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”.

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