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6 Mistakes to Avoid in Experiential Marketing

Experiential is a power house medium for engaging your audience.  However, not all experiences are successful. In this post, we will highlight 6 mistakes you should avoid while creating an experiential marketing campaign. By simply adhering to these points, you will have already taken one step to ensure a successful experiential campaign.

Here are 6 things to avoid when you are developing your experiential marketing campaign.

1: No strategy: when, where and why.

When approaching your brand activation, it is important to look at the big picture and determine the goals and objectives of the campaign. The when, where and why of the experience needs to be in sync with the rest of your marketing efforts. In addition, choosing the place, time and environment must be relevant to your target audience. Carefully plan and research before you design your activation.

2: Making the Message Too Complex.

There should be purpose to your activation. One simple message to convey to the consumer. Implementing experiential into your marketing efforts should be as strategic as the rest of your business decisions. Just because it is a cool idea doesn’t mean that it will help you get your brand message to your audience. You want to make sure that whatever you are planning is clearly tied in to your brand story so that it is easy to make the connection. Your audience should be able to experience your brand. The whole idea of planning an experiential campaign is so that your audience will start talking about your brand in a positive way. Make sure you create a story they can understand and want to share.

3: Engagement with the audience is lacking.

What is experiential in two words? Audience engagement. Okay, five words, audience engagement with your brand. You should be able to engage with your target audience in a meaningful way through the experience.  Whether it’s a visual that they can share, a physically interactive activity, a chance to win something, or a chance to share and interact with the brand digitally, plan your campaign so that people have to and want to get involved.

4: Logistical gaps

We cannot reiterate enough the importance of logistical planning. If you haven’t planned everything down to the most minute detail, then you will undoubtedly have unexpected things come up that will pull your focus from the task at hand. There will always be unknown factors during an event, but if you plan and anticipate each moving piece you can find a way to overcome the hurdles of the inevitable. Plan out each step of your experiential activity, and have a consistent process for execution.

5: Zero follow up

Now your event has been completed. You have reached and engaged with your intended audience, as planned. You are done with your experiential campaign. Wrongo! Unfortunately, one big mistake often made by companies is to have the event’s back end processes stop right there without continuing the conversation with your audience. There are huge gains in extending your strategy past the event itself. Be sure to think through how you’ll leverage the live event as a kick off for ongoing buzz and conversation with your audience. Don’t miss out on the power of tracking here!

6: Not implementing effective tracking/measurement tools

One of the biggest mistakes is being unable to gauge the impact and ROI the campaign has created. You want to be able to capture numbers, information, and most importantly the audience’s view of the masterpiece. After the campaign has been executed, how will you know if it’s successful? You have to set measurable, and trackable goals while you are in the planning phase. Strategize about objectives and get clear about what you want achieve. Set your goals accordingly and then take advantage of tools to track and measure so you know whether you have been successful in your attempt.

The most successful campaigns aren’t just clever concepts, they are the brand’s image come to life to build connections with target customers. Experiential marketing offers an opportunity to merge a cohesive branded message in a wholly immersive way. If an experiential event isn’t in your marketing mix for 2018, it may be time to review your road map.

Give your customers an experience to remember.

Let’s chat.

People at event raising their glasses

Best Experiential Marketing 2017

As we wrap up the year, we can’t help but look back at 2017 and think about some of the best experiential marketing campaigns. These campaigns fill us with excitement. We hope you enjoy them too.

Copaxti’s Questival

Questival from Cotopaxi on Vimeo.

The Questival is a 24-hour adventure race dreamed up by the folks at Copaxti’s. With tours all across North America, Copaxti is engaging thousands of people to do exciting, fun, and downright good adventure seeking activities all while building positive brand love.

Why we love it? Talk about unforgettable and highly sharable! There is no question, the participants in the experiential are fully engaged! Not only that, but Copaxti’s is showcasing the lifestyle and products that they live and breathe daily.

Cheetos Pop-Up Restaurant

Best Experiential Marketing
Photo credit Event Marketer

Inspired by the viral Cheetos-infused recipes, Cheetos partnered with celebrity chef Ann Burrell to create The Spotted Cheetah, a three day pop-up restaurant in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. The pop-up featured 11 signature Cheetos inspired dishes, celebrity Chester Cheetah himself, and full on Cheetos decor. Reservations sold out within six hours of release while thousands more signed up for the waiting list.

Why we love it? The sixty seven year old brand is committed to keeping things fresh, fun and memorable. The play off of the already viral Cheetos-infused recipes allows Cheetos to stay on strategy while creating a must experience branded dining event.

Glenlivet Dram Room Pop-Up

Best Experiential Campaign
Photo credit Event Marketer

The time for Scotch is now and the Glenlivet Dram Room tour brings now to life in an engaging sampling room experience that makes the old new again. In an attempt to break through stoic Scotch reputation, Glenlivit invited guests at food and wine festivals and Taste the Nations events across the country to step into the sleek black and natural wood Dram Room for a brand and product history engagement served up with a personalized drink.

Why we love it? Sleek and sexy, this booth straddles traditional and modern while offering sensory invitation and educational content in just the right ratio. Did I hear seconds? Yes, please.

Marriott Multi-sensory Event Series

Experiential Marketing
Photo credit Event Marketer

Celebrating the completion of the Irvine Marriott’s $35 million dollar redesign, the Marriott decided not to follow the standard ribbon-cutting tradition. Instead they opted to create engagements of meaning that would put top customers, travel and hospitality bloggers, influencers and partners at the center of meaningful experiences. The themed event series of three titled Studio: Culture, Studio: Taste and Studio: Innovation allowed the Marriott to create memorable moments that were filled with authenticity.

Why we love it? It’s always fun to throw a party, but carefully curated experiences are even better! Participants in the Studio events were invited to participate in a traveler immersion allowing the Marriott to do what they do so well, support the traveler experience.

We hope you enjoyed our recap of the best experiential marketing campaigns of 2017. We look forward to many more in 2018.

Interested in experiential?

Let’s chat.

Light bulb on chalk board

Partner with Experts to Make your Clients Fall in Love with You all Over Again

As marketers it is in our nature to seek out and provide our clients with the very best to help them reach their goals. We know our stuff and we use what works. We look at targeting, impressions, reach, and conversions. We analyze anything that can be clearly measured and have even devised ways to encapsulate the less measurable to the best of our abilities. Why? Because we want our efforts to deliver; we want to provide our clients with a path to success.

It takes a lot of work to become an expert within any marketing discipline and it is that expertise that our clients value.  Companies are finding great returns by forging a relationship and an emotional connection to their audience through live, interactive experiences, other wise know known as Experiential Marketing. Reports from Forrester to Freeman are citing 2018 as the year of Experiential Marketing. So what do you do when your clients curiosity, interest and marketing budgets are placing favor on Experiential Marketing? Solution: partner with an expert.

Experiential agencies, the one’s who have made it their sole purpose to design, build and execute memorable experiences that engage the senses and emotions of an audience, are available to help you. The best experiential campaigns are designed in partnership with the brand at the core and the brand keepers involved. They begin long before the actual event and extend long after the site is cleaned up through strategic planning and integration into the larger picture of the companies branding and advertising.

One in three CMO’s plan to direct up to 50% of their budgets into experiential advertising according to the 2017 Freeman study. We all know that consumers attention is getting harder and harder to capture with the average time to create an impression down to a record 6 seconds. Consumers are getting more and more demanding for control over who and what they see, hear and talk about. Blame it on the digital age, search, and on demand content, but consumers of all ages want to cut down the clutter in their lives and take back the power to control their own content.

What is it about Experiential that’s so darned alluring to consumers and marketers alike?

First, it doesn’t push itself into consumers lives. It invites participation by serving up a desirable experience; connection, a deeply rooted human need. Consumers get to choose if they want in. The power shift in that is immense in the eyes of the consumer and in that move alone you’ve gained a win.

Second, experiential is, by in large, fun! It’s entertaining. Who says you can’t have meaning and entertainment all in one, certainly not an experiential marketer, we live to craft just those very moments.

Third, let’s face it, we live in an age of stuff. The amount of product available for consumption is ridiculous. Most of us have more stuff than we’ll ever need and the next greatest comes out before the glory of the last greatest can even wear off. At the same time, our lives are being co-opted by screens and our interactions are largely impersonal. Never-the-less humans are social creatures. We need emotional, personal connection. Experiential marketing fulfills a longing, a need that’s deeply rooted. Once that longing is satiated, a new fill in the blank sounds like a great idea.

Experiential marketing boasts some pretty attractive statistics.

  • 74% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted after the event. (EMI & Mosaic)
  • 65% of the consumers surveyed said live events helped them have a better understanding of a product or service, vastly surpassing digital efforts and TV advertising as methods of recognizing and learning about a brand. (EventTrack)
  • 65% of brands say that their event and experiential programs are directly related to sales. (EMI & Mosaic)
  • 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event. (EventTrack)
  • 75% of companies with event budgets between $50-100 million say they expect an ROI of more than 5:1 for live event and experiential programs. (EMI & Mosaic)
  • 98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation. (EventTrack)
  • 76% of marketers say their event and experiential marketing initiatives are integrated with their other marketing campaigns. (EventTrack)
  • 79% of US marketers generate sales using event marketing. (Statista)
  • About 34% of consumers surveyed said they would make a post about an experience on their social media pages. (EventTrack)
  • 33% of consumers from the above survey said they would take photos or videos during an event. (EventTrack)
  • 79% of brands say they will execute more event and experiential programs this year compared to last year. (EMI & Mosaic)

If you listen closely and ask the right questions, you’ll see just how much the allure of experiential is beckoning your clients. Our advice, embrace it and bring in a partner to collaborate. You’ll celebrate the outcome.

Ready for experiential?

Let’s chat.

Golden retriever at #giveafetch

Experiential Case Study: Camp Bow Wow

Camp Bow Wow reached out to The Pineapple Agency looking to increase brand awareness through experiential.  They knew they wanted an 8 foot gumball machine that dispensed tennis balls and a dynamic event that would attract and capture the hearts of dog owners in 5 key markets across the US.

That was the beginning of the #giveafetch campaign.  The five #giveafetch events kicked off national dog week in Denver, Cleveland, Atlanta, Paramus, and Dallas with a weekend of fun.  Guests at the events met ultra-famous doggy influencers, got a free caricature of their pooch, mingled with dog vendors, dog owners, and local animal shelters, and lined up at the giant gumball machine for a photo opportunity and a perfectly squeaky Camp Bow Wow ball.  One lucky winner received the golden ball and one full year of free doggy day care!  But that’s not all, Camp Bow Wow set aside $50,000 to support pet welfare and invited guests to vote on their favorite animal shelter.  Three winning shelters from each city received a check from Camp Bow Wow to help them carry out their mission.

The #giveafetch campaign was a success attracting thousands of participants and generating:

  • 6K uses of #GiveAFetch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • 4.8M Facebook ad impressions
  • 10.1K unique users on giveafetch.com
  • 185M media impressions from 133 placements
  • 14K impressions from branded Snapchat filters
  • 58 dogs adopted
  • $50k donated to local shelters/rescues

Camp Bow Wow is the nations leading doggy day care with a true passion for dog wellness.  They wanted to promote the importance of responsible pet ownership and celebrate the special things we do for our dogs.  While the events boasted multiple engagement points, lots of socializing for pooches and owners alike and plenty of free doggy goodies, it was the spirit of doggy love that stole the show.

This activation left every tail was wagging long after the event wrap.

Interested in taking your events to the next level?

Let’s chat.

Justin Moss, Owner of The Pineapple Agency

A Guy, a Dream, and the Birth of an Agency

Justin Moss, Owner of The Pineapple Agency

Justin Moss is a dreamer of the day.  A man of action who looks at things with wide eyes.  This, is a great thing.  After all, a man can’t change his surroundings and make his dreams a reality if he can’t see them.  His wide eyes lead him to create things others wouldn’t dare.  A perfect example of Justin’s dreamer mentality can be traced back to his time in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Justin was a man on a mission, conducting business to bring about the next big event.  Moss, along with his business partner Todd Ross, founded Shutdown Productions, a production company that put on live events.  Moss and Ross put together Beyond 2002.  It was billed as “The Ultimate 3 Day Music and Extreme Sports Festival.”  It was an eclectic blend of rock, rap and techno mixed with Extreme Sports.  A crazy, cool blend of hipness and creativity.  Sort of like the guy himself.

Justin wanted to put something together that he would go see.  He wanted fest-goers to have an experience they would never forget.  He wanted to inject his brand of energy and “juice” into this project.  He employed his vast bag of tricks to entertain the crowd, get the job done and leave the audience with a personalized experience.  Unbeknownst to him, this is where The Pineapple Agency was conceived.

Event marketing isn’t just about the event itself.  It’s about the spectacle.  It’s about showcasing the brand.  It’s about seeing the faces of consumers as they step into their own personal experience.  Justin gets that and he owns it.  He wants The Pineapple Agency and its clients to create brand advocates. Fans who will remember their experiences and remember how they experienced them.  It harkens back to Beyond 2002; Giving the people what they want, when they want it.

His experiences give him the credibility and knowledge to know how to move the crowd and keep them coming back for more.  His Ideas are never too wild or outlandish.  Outside the box thinking leads to one-of-a-kind solutions.  They spark the innovation needed to move the needle and shift the conversation to what brands are doing and how they’re doing it. 

The Pineapple Agency delivers big, bold campaigns for brands, inspired by Justin’s big, bold experiences.  The experiences today may be different, but the dream lives on through Justin and Pineapple.

Want to learn more about Justin and his team?

Let’s chat.

Man wearing VR headset and painting

Virtual Reality and Experiential Marketing

Virtual Reality(VR) is a wondrous playground.  Done right, VR creates an unforgettable experience, leaving an emotional connection with the consumer.  Engaging consumers with creative ideas that shock them, can transport them to another place and time.  VR is seeing a computer generated world through goggled lenses.  Imagine, providing a customized experience that the user can immerse themselves in.  This is next level marketing my friends.  Doing this right means connecting the consumer with storytelling on a much deeper level.

Making the Unreal Feel Real.

Virtual Reality and Experiential Marketing

Today’s technology allows experiential marketers to deploy Virtual Reality as part of their bag of tricks.  The addition of VR can make a marketing campaign come alive, literally.  What do VR platforms look like?  Words can’t do it justice.  These platforms are experienced rather than discussed.  They create a world where the user is swept up into something magical.  An experience that will leave an indelible impression, the goal of all experiential campaigns.  This is what makes VR the ideal partner for experiential.

Don’t you want people lined up outside your store?  You won’t get that using generic banner ads.  You get that attendance by creating an enveloping world for your audience to escape to.  You make them feel part of the story—and in some cases, you help them tell the story themselves.  People want to take part in experiential/VR marketing campaigns.  Matthias McCoy-Thompson explains this in a cool, psychedelic way:

“Because our minds respond to virtual environments the same way we do to real ones and the virtual environment can be manipulated to fit any situation, marketers can perfectly design simulations to make products more desirable.”

VR combined with experiential has higher user engagement and often, higher retention.

Benefits of VR in Experiential Campaigns

VR and experiential is all about one thing:  helping the consumer experience something without requiring them to physically be there.  Imagine trying on clothes in a high-end department store without actually visiting the store—or the city in where it’s located.  Are you in the market for an engagement ring for your fiancée?  Build that ring from the confines of home and slip it on her finger for her to see.  With the help of innovative tech, the consumer can control their environment remotely.  This is how VR is changing experiential.  Experiential campaigns can now scale on an unprecedented level.  This enables them reach an untold number of consumers.

Virtual Reality and Experiential Marketing

Experiential is combining with VR to make marketing content social.  Having your campaign go viral means more engagement from audiences—in many instances, global audiences.  You’re creating millions of brand advocates in one fell swoop.  This is social thought leadership of the highest order.

What Pineapple Can do for You

The Pineapple Agency is at the forefront of creating edgy, fun and incredibly wild virtual reality and experiential marketing campaigns.  We push the boundaries of creativity to give our clients—and consumers—a one-of-a-kind experience.  We believe the advances of virtual reality will inform experiential.  This allows us to connect with consumers on a deeper level than ever before.

In need of the next wild and crazy idea?

Let’s chat.

 

Man swimming and doing the breast stroke

“A New World” – Top Activations from 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Sporting events get no bigger than The Olympics. A colossal world-wide spectacle, the Olympic Games feature supreme athletes. There’s also no shortage of media messaging. Brands are looking to create a Michael Phelps-sized splash with consumers.

And what does grand spectacle need but more grand spectacle. Experiential activations are the perfect way to complement the magnificence of the games. Especially when brands like Coca-Cola and Samsung are setting the pace.

The Pineapple Agency knows a thing or three about awesome experiential campaigns. It’s what we do. We wanted to highlight a few amazing activations that impressed us, for you below.

Here are three examples of kick-ass experiential activations from Rio 2016:

  • Samsung: Fans were invited to Samsung Galaxy Studios to interact with the latest tech offerings from the company. Samsung featured Virtual Reality experiences so visitors could live the Olympic sporting life. At select studios there was a 4D experience. This allowed people to kayak as if they were actually on the water. Visitors could also try out Samsung products. The results matched the grand creativity. Samsung, praised for its activation, garnered an incredible 20,635 mentions and racking up an index ranking of 103 points. This made Samsung the standout sponsor of the 2016 Games. The closest competitor was our next entrant:
  • Coca-Cola: As part of their #ThatsGold Campaign, Coca-Cola created a fan zone designed just for teenagers. Smack dab in the heart of Rio De Janeiro. The space was inspired by the bubbles inside a Coke bottle. It also housed several experiential installations specifically designed for one purpose—to Tweet, Snap and share. For Coke, being teens being social was the thing. An estimated 150,000 fans visited the station during the games. Coca-Cola placed second to Samsung with 17,405 mentions and 94 points on the index ranking scale. Wow!
  • Panasonic: Panasonic’s Stadium of Wonders tech showcase was created to allow fans to design their own Olympic moments, and learn the history of the games. The Activation included the latest tech and showcased transparent screens and new Light ID technology. Experiential activations for a sporting event such as this should be big, showy and exciting. The Games themselves are a spectacle. If you’re going to compete with them, you better bring your “A” game and knock it out of the park. These brands understood this. They also understood who their audience was; creating something their fans were excited to be a part of.

Have you ever attended an Olympic event? Image, showing up for an event and taking part in an experiential campaign. Who wouldn’t want to jump into a bubble from a Coke bottle? I’m standing in that line all day.

Want to learn how The Pineapple Agency can inject a little spice into your product or brand?

Let’s chat.

Chalk board calendar with events and sticky notes

Event Production – Why You Shouldn’t Bootstrap Your Next Event & Hire A Professional

event production

So, you’ve heard about the great success that other brands are having with experiential marketing and would like to reap some of the magic for yourself. On the surface, setting up such an event seems straightforward. You just need an idea, a place and a plan, right? Think again. For such events to produce results, they need to be carefully planned by someone who understands the finer points of experiential marketing. For this reason, it’s always best to hire an experiential, trade show or event firm instead of taking the do-it-yourself route. Here are a few compelling reasons why:

They Know What Works

For experiential events (like popups) to work, an element of surprise is needed. In order to create lasting impressions, attendees need to be shocked to some degree. Without that, the odds of them spreading the word and boosting brand visibility are slim to none. What may seem like a good, surprising element to you is likely to fall flat in real life. Experiential marketers understand group psychology, and know how to surprise or shock them in ways that are beneficial for brands. Without their help, you’re likely to engage in a process of trial and error that leaves you frustrated and disappointed.

They Have Connections

Even if you have a fairly strong social media presence, chances are that you don’t know the right movers and shakers–or  influencers, as they’re more commonly referred to these days–to make your event a true success. What would take you weeks to accomplish in the form of “cold calls,” including email marketing and the like, can be accomplished in short order by an experienced and well-connected experiential marketing expert.

They Use Cutting-Edge Techniques

Like anything in the world of marketing, what worked for an experiential event a few years ago is likely to miss the mark today. Again, an element of surprise is needed. You need to present something that piques people’s interest. Scour the Internet all you’d like, but you’re not going to find reliable information about ideas that haven’t been done again and again.  Since experiential marketers live and breathe this type of marketing, they are always on the cutting edge of the latest techniques.

They’ll Save You Time, Money and Effort

If you’re thinking about tackling an experiential marketing event yourself, it’s probably because you’d like to save money. However, hiring a professional firm to handle it for you is actually very cost-effective. It doesn’t just save you money, either. It helps you avoid wasting time and effort that would be put to much better use elsewhere. Cliched though it may be, time really is money. Can you afford to turn away from your everyday business to plan and execute a successful event or campaign?

They’ll Show You Measurable Results

Without knowing how effective your efforts were, you can’t improve upon them for next time. Measuring the results of an experiential marketing event or campaign is difficult enough for experts. For everyday business owners, it’s downright impossible. The right experiential, trade show or event firm will have a defined process for gauging the results of such efforts, and they will be able to show you exactly what their work did for you.

Looking for someone to help with your next event?

Let’s chat.

Measuring tape

ROI on Experiential Marketing: It’s all about measurement

ROI on Experiential Marketing

One of the biggest pitfalls of experiential marketing campaigns is the difficulty of gauging its overall success. Just because you experience a great turn out and participation at your activation doesn’t mean that it accomplished anything for your brand. All too often, those who attempt to engage in experiential marketing assume there’s simply no easy way to track the results, so they decide not to worry about it. This often leads to a lot of wasted time, effort and money. Without measuring the ROI of a campaign, how can you improve your efforts over time? Here’re a few tips to get back on track with tracking the ROI of your experiential marketing event:

Establish a Goal

You can’t track the success of anything without first defining what success means. Therefore, the first step of any experiential marketing push is to clearly define at least one goal. Ask yourself what the ultimate purpose and core values of your campaign or event are trying to accomplish. Do you want to increase sales? Are you trying to raise awareness about a new product or service? Are you attempting to branch out into different markets or appeal to different demographics? By establishing clear goals, you are setting the cornerstones for an effective campaign.

Quality Trumps Quantity

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, just because a throng of people shows up at an event doesn’t mean it’s considered successful. Again, remember to keep in mind your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). The truth is that it’s far better to have genuine interactions with smaller groups of consumers than it is to have superficial interactions with much larger groups. For one thing, when someone genuinely interacts with a brand and is emotionally connected by its message,  they are more likely to spread the word to others. Without question, positive word of mouth is a KPI that’s universal among all experiential marketing campaigns.

Understanding Metrics

Establishing how your KPI’s are defined and tracked is a crucial next step in understanding your event’s ROI. For example, if you want to boost sales, the ideal outcome would be a spike in sales. If your main concern is raising brand awareness, you’ll be looking for a spike in online mentions of your brand.  After defining your goals, associate the appropriate KPIs that align with your overall strategy.

Brand Awareness Research

If your budget allows it, engaging in brand awareness research before, during and after an experiential marketing event is an excellent way to assess its success. This approach is best utilized when raising brand awareness for a new product or service. Surveys are a great tool to leverage this. By surveying your target demographic before, during and after an event, you can gauge how their perception potentially changed based on their experiences. Ideally, you will want to see a participant who has little knowledge about your brand become more aware, engaged and enthusiastic about your offerings.

The Future of Measuring Experiential Marketing ROI

Not surprisingly, more ways to connect and track ROI of experiential marketing efforts are on the horizon. One example is facial recognition and tracking software, which can be used at live events to assess faces in the crowd for things like age, gender and even how long they hang out at a particular destination. Such software can even track how many people are smiling or otherwise expressing happiness, which is a useful metric in its own right. This software and other new technologies aren’t so widespread just yet, but you can expect to see them come into their own over the next few years.

Want to learn more?

Let’s chat.