The world of advertising has seen huge changes in recent years, with more and more agencies focussing their efforts on experiential campaigns rather than the more traditional channels. We are now living in the age of experience economy, where possessions are the norm and it is our day to day encounters and life events that we value highest. Therefore, content marketing is no longer about giving away a free whitepaper or adding value through video. It is about creating an interactive, unique and, above all, socially shareable experience for your audience.
Not only do relevant and unique experiential campaigns help to build brand trust and loyalty, they have also shown very high conversion rates. Where standard print or broadcast campaigns have large reach but typically low conversion and amplification, created live events have the opposite. With a more targeted reach, they generate very high recall which in-turn creates higher conversions. Through social sharing, be it managed content or influenced content, experiential advertising essentially turns your audience into your promoters.
We recently caught up with John Yorke, Creative Director at Fold 7, to find out how they go about creating their amazing campaigns. Fold 7 are the agency behind the incredibly successful ‘Probably the best…’ campaign for Carlsberg. This involved the ‘Probably the best poster’ experience where they created a billboard poster that gave away a free half pint to anyone who attended. The campaign picked up international PR and social media coverage.
How do you come up with (and settle on) an idea for an experiential campaign?
At Fold7 we always aim to create what we call Everyday Magic. Experiential is the perfect medium for this as you can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary in an immediate and impactful way. For the re-launch of Carlsberg 'Probably' line in the UK we wanted to bring the promise of 'Probably the best' to life in a way that consumers could experience themselves, and so the 'Probably the best poster' was born. What the poster was highly successful in achieving was the delivery of an on the ground experience that was magical enough for people not only to engage with on the street, but also want to share on social media.
How was the budget decided on?
As with most things, budget is allocated in broad-brush strokes across the areas at the beginning of the campaign development, then there is usually some flexibility as those ideas come to life. With ‘Poster’, we made the idea fit the budget by keeping the actual activity relatively short – just one late afternoon into sunset.
How did you pick your location?
With ‘Poster’ there were a lot of elements to consider. Primarily, we wanted a location that would attract an audience who would be highly likely to be active on social media. We also needed a central location that was convenient for press to come to and experience. As we were serving alcohol, the location also needed to be controllable and private with an aesthetic that looked like it could be on any city street. The perfect location turned out to be a space in the Truman Brewery in London’s Brick Lane.
How did you measure success?
Here success was measured by reach and engagement on social media. We had over 3 million impressions that included the #Probably hashtag on the day of the event and reach hit over 60 million globally within a week. Traditional titles such as The Guardian and The Sun picked it up in the UK and international titles such as Time and GQ covered it in the US and beyond. It even made the ‘front page of the internet’ happily heading up the home page of Reddit.
What makes a good experiential campaign?
A good experiential campaign is not only a great experience for the consumer on the ground, it remains an exciting and engaging experience when the story of that experience is told beyond the activity itself. You can’t just think about footfall at the event, you want as many people as possible to really enjoy it.
As with all campaigns, the key with any experience advertising is to ensure there is value for your customer and a link to your brand. Always start with audience insight and do your research. Make sure your location and concept is right so you can truly target your customers and create an emotional connection with them.