. Check out all four tips.
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