Experiential Brand Activation for Nonprofits, National Geographic Turns Event Attendees into Astronauts, & the Importance of Multi-Sensory Experiences (Elevate Connect)

Much of the root of experiential lies in getting products in front of consumers, such as in sampling or demonstration campaigns. It is for this reason that many people have traditionally thought of consumer goods and retail companies associated with experiential brand activation. But no more. Professional services such as healthcare and finance are thriving in the experiential space, and now we are seeing nonprofit organizations shift their engagement model toward experiences. This week’s Elevate White Board starts with an Event Marketer report detailing a recent activation by the March of Dimes to engage a younger demographic. We discuss how top brands are using VR in their brand experiences, and Event Marketer’s “100 Moments that Mattered” in experiential.

March of Dimes’ Breaks the Traditional Non-Profit Marketing Mold with Experiential

Now that Millennials make up a majority of the population, they are not only a target for brands, but for non-profits. Currently this young demographic makes up just one-tenth of charitable giving, but philanthropic organizations are working to change that.

In what began as a nonprofit benefiting babies with Polio, the March of Dimes has evolved into an organization that “pioneers research to find solutions to the biggest health threats to moms and babies.” The nonprofit has recently turned to experiential to engage the Millennial demographic, which has shown not to respond well to traditional marketing methods.

Campaign magazine covered the activation, which included interactive stations, a red-carpet entrance and even a VIP reception for donors. The Los Angeles-based event attracted more than 2,500 attendees and earned a widespread social media reach across multiple platforms. Check out the event here.

MTN DEW Gives Fans a Virtual Courtside Experience During NBA All-Star Weekend

Since its inaugural year in 1951, the NBA All Star game has become one of the biggest, most popular events in US sports. Attracting 10,000 attendees each year, companies often jump at the opportunity to tie their brand to the positive sentiment surrounding the event. This year, the game was held in Los Angeles, and basketball fans flocked to Staples Center to be a part of the action.

Among the many brand-sponsored events, Mtn Dew created an elaborate experiential brand activation to kick off the event. The multi-level fan experience included a virtual interaction with basketball fan and comedian Kevin Hart. The event, called “Closer than Courtside,” allowed fans an opportunity to get involved with the All-Star experience, even if they were not able to watch the game live.

How Top Brands Use Virtual Reality to Engage Consumers

We’ve often discussed the positive benefits of virtual reality (VR) within an experiential campaign, but sometimes incorporating the technology can be easier said than done. VR allows brands to craft and end-to-end virtual experience for attendees, so ensuring it is an impactful one is critical.

Many brands have been successful in using VR to its full potential. This article highlights a few of the best examples of brands that have used VR to elevate their experiential campaigns. From high-end Rebecca Minkoff blending fashion with technology, to McDonald’s Happy Meal box that included a cardboard VR headset, this article highlights the versatile ways brands use the technology.

Brands Urged to Deliver Multi-Sensory Brand Experiences

Last week, marketers, influencers, and advertisers from across Europe gathered for the annual Advertising Week Europe. With over 39,000 attendees and 900 speakers, this event allowed like-minded people to learn and exchange ideas to move the industry forward. One experiential-related session featured Charles Spence, a professor of experiential psychology at Oxford University. His studies focus on how companies can use human psychology to better design multisensory foods and products.

Joining Charles was Jessica Reznick, Managing Director of We’re Magnetic. The two spokeabout the implications of using the senses to benefit the brand experience. One warning: there can be too much of a good thing. They tell brands to be cautious of “sensory overload,” which can cause adverse effects in an experiential campaign.

Growing a Customer Base in the Age of Experience

The Digital age has given way to the Experience age, as consumers become increasingly receptive to experiences and numb to digital messaging. And this phenomenon is clear across all industries. And this phenomenon exists across all industries. This articleputs it best, noting that today’s consumers covet experiences, and “are often more apt to spend their money on experiences rather than things.”

Including experiential brand activation in your marketing budget is more important than ever. Although, its worth noting that experiential budgets do not have to be extravagant, and that simple experiences can also hold sway over consumer decision-making. The article provides helpful, simple ways brands can adopt experiential to help boost their customer base and increase sales.

National Geographic Turns Fan into Astronauts So They Can Explore Space

At some point, many of us aspired to be an astronaut, or at the very least, wanted the opportunity to explore space. And with Space X making headlines for sending a Tesla into orbit, people are reignited with excitement over the prospect of space exploration. And not surprisingly, National Geographic is taking this time to join in the excitement, releasing a new educational film on space titled One Strange Rock.

While the film itself is noteworthy, so is the way in which the 10-part series is being promoted. Taking advantage of technology, National Geographic created a unique experience that allowed fans a simulated astronaut experience. The activation included actual space helmets that allowed attendees a full view “from space.”


Event Marketer Celebrates “100 Moments that Mattered” in Experiential

Over the last decade, experiential marketing has seen a steady growth in popularity and participation. As we mentioned above, including experiential into your marketing budget is fast becoming a vital component of a healthy strategy. And within experiential marketing, it’s important to design activations that stand out for a memorable consumer experience.

For many years, companies have produced brand experiences that have broken new ground and shown us the potential of experiential. New technologies, tactics, and consumer preferences have also allowed experiential brand activation to evolve in ways that are exciting and inspiring. Here, Event Marketer, the experiential industry’s premier publication, has compiled some of their favorite industry milestones from the past 15 years.

The Importance of Experience Through TouchMuch of the power of face-to-face marketing comes from the three dimensional, interactive nature of a brand experience. Breathing life into brands lets consumers to use more than one or two senses, which allows them to relate to and build a relationship with a brand. So, when it comes to designing brand events, a multi-sensory approach allows companies to take advantage of in-person engagement. Including opportunities for consumers to use their sense of touch can tremendously improve the experience and its impact.

In 2011, the Harvard Business Review published an article that explained the importance of incorporating multiple senses, most importantly touch, into marketing strategies. While the article itself is several years old, the data remains relevant. Here HBR provides several examples that explain how touch can create impact.

Author: Elissa LiongElissa Liong is the Data and Analytics Manager at Elevate Staffing. She's a certain kind of particular, and loves thinking about all things data and insights. When she's not uncovering consumer insights and building out engagement tools that people love, she is probably at the gym or reading online spoilers about TV shows (even for episodes she hasn’t watched yet).


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