It has brought interactivity and virtual connections between consumers and advertisers in a way traditional media could not bring before. Traditional media has been used and unchanged for decades, but new media has brought a focus towards experiential campaigns. Will experiential campaigns take over from traditional media Experiential marketing is on the rise. Brands are aiming to provide memorable events and engagements with consumers and are starting to focus less on the traditional “features-and-benefits” approach.
To stand out and be on top of the competitive racetrack, brands must focus on experiential marketing (Pine II & Gilmore, 1998). Companies are now starting to view customers as rational and emotional (Schmitt, 1999) and are “more concerned with making the consumer emotionally attached to the product” (Monocle, 2004). This shift of focus from traditional media to experiential media campaigns enables brands to lessen the distance between consumers and increase ongoing emotional attachments and brand loyalty (Monocle, 2004).
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The aim for experiential marketing Meredith Crammer, managing partner of Because Brand Experience says that “This kind of marketing Is about injecting emotion and having conversation and dialogue with your consumer. It’s Interactive and about bringing to life your brand, product and service. The big budget advertising has a lot of wastage, but experiential marketing is about targeting and focus” (Startup’s, The Event Marketing Institute (MME) discovered that companies are spending on experiential campaigns increasingly. Budgets for experiential and event marketing are anticipated to grow by 4. 2%. Unlimited information and communication, wider range of entertainment and industrialization of new media explains the reduction of traditional mass audiences. According to Nielsen, traditional media audiences decreased by 38. 5% while online audiences increased by 17. 1%, 2009-2010. Nielsen also reported that in 2009 9 million Australians were connected to social media sites, and globally, the numbers were twice as much. Today, social media is the second most activity used online globally. There is less popularity on traditional A-B communication, where the producers had all the power and voice while the audiences listened.
The change in genealogy has now enabled consumers to become more empowered with informational choice and voice (Rust & Oliver, 1994). Interaction between consumer and company is now more valuable since the online place has enabled consumers to voice, share experiences and personal opinion to the world. Max Lumbermen, founder of School, experiential marketer & Author, says that “Social media has been a boon to experiential marketing” (Lawyer, 2013). Kate Thomas, One Green Bean’s managing director who worked on Share a Coke says that “If people participate in something, hey will talk about it and share it on social media. The traditional focus of functional benefits no longer applies today since the marketplace is more about brands and brand awareness. As products and services become more branded, companies are focusing more on their image and its links to emotions, entertainment values for customers and communities (Schmitt, ). Companies that simply sell a product and service must realize that it is not effective enough to be on top of the competitive market. To gain a competitive advantage, companies must differentiate themselves by providing experiences.
Today, customers and companies have realized the importance of satisfying customers’ personal needs through experiences (Change & Horn, 2010). Experiences have the ability to make up who we are as human beings and with that, consumers are asking for experiences for knowledge, growth and change. But beyond memorable experiences, consumers want to transform and be different. Technology and communication has not only changed, but consumers now want engaging experiences that are enjoyable and memorable enough to be affected by it (Pine II & Gilmore, 1998).
The focus on nonuser’s sensory, emotional, cognitive endurance, behavioral and relationship needs are important in achieving memorable and rewarding brand experiences. This can be satisfied through a framework that explains how marketers can create customer experiences. This is first discussed from Schmitt (1999), who says there are five types of experiences called sense (five senses), feel, think (creative experiences), act (behaviors and lifestyles) and relate (social-identity).
Many successful experiential campaigns use two or more aspects of this framework and can be potted in two successful experiential campaigns in Australia: Share a Coke and Virgin Mobiles Fair Go Brow. To get Australians attention in a competitive market, Coca-Cola came up with a bottles and cans. This idea aimed to increase consumption of Coca-Cola during summer 2011 by inviting consumers to physically or virtually ‘Share a Coke’ with people currently in their lives and also people they may have lost touch with.
Consumers could physically buy Coke or virtually personalize online to share or SMS a friends name to post live on an electronic Coca-Cola billboard at Sydney Kings Cross. Coke constantly listened to sparks of online conversations and media interests. Due to large amounts of name requests, Coke released 50 new names and in 18 Westfield shopping centers, consumers were encouraged to personalize any name they wanted (Marketing, 2012). Kate Thomas, says that “People queued for hours for this. It was so simple, yet it was so heavily engaging and so popular. ‘Share a Coke’ campaign increased Coke consumption by 7%, positive attitudes and more than 18300000 media impressions (Marketing, 2012). In accordance to Schmitt remark, Coca-Cola has provided sight through images, feelings of connection and togetherness during the summertime and the creative thought of using names on live billboards and bottles and cans. Virgin Mobile Australia’s ‘Fair Go Brow’ is the most successful brand campaign yet. It launched in 2012, July with a video of Doug Pit, an everyday family man and a brother to a celebrity.