Humans Not Customers
Marketing has come a long way from simply selling goods to creating experiences. I’ve never been a fan of marketing because I hadn’t really understood its potential. It always seemed like a boring space that was heavily driven by numbers. My perception took a 360 degree turn when I came across my first very introduction with experiential marketing. At first, it seemed like a buzz word but the more I got to know about it, the more it appealed to me.
Experiential marketing is a unique way of connecting a brand to its customers. In fact, experts suggest that customers should be simply addressed as humans and not customers. This enables you to start focusing on them and less on the brand. Experiential branding focuses on brands building genuine relationships with their customers by entering their daily life.
When was the last time you felt a brand cared about what you feel?
I’ve enlisted some really incredible experiences created by brands that have truly made a mark globally.
1. The Unicef Tap Project
Credits : UNICEF
Unicef’s Tap water project has always been in the news for its innovative efforts in making people more conscious and aware of their social responsibility. Putting down the phone for kids without clean water is one of the most insightful and easily doable activities. Unicef developed an app that would record the time that people spent away from their phones or when their phones were down. The more time your phone is down the more funds you could unlock. These funds were generously donated by celebrated companies such as Giorgio Armani etc. This campaign successfully benefited more than half a million people. The span of the UNICEF Tap Project saw a drop in the number of children dying from waterborne illnesses from over 4,000 a day in 2006 to just under 1,000 a day in 2015. This campaign also tells us that empathy is simple and it can really do wonders for a brand by getting people to act in ways that are simple.
2. Tropicana – Arctic Sun
Credits : Tvspotblog1
We take the sun for granted because we have a lot of it. Imagine living in a place where you don’t see the sun for several days together. Tropicana’s brighter mornings for brighter days campaign raised a helium-filled balloon glowing with 100,000 lumens of light and enabled the town of Inuvik to emerge from weeks of darkness. The campaign’s timing was perfect as it coincided with Inuvik’s sunrise festival that celebrates the return of the sun after several days of darkness. This campaign reflected the true warmth of the brand and translated to digital success as well as incredible media impressions.
3. Piano Stairs – Volkswagen
The fun theory is a campaign supported by Volkswagen that suggests that a simple activity that is fun and easy will contribute to changing people’s behaviour and attitude. Stairs located to escalators were transformed into giant piano keys and strung a brilliant and resounding chord with the commuters. Healthcare is a concern across countries and encouraging people to participate in simple activities that contribute towards a healthier tomorrow can truly bring about a magnificent change.
4. Circus Roncalli – Holographic Animals
Credits: Optoma EMEA
Circuses have always been an epitome of marvel and magic. This image was completely destroyed when news of mistreatment of animals and humans alike started making headlines. People visited the circus because it was a dreamlike experience where you would witness the unthinkable and be treated to an immersive and entertaining experience. Circus Roncalli has been travelling across Europe since 1976 with live animals and decided that it was time to lead the change. They introduced holographic imagery of animals such as horses, elephants and monkeys doing stunts through projectors and lasers and created a 3D viewing experience that was one of its kind. It also assures people that they are a part of a cruelty-free brand and that helps garner immense love and respect.
5. The Ikea Sleepover
Credits : IKEA UK
The team at Ikea discovered that people were spending less time on selecting their mattress (10 minutes) than they were spending on selecting their lunch. Ikea decided to talk to its customers about the importance of sleep by inviting 100 lucky winners to their store and hosted a grand sleepover. This sleepover consisted of fun bedtime rituals like movie screenings, manicures, reading books and even an interaction with sleep experts to understand healthy sleep cycles etc. This activity brought the customers to the store not for a sale but for an insight-driven experience that would lead to their wellness. The campaign was received very well across the world and Ikea was appreciated for creating a thriving an enriching experience for its customers.
The next one is by my favourite designer, Stefan Sagmeister. His offbeat and honest approach has always amazed me and motivated me to continue to push my bar of creativity.
6. Stefan Sagmeister – The Happy Show
Credits: Novus TV
Stefan has been a revolutionary designer and strives to work towards creating relatable and unthinkable art. In his pursuit to do so, he created an entire exhibition around the concept of happiness. It is a known fact that the changing lifestyles and environments have led to loneliness and lack of mental health. The exhibition engaged people in interesting ways and encouraged them to be aware of their mental health and work towards building it.
Experiential marketing has been able to garner true brand love as it does not involve sales pitches but personal and impactful experiences. It is about creating spontaneous and real moments. In order to be effective, brands need to understand who they are talking to, where they will find them and how they can demonstrate their offering into an experience that is active, live and multi-sensory. This is only the beginning of an industry that has endless possibilities.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”― Maya Angelou