Experiential Marketing Campaigns: Mcdonalds We’re Lovin’ It

Man eating hamburger at a restaurant

Experiential Marketing Campaigns: We’re Lovin’ It

In recent years, mega brands like Coca Cola, Red Bull, and Budweiser have been filtering more and more money into their experiential budgets. As more money has been piped in, we’ve seen these experiential marketing campaigns become more creative, more adventurous, more bold, and more extravagant. However, on March 24th, McDonalds took things to a whole new level: 24 different experiences in 24 different cities. All in 24 hours. These experiences ran the gamut from a giant ball pit, to giving out oversized straws at the drive thru, to a life-sized maze, to a pajama party. Each of these experiential marketing campaigns: We’re Lovin’ It was designed to “give the gift of joy” to the people who were apart of them.

McDonalds Experiential Marketing Campaigns

Why is McDonalds, a brand that spends billions on TV commercials, print ads, and social media campaigns, funneling so much money into experiential?

Because they know the power of creating an emotional connection. By giving people the “gift of joy”, McDonald’s reached outside of the TV screen, printed page, and radio waves and actually touched someone’s life – made them feel something. These strong pleasurable feelings become associations with the McDonald’s brand, and lead to an incredible response from consumers. During the course of the day, McDonald’s saw over 40,000 total mentions of #imlovinit – 850 times more mentions than on an average day.

At this point, you may be thinking: “that’s all well and good for a mega-giant brand like McDonald’s, but we just can’t afford an experiential component to our marketing strategy.” Good news: you’re wrong. Unlike traditional media like print, TV, or radio advertising where you pay for an audience, experiential creates your own audience and increases reach by spreading virally via social media. With the right idea, you can still make huge waves with your customers without a Big Mac Mcbudget.

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Image of storefront branded with Nike swoosh

Nike experiential marketing went big, crazy, and interactive with it’s latest retail design.

A pop-up retail store featuring LED exterior walls mysteriously popped up on a busy New York City street corner during the week of the 2015 NBA All Star Game in February.

The giant shoebox structure changed designs as the activation went on, drawing thousands of people into the pop-up retail store. The experiential design was created to promote Nike’s new smartphone app, SNKRS, which allows consumers to customize their shoe buying experience.

The inside of the retail store was outfitted with interactive screens allowing shoppers to customize their desired pair of shoes and then share that design on social media. For those customers wanting to purchase shoes, they could design custom sneakers (Air Force 1, Air Max, Foamposite, or Air Jordan’s) and then the shoes would be given to the customer through a custom sneaker vending machine.

The Nike experiential marketing pop-up store was a big hit in NYC even though it only lasted a week long, but don’t worry sneaker heads, you can see Nike’s giant shoebox in a city near you in the upcoming months as the company officially unveils the new smartphone app in late Spring.

Check out the Nike SNKRS Shoebox on Nike’s Instagram page: https://instagram.com/p/y_GSEdAUcu/

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Woman handing out Johnsonville samples

3 Reasons Johnsonville’s “Guerrilla Sampling” Idea is Awesome

Johnsonville Guerrilla Sampling

If your product or service is something that has to be tasted or tried in order for your customers to fully appreciate it, samples are probably already an important part of your marketing strategy. We’ve all seen the glorified lunch lady handing out samples at a grocery store, Costco, or sometimes even at a fair or farmers market if the brand is really adventurous. Recently however, Johnsonville (the company that makes breakfast sausages), took sampling to another level by creating a “guerrilla sampling” campaign. For three days each week, brand ambassadors distributed samples of Johnsonville products to commuters on Atlanta’s MARTA rail system.

Here are three reasons this is a great idea:

It allows you to be in the right place, at the right time

People who take the train in the morning are probably on their way to work. Most of us are in a rush on our morning commute, and maybe didn’t even have time to find something to eat for breakfast. So there you are: feeling the pressure of the 9-5 grind, feeling like you never have time to eat a decent breakfast anymore, and then BAM! You’re served a hot and tasty sausage sandwich. It’s much more likely that someone will be eager to try a sample in this case instead of if they were wandering through the aisles in the grocery store.

It’s highly shareable

People love to whip out their smartphones and take videos or pictures of anything even remotely out of the ordinary. Johnsonville not only earned the impressions of those people who got a taste of their product on the rail system, they also surely got some great exposure through snapchats, Instagram posts, Facebook statuses, and tweets of people telling their friends: “You’ll never guess what happened on my way to work!” Also, don’t forget about the exposure from good old fashioned word of mouth.

It creates lasting impressions

People don’t expect to smell freshly cooked breakfast sausage in the train station on their ride to work. It’s tapping into the cardinal rule of creative guerrilla marketing: things that are foreign or unexpected are extremely memorable.

There’s also an almost pavlovian effect here: There’s nothing that would make me want to buy Johnsonville’s products more than looking forward to my sample every day for almost a week, and then having to deal with its sudden disappearance.

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TD Bank Goes Big on Another Experiential Marketing Campaign

Stock image of coworkers working on project

TD Bank Goes Big on Another Experiential Marketing Campaign

TD Bank has been one of the most successful companies in the banking industry using experiential marketing to create a loyal following of their brand. TD has given out umbrellas and pizzas to customers, and even created a custom ATM machine that gave customers personalized thank you gifts for making their transaction with TD Bank.

TD Bank took another big step with their new experiential marketing campaign, #MakeTodayMatter. TD Bank introduced the campaign on their social media outlets and asked customers what miracle they could create in their community if they were given $30,000 and 24 hours to make the project a reality. The bank sorted through thousands of submissions and narrowed them all down to select 24 customers in 24 different cities. The 24 customers who were selected had 24 hours and $30,000 to make miracles happen in their community.

TD Bank highlighted all of the work in the communities in a YouTube video, showcasing the touching stories of how $30,000 completely changed the lives of those affected by the #MakeTodayMatter campaign.

The results of the campaign were astounding. The selected participants improved the lives of those in their communities: helping with building handicap accessible ramps for neighbors, crafting an extravagant gala for girls in a Philadelphia foster home, and funding the equipment for a local football team.

TD Bank touched lives with this campaign, and while doing so the company was able to create a more loyal fan base. The YouTube video has garnered over 5 million views and the company’s Facebook page has had over 5,000 new likes since the campaign was introduced. 

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Cute puppies at event

St. Bernard Puppies Save the Day at SXSW 2015

St. Bernard puppy Mophie

Event goers at SXSW in Austin, Texas were surprised this past weekend when adorable St. Bernard puppies stole the show and delivered Mophie smartphone chargers to attendees who were low on battery. The puppies, sponsored by The National Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, delivered the Mophie chargers in a mini barrel (see picture above) to the exact location where the attendees tweeted at Mophie saying they needed an extra charge.

The puppy-phone charger stunt was inspired by 18th century monks in the Swiss Alps that would use St. Bernards as rescue dogs. Mophie put a fun twist on their use of the rescue puppies and created a playful buzz at the mega tech conference by surprising the attendees who needed a little extra charge to get by for the rest of the day.

The activation left such an impression on event attendees that several people left the conference that night saying “Oh my God, did you see the puppies?!” It’s not surprising that the stunt created such a buzz, as the puppies made over 600 “rescues” during the weekend.

To find out more about the Mophie Rescue campaign, as well as the Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, please visit http://www.mophie.com/staypowerful.

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