Social media on phone in city

The Benefits of Combining Social With An Experiential Marketing Strategy

Combining Social With An Experiential Marketing Strategy

The business world is more competitive than ever. While the internet facilitates and simplifies many aspects of marketing for consumers, it has also leveled the playing field in a way that’s made it even trickier to stand out from the competition. Furthermore, it’s made consumers even fickler than ever. After all, if they don’t like the messages they’re seeing, they can simply click their way to greener pastures. As a result of these and related phenomena, experiential marketing strategy has quickly become one of the most effective ways to stand out in such a noisy marketplace of goods, services, and brands. When combined with social media, experiential marketing strategy can take your brand to places you’ve never dreamed.

The Benefits of Combining Social With An Experiential Marketing Strategy

On its own, experiential marketing is an excellent way to engage directly with consumers. By giving them a way to actively participate in the evolution of a brand, you simultaneously enhance loyalty and influence their future buying decisions. What’s not to like about that? Nothing, of course! Still, unless you’re a very large, visible brand, getting people involved in your experiential marketing events can be difficult. That’s where social media comes in. The key is engaging consumers where they are, and currently, most of them spend copious amounts of time on social media.

Social Media Marketing Evolved

The marriage of social and experiential has been a winning combination for some time. There have been some pretty great examples in recent years, for example, for Fashion Week 2014, Marc Jacobs set up the Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, which only accepted “social currency” as payment. By social currency, the brand meant mentions on major social media channels. Consumers were instructed to tweet about the brand using the hashtag #MJDaisyChain and could then use those posts as currency with which to make purchases from the shop. Talk about a seamless blending of social media and experiential marketing!

Fortunately, you don’t need to have the clout or resources of Marc Jacobs to make the most of experiential and social. A very popular experiential marketing technique is to hold a pop-up event for a brand. It must be engaging enough to compel attendees to want to participate. The question, though, is how to ensure event awareness. The usual tactic is to hold the popup somewhere where there’s guaranteed to be a ton of foot traffic–preferably of the desired target demographic. By using social media to raise awareness, pop-up events have a better shot at being successful and garnering the desired attendance.

In addition to marketing special experiential events, social media can also be used to engage consumers after events to keep your brand top of mind with engaged consumers. For example, consumers can be encouraged to share their experiences on social media in exchange for coupons or other offers after the event. When it comes to experiential, social can truly aid in its effectiveness. We like to think of social as the peanut butter to experiential’s apples. There’s nothing wrong with taking a dip and seeing how sweet it can be for your events!

Want to talk about how The Pineapple Agency can create a dynamic experiential marketing strategy for you?

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Beer being poured from a tap

How Challenger Beer, Wine and Spirits Brands Can Compete Using Experiential Marketing Tools

The beer, wine and spirits industry is evolving. There is a consumer trend toward premiumization in spirits, more consumers are drinking wine for its diverse flavor profiles and there’s a shift toward higher-quality beers, which has stimulated growth among craft brewers.

In fact, Eugene Kashper, the millionaire owner of Pabst Brewing Company, believes the beer category will continue to shift away from mainstream lagers and be dominated by super-premium, craft, cider, flavored malt beverages and import beers — categories that will make up 70 percent of sales by 2025 by his projections.

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For years, Goliaths such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Constellation Brands, and Brown-Forman have led the industry leveraging their massive advertising budgets. But, with consumer palettes continuing to change, there’s now an opportunity for challenger beer, wine, and spirits brands to take market share.

To compete, though, challenger brands must outthink rather than outspend these category dominators. The success of a challenger brand’s marketing is about creating passion through advocacy and activation, not ad spend.

Challenger beer, wine, and spirits brands are increasingly turning to experiential to make a deeper connection with consumers. Once an afterthought to traditional advertising, events are now a cornerstone of many marketing plans. In fact, experiential and event marketing budgets increased by 6.1% in 2015 according to the EventTrack 2015 report.

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In an increasingly digital world, experiential activations are providing consumers a full sensory experience including the opportunity to taste, smell and play with brands — in person. Live, face-to-face, events are being used to gain visibility, entertain and educate. These activations create an emotionalconnection to a brand that cannot be duplicated with mass advertising.

From these events, enthusiastic customers develop a personal link to their favorite beer, wine and spirits brands. They take to social media as an outlet to express their knowledge and passion. This drives word-of-mouth, which

Millennials rank as the number one influencer in their purchasing decisions about packaged goods.

Furthermore, 84% of consumers say that they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness according to Nielsen.

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Where Should Challenger Brands Start?

  1. Research – Focus on brand, demographics, competitors, trends and marketing theory/tactics.
  2. Imagination – Ideate the visuals, sound, fragrance, interactivity and taste possibilities.
  3. Strategy – Build an in-depth strategy that keeps ideas effective before, during and after the event, both live and digitally.
  4. Fabricate – Design, build, and customize elements to meet the needs of the project.
  5. Creation – Bring the strategy to life in an immersive activation.

With the right experiential strategy and execution, challenger beer, wine,   and spirits brands can use events to develop brand advocates and leverage social media for unprecedented reach. Experiential is the fire and social media is the fuel that will allow these challenger brands to unseat the incumbents.

http://www.brewbound.com/news/eugene-kashper-transforming-172-year-old-pabst-brewing-company-underdog-startup

Can your brand utilize experiential marketing?

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Bud Light neon sign

Case Study: Bud Light House of Whatever Activation

Challenge:

In the height their “Up for Whatever” or “Summer Bucketlist” campaign, Bud Light wanted to continue its momentum of engaging and building loyalty among the Millennial market. The summer was almost over, but it came to Bud Light’s message, the party wasn’t over yet. Bud Light hit the musical festival circuit and fabricated its own specialty viewing area, ‘House of Whatever’ within TomorrowWorld campground. The challenge was to develop an experiential strategy that would engage and excite Bud Light consumers by creating sharable moments at a major music festival while cutting through the clutter of an already crowded experience.

Imagination:

Bud Light had extreme success with the Up For Whatever campaign for the last few years. In 2015, they decided to extend the campaign to music festivals. The music festival industry has skyrocketed, so choosing the correct festival with the right demographic that aligned with Bud Lights message was no easy task. After conducting extensive research, they choose TomorrowWorld in Atlanta,Georgia. With around 160,000 attendees over three days, Bud Light looked to cut through the clutter of traditional festival marketing. When consumers are there for the music experience, grabbing their attention away from it needs to be relevant, authentic and exciting. Thus, the Bud Light House of Whatever was custom fabricated to not just market to consumers, Bud Light wanted to elevate their overall TomorrowWorld experience.

To help Bud Light build excitement and attract attendees to the House of Whatever, The Pineapple Agency created and executed three activations that were unique, immersive and could relate to festivalgoers lifestyle. Though we didn’t create or physical fabricate the House of Whatever, The Pineapple Agency teamed up with Bud Light to create the attendee experience at the House of Whatever to be a memorable and share-worthy experience.

Creation:

Bud Light enhanced the TomorrowWorld journey for its fans throughout the festival, from a main stage-viewing platform to the Bud Light Camp of Whatever in Dreamville. Bud Light even created six custom TomorrowWorld Beer cans' – designed by TomorrowWorld artists, which correspond with the festivals fairytale theme. The cans were an absolute hit and sold out at the festival.

The Pineapple Agency wanted to create an overall experience within the House of Whatever, to bring fans in and keep them engaged. Because of our agency background in creating and producing major music festivals, we had a great understanding of the demographic and how to engage them. With just a few weeks to create, plan and prep for one of the largest music festivals in the country, we jumped into the festival experience to create something unique and relevant.

The Pineapple Agency strategized and implemented various activations to meet the objectives of the overall experience. The Pineapple Agency created Totem Poles for fans to bring to life. Attendees of music festivals often build custom made totem poles that represent their groups or themselves personality. You often see funny, scary or even politically charged creations. In many cases, the totems are photographed or videoed by fans and press and one of the first things you recognize in the photo or video. The idea to allow fans to build custom Bud Light branded totem poles was a perfect choice. The Pineapple Agency created an assortment of unique totem accessories, enough to make over 2,000 totems. By the second day of limited hours of operation, all 2,000 totems were created and being used around the festival property. Another experience The Pineapple Agency curated was a Creative Lounge. We wanted to create a place where festival attendees could relax and refresh before their next venture around the more than 1,200 acres of festival land. We created an area where they could get free massages, professional makeup artists and body refreshing products. If the attendee chose, they could also have a professional face painter create a magical creation that all their friends would envy.

  • 3 Day Music Festival – Grossed 94 Million, 160,000+ Attendees
  • 3,000+ interactions
  • 100% Fan Engagement
  • Custom Beer Can Sell out

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See how The Pineapple Agency can help you out with your next activation!

Let’s chat.

Game of thrones poster

Game of Thrones – Experiential Marketing Strategy

The wildly popular television program, Game of Thrones, returns for its highly anticipated sixth season on April 24. HBO has been flexing their marketing muscle to transport their millions of fans into the fantasy world of Westeros (and Essos) with the use of cutting-edge, outside the box experiential marketing strategy and activations. Take a look at how the show has implemented online and offline experiential marketing catch the eyes, imaginations and, of course, wallets of millions.

360 view of intro video

The title sequence of Game of Thrones has become an iconic part of the show as the viewer is treated to a birds-eye panning across the ever-growing map of the Game of Thrones universe. Using 3D video technology, the show invited users to immerse themselves in the world by allowing them to manipulate the point of view and explore the realm first-hand.

Game of Thrones and their experiential marketing strategy

Art The Throne

In this online video series, HBO introduced 5 artists who are commissioning works based on their interpretation of iconic scenes in the series. The installations were unveiled on April 20 in New York City.

Iconic scenes in the series for marketing activations

Siri

Even Apple’s doting (although sometimes sassy) digital personal assistant, Siri is showing her fandom for the show.


Do you watch Game of Thrones - Siri

Season 5 DVD Release

Previously, HBO unleashed dragons in major cities across the United States to create hype for the release of the season 5 DVD box set. While there weren’t any real dragons (sadly), these immense installations made it look as if a dragon had crashed down with visual skid and claw marks with displaced street lamps and trash cans. The experience ended with a special outdoor screening of a twenty-minute film and an appearance by one of the show’s stars. Share worthy moment indeed.

Dragons in major cities experiential marketing strategy

With all these teasers and activations, we can not wait for the first episode on Sunday. We will you be watching to see how HBO’s experiential marketing strategy will come to life.

Interested in Experiential Marketing?

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Sneakers in rain

Why Reebok’s “Are You Fast Enough” Worked

This recent experiential brand activation in Stockholm, Sweden, unsuspectingly confronted pedestrians with a challenge from Reebok. In order to promote their new shoe, the Reebok ZPump 2.0, the company set up a display case full of shoes that also had a speed camera. The challenge to the consumer was simple: run faster than 17kilometers per hour (approximately 10.5 miles per hour) and you win a free pair of the shoes from the display case.

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While not the first challenge of its kind, Reebok’s “Are You Fast Enough” was able to engage consumers and showcase its brand in a way that was in line with the company’s tagline “Be more human.” The fun, competitive atmosphere created something that was “disruptive and unique,” according to Markus Schramm of ad agency Animal, which created the project. The results were staggering with 172,992 Youtube views in the first 48 hours.

Why it worked:

– Reebok’s “Are You Fast Enough” tapped into one of the fundamental human natures: competition. By creating a challenge rooted in their branding goals, the company was able to effectively reach and engage customers in this experience. It also gained the attention of many advertising and marketing publications from around the globe, so not only did it engage and excite consumers, it has a lasting impact long after the marketing campaign was implemented.

– T8183923_reebok-will-give-you-a-free-pair-of-shoes_4d99feb_mhis project is a great example of how a company can take their brand and bring it to life via an experience. While the goal of any such activation is to increase awareness of the product, Reebok managed to not only create excitement centered around the product but also immerse the participants in the brand itself. By making running look fun, Reebok created an advertisement that inspired consumers to run and push their limits.

Interested in Experiential Marketing?

Let’s chat.

 

Elephant in the plains

Why World Wildlife Fund’s “#LastSelfie” Worked

WWF Last Selfie Campaign

From front facing smart phone cameras to selfie sticks, the selfie is a phenomenon now a cultural staple, and is constantly evolving into new trends since this campaign was launched. Unlike the Selfie, many animal species are not so lucky. Enter the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one the preeminent conservation non-profits. Using the mobile social media platform Snapchat, the WWF reminded us of this sobering fact.

The World Wildlife Fund’s brand awareness campaign was centered around Snapchat, a mobile social media platform that allows users to send each other pictures and videos that disappear after ten seconds. The WWF realized that this fleeting functionality could allow them to highlight that time is also quickly running out for many endangered species. This was one of the first introductions to the Snapchat filters, and the way WWF used the social platform was both relevant and impactful to its core message for the campaign.

The activation of the campaign came as followers of The World Wildlife Fund’s Snapchat account received pictures of an endangered animal overlaid with a caption such as “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie” or “Better take a screenshot this could be my #LastSelfie.” Accompanying these images was information that told the followers where they could go to help.

As a result, there were posts by 40,000 Twitter users that were seen by 120 million users which represents 50% of all users on the platform at the time. The WWF met its monthly donation target in just 3 days.

See the Youtube video here.

The Pineapple Juice:

  1. Many companies, including Snapchat themselves, have tried and struggled to monetize and mobilize their users. This campaign expertly wove together the theme of disappearing by choosing a social media vehicle that is known for doing just that, and now you can see countless brands using snapchat filters.
  2. The WWF had a maximum of 10 seconds to clearly display three important points: what their problem is, why you should care and how to take action. With such a small window of opportunity, the WWF clearly hit a home run.
  3. The WWF understood the value of Snapchat as a medium for reaching and engaging millennials. The Selfie and by association, Snapchat, promotes vanity and self-obsession but the WWF showed us how to flip this paradigm on its head and use the platform to affect amazing positive changes.

Ready to learn more about the Pineapple Juice?

Let’s chat.

Group hiking in the mountains

Best Experiential Activations of 2015

As we embark on the fourth quarter of 2015, we would like to look back at our favorite unique, extravagant, and immersive experiential activations of the year. We’ve seen giant companies like Bud Light and McDonald’s continue to flex their experiential muscle, as usual, but we’ve also seen a lot of other up and coming companies utilizing experiential to gain market share and create a buzz. We’ve followed along with the experiential trends anywhere from promotional mobile tours, to pop-up shops, to full-blown music festivals, and compiled a list of our four favorite activations, in no particular order:

Panda Express – Food Truck Tour

For decades Panda Express’ most popular dish has been the infamous orange chicken. Even despite the popularity of the delicious chicken, Panda Express decided to gain even more momentum for its brand and thus the #OrangeChickenLove Food Truck Tour was born. From early August till the end of the September the orange chicken food truck embarked on a cross-country 8-city tour handing out free orange chicken and rice samples to all visitors along the eight stops. Along with free food samples, orange chicken loving brand ambassadors snapped pictures of guests, shared posts on social media, and guided guests to play several interactive games to win more prizes.

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Gotham/Fox – Gotham Zip Line

Fox Entertainment wanted to go out with a BANG to advertise for “Gotham,” the new Batman-inspired crime TV series that was released in early 2015. To create hype for the release of the new show, Fox went out to San Diego’s 45th Comic-Con to give a real-life superhero experience to all Comic-Con guests. Through a realistic Gotham City skyline, fans were able to zip-line above buildings, acting as if they were soaring through the sky, on their way to fight crime. The zip-line experience created an immediate adrenaline rush, and those willing to soar through the skies received a memorable photo and a free Gotham t-shirt. To further promote the show over the Comic-Con festival, Fox partnered up with Uber for an advertising promotion that would gain considerable exposure throughout San Diego. Comic-Con goers, who also had Uber, could open up the Uber app and select Gotham PD under the slider to reserve the ride. When the Uber drivers pulled up, fans were immediately surprised as they would be getting free Uber rides in custom, antique style Gotham Police cars. Overall, the activation was an astounding success, resulting in over 6,000 fans soaring through the sky on the zip-line experience and thousands of additional impressions through the Gotham-Uber experience.

Zip

Nike – Pop-up Shoebox

Back in February Nike released its new smartphone app, SNKRS, that allowed consumers to design and customize their own Nike shoes and then purchase and pickup their creation at their local Nike store. To generate buzz for the SNKRS app Nike needed to create a unique and Nike-style activation that would blow consumers’ minds. Within the first few weeks of the app launch, giant Nike shoeboxes started popping up in Los Angeles and New York City. The giant pop-up shoebox store was a completely customer retail store featuring LED exterior walls that mimicked the iconic Nike shoebox design. Inside the store was a very modern retail environment with iPads, TVs, and store fixtures showcasing Nike’s newest shoe releases. Nike employees in the store helped guests use the SNKRS app and showed customers how they could design their sneakers and then share their creation via social media. For true shoe enthusiasts that wanted to purchase shoes, they could design custom sneakers (Air Force 1, Air Max, Foamposite, or Air Jordan’s) and then have the shoes delivered to them in-store through a custom sneaker vending machine. The giant shoebox pop-up store was only in New York City for a week, but it generated thousands of impressions, both for the store and the new app, as well as hundreds of on-site sales.

Upslope Beer – Oktoberfest Lager Release

Colorado craft beer brand, Upslope, was releasing their newest Oktoberfest Lager and they needed a unique way to showcase the beer, the brand, and the numerous connections to Colorado. To position the brand as an after-adventure cold beer reward, they crafted the Backcountry Tap Room, consisting of a hiking, food, beer, and music experience in Winter Park, Colorado. Beer enthusiasts took a 2.3 mile hike through Winter Park to get to the end of the High Lonesome Trail, where a rustic environment was created with a custom bar, tree stump seating, outdoor games, and free beer. Hundreds of Upslope beer fans joined in on the experience to try the new Oktoberfest Lager and those who posted pictures of themselves on social media using the #ApresEverything tag at the event were entered into a contest to win free beer for the year.

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Plan your next activation!

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Ambient Marketing

At The Pineapple Agency, we love any kind of marketing or advertising that pushes the boundaries of the normal, and demolishes the mundane. Lately, we’ve been watching a relatively new and modern form of advertising known as “Ambient Marketing“.

Research has shown that the average person sees between 300-700 marketing messages per day. How many of these messages do you ignore? Have you ever seen an ad that really caught your attention? If so, what about that ad made you stop and take a second look?

What is Ambient Marketing?

Ambient marketing uses the ambient environment as a launching point for creativity and novelty, and spices up any mundane setting with an experiential twist. Though similar to guerilla marketing, ambient marketing is more subtle, and contextually tailors a marketing message or advertisement to its surroundings. All you need to pull off ambient marketing is the right context and a great idea, which will be unusual by default, but also creatively linked with the brand. Ambient Marketing, much like other forms of experiential, has the added benefit of being highly viral. When people catch something subtly out of place, humorous, and unique, they’ll want to tell everyone.

Here are a few of our favorite examples of ambient marketing:

Pepsi Max

Pepsi Max recently deployed a very useful and unique ambient marketing idea targeting music festival audiences, called “The Friend Finder”. The idea was to solve a very simple and common problem among festival goers: losing your friends in the crowd. To do so, Pepsi created an army of friend-finding drones that use GPS and a special app to reunite lost festival goers that were separated from their pack. What did Pepsi get out of it? Some subtle, yet effective brand impressions, and a pretty awesome viral video.

Urban Barn

Canadian retail furniture chain Urban Barn took a stab at Ikea, the big fish in the retail furniture industry, with this incredibly clever and humorous ambient marketing campaign, which they set up on the streets right in front of their stores.

Urban Barn no assembly required ambient marketing

Scotch-Brite

The 3M group brand that makes sponges showcased their cleaning skills with a giant sponge hanging from this very clean building.

Hanging a sign from a building for ambient marketing

The beauty of ambient marketing is that with the right idea, you don’t have to break the bank.

If you’re curious about ambient marketing, guerilla marketing, or experiential marketing of any kind, we’re here to answer your questions.

Let’s chat.

Branding in NYC

Using Current Events to Boost Your Experiential

If you have an internet connection and are reading this blog, chances are you’ve probably heard about this tweet from Oreo that was posted during the 34-minute blackout at the Super Bowl a couple years back. The post was retweeted over 10,000 times in one hour, and ended up earning a much larger payoff than Oreo’s actual Super Bowl TV ad, which cost them millions of dollars. Design work, copy, approval, and posting of this tweet all took place in a matter of minutes.

Social media is all about social commentary, and it rewards brands that are fast, witty, and up-to-speed on current events. Since experiential marketing benefits so much from social media, it’s obvious why many experiential campaigns are built to go viral on social media. Adding some clever social commentary to your experiential marketing (or building your entire campaign around it) is one of the best ways to do so, and can create some amazing results on social media and beyond, supercharging your campaign’s impressions.

A perfect example of using current events in an experiential marketing campaign is actually taking place – you guessed it – right now. Piggy-backing on Apple’s expected announcement of the iPhone 6S at it’s highly anticipated September press event tomorrow, digital agency “6S Marketing” has done something unique, clever, and frankly… silly. They’ve been publicly asking Apple to call the new phone the “iPhone 7” instead. The agency bought billboard space in times square, made a hashtag and website, and even parked a truck out in front of the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan protesting the change.

Camping out in front of the Apple store.
Camping out in front of the Apple store.

At first glance, this seems like a lost cause. Why on earth would one of the largest companies in the world even consider changing the name of their product just to appease a marketing agency? But that’s the beauty – they won’t. Instead, while everyone is searching for “iPhone 6S”, and all eyes are on Apple, 6S Marketing is soaking up just a little of the (albeit very large) limelight. With how well they’ve capitalized on the hype from the rumor mill building up to the announcement of the newest iPhone, we’re looking forward to seeing what they do in the aftermath when Apple predictably calls it the “6S”.

Ready to boost your experiential marketing?

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