What is experiential marketing?

May 24, 2017

What is experiential marketing?There’s a new “buzz” word in the marketing community. Actually, it might not even be a buzz word yet – that’s how new experiential marketing is. A couple weeks ago, maybe even a month ago now, I went to a digital marketing conference. During the conference, I attended a break out session on “experiential marketing.” I thought perhaps that you, too, are clueless as to what experiential marketing is and would like to be informed. If you’re wondering, “What is experiential marketing?” you’ve come to the right place.

What is experiential marketing?

Experiential marketing creates an experience in order to get people talking about your company and increasing brand awareness. One example that was given during the conference was the Bud Light “Whatever, USA” campaign.

According to AdWeek, “Last year Bud Light took experiential marketing to a new level with its secret party town, Whatever, USA, which turned Crested Butte, Colo., into a giant, all-expenses-paid beer bash for 1,000 of the Anheuser-Busch brand’s lucky fans. The second annual Whatever, USA event kicks off today, this time on Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles.” AdWeek then (rightfully so) questions why Bud Light would spend so much money for an event that only creates an experience for roughly 1,000 fans? Here’s the answer: 

“Last year’s Whatever, USA was a huge success,” said Alex Lambrecht, vp of Bud Light. “While we’ll have approximately 1,000 winners at Whatever, USA, the weekend’s events will be enjoyed by those who are not here.” 

To sum up: experiential marketing creates an experience for more than the original attendees. Experiential marketing done well creates content that can be used and reused over and over in different formats and for varying audiences.

Experiential Marketing Done Well

Let’s use Bud Light’s example as a guide. The whole weekend spent at Whatever, USA was recorded, providing loads of content for video snippets and YouTube behind-the-scenes later. The brand also focused on promotion beforehand on social media. Then, throughout the event, Bud Light’s social channels were blowing up with new content. Photos and videos made up thousands of pieces of content. That content could then be shared throughout the summer, even after the event.

Plus, Bud Light used the lead-in to the event as a prime content-gathering opportunity, too. More than 100,000 people were interviewed to attend Whatever, USA, and at least some of the audition videos were released. An ad campaign launched prior to the weekend, as well, garnering major brand awareness and reaching vast amounts of people.

All of these tactics are done with one goal for Bud Light: to improve brand perception. Content is captured before, during and after the event. Content is dispersed through many mediums and with much fanfare. People start talking about Bud Light and begin to think about the brand a little bit differently…

Whatever, USA is an example of experiential marketing done well. Would experiential marketing work for your company? Maybe. With the right demographic, the right situation, the right goal and the right budget, experimental marketing could make for a good opportunity for your brand. If you’d like to discuss the possibility with us, contact us here or give us a call at 262-303-4238.