Did you know human mortality increases by 50 percent or more when we lack social relationships? It’s not something most people need to worry about in their youth. But, as we get older, we grow more isolated, and it’s harder to maintain connections and find new friends. That makes it important to participate in activities that give us those opportunities. In fact, research shows many benefits of staying active to our physical and mental health. These include a longer lifespan, less depression and a happier disposition, and a lower chance of developing certain diseases. And, to reap these rewards, all we need to do is play games, belong to social groups, volunteer, and/or have hobbies.
Easy, fun activities are essential to life, and they are the lifeblood of experiential marketing. They serve to bring people together and build emotional connections. They foster the social relationships that keep us healthy as individuals, and they can deliver the same impact for brand – consumer relationships. Below we list how experiential marketing activities can help to not only keep brands alive, but thriving.
When planning an experiential marketing activation, you can keep consumers engaged with activities that resonate with them. Yet, it’s important the activities seamlessly tie in with your brand and messaging. Learn why these experiential marketing activities may be right for your activation.
Experiential marketing often serves as a platform for cause marketing campaigns. And, it’s a perfect strategy since millennials are not only looking for an experience, but want brands to make a positive social impact. Further, 64 percent of Gen Z identify as activists. So, to help fulfill their needs, while fostering relationships, brands may look to experiential marketing activities that build on a cause.
Mrs. Meyers is a household cleaning brand known for its earth-friendly products with garden-fresh fragrances. So, to prove its commitment to the environment, the brand hosted an “act of service” to give back to a local community center. The activities centered around gardening and maintenance that attendees performed together. It also provided a great opportunity to get hands-on with Mrs. Meyers products, as hand washing stations allowed them to sample the hand soap after a worthwhile activity.
Look at almost any sports team as a great example of camaraderie and activity. Playing sports allows us to work together, learn to trust one another, and gives us reason to celebrate wins or hard work. Sports news website Bleacher Report understands the power of sports for connecting people. This is why, for NBA All-Star 2019, the publication went big with its brand activation. Visitors to its expansive space could not only enjoy music and interactive exhibits. They could also get in on basketball games held on two courts.
While space will not always be conducive for sports like basketball, brands can think smaller. This may be with corn hole or table tennis, for example, to make the same impact.
When experiential marketing activities include a team exercise, your participants can reap the same social rewards as sports and even sharpen their mental faculties. One fun idea is a scavenger hunt, and one great example is the Citi Bike Summer Scavenger Hunt.
Presented by Lyft, this scavenger hunt encourages participants to ride their bikes through NYC. The objective is to solve a puzzle that leads them to the correct destination in the City. There, they take a photo and post it to Twitter or Instagram using a hashtag, which enters them into a drawing for prizes. Brands that wish to maximize the opportunity to build connections should place brand ambassadors at the end point to congratulate and interact with participants.
The use of video games was long believed to be an isolating activity. Yet, with technological advancements, they have evolved and are creating the strongest communities. Brands have taken notice and gaming sponsorships are in high demand. Marketers can harness the power of technology in their experiential marketing activities that incorporate video games or virtual reality games.
Progressive Insurance enlisted partners to create a VR experience for its exhibit at a boat show. Visitors to its expo space signed up with brand ambassadors and waited their turn to race others. Each put on an Oculus headset and used a steering wheel to immerse themselves in the experiential activity.
Still, it’s not necessary to design a custom game or VR experience to engage consumers, especially when a brand can tie its activation into an existing game. This is like Burger King did when it turned a location into a “gaming hub” for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game. It offered a menu inspired by the game’s restaurant and partnered with GrubHub to provide free delivery of these meals. Yet, sometimes, when the campaign theme aligns, simply set up a gaming area within a brand activation for guests to get in on.
Fun can be had in various types of games. While carnival-style games and raffles are reliable choices, other games can engage consumers on a more memorable level. Alcohol brand Midori once hosted an immersive activation with three rooms located on the other side of a billboard. The first room was “The Game Show Room,” where visitors took part in a steady-hand rope game. L.L. Bean, as part of its “S’more out of Summer” campaign, held a “sleeping bag roll-up challenge” in which participants stuffed “sleeping bags into sacks”, offering fun and a little competition. These examples show fun ways to make experiential marketing activities a key element of the activation.
Crafting makes the perfect hobby for anyone suffering from anxiety, depression, or chronic pain, per experts. Its effects are said to be “similar to meditation” as we leave our hands to do all the work. In fact, 81 percent of people with depression who tried their hand at knitting felt happier after the activity. And, more than half felt “very happy.”
This means brands that offer arts and crafts as experiential marketing activities help participants be hands on and happier. Plus, they also let them walk away with a memento of the brand experience.
Lyft, for example, offered ornament decorating during the holiday season – a time that creates stress for many. Instead, adults and children gathered and, with the help of brand ambassadors, made a cork reindeer or bell wreath ornament to take home. The Christmas experiential marketing activity boosted consumers’ spirits, while breathing new life into the Lyft brand.
At Elevate, we have the promo staff, brand ambassadors, and more to bring your experiential marketing activities to life. Let us help your brand thrive.