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Q&A Thought Leadership: Unlocking the Power of Experiential Marketing

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Q&A Thought Leadership: Unlocking the Power of Experiential Marketing

  

  Doug Dunkin is   Senior VP of Experiential Marketing and  leads the experiential integration with all of The Marketing Arm’s practices, including Entertainment, Sports, Cause, Digital, Social, Promotions, Multicultural, and  Shopper Marketing.

Q: TMA is all about harnessing emotion. How does emotion factor into creating a memorable brand  experience?

A: Evoking desired emotions is a vital part of any brand ed experience.

Consumers want to be stimulated, entertained, educated, creatively challenged and  most importantly emotionally affected. It is through these desires that brand s and  marketers effectively engage consumers to move them through the purchase funnel.

The emotional connection created through brand ed experiences acts as bridge to a consumer’s core identity. When staged correctly, these emotional bridges unlock reservations and  open consumers’ hearts and  minds to new possibilities. Once unlocked, we’re able to transport consumers to a desired frame-of-mind, and  place them in the center of the brand  story.  These experiences gratify consumers’ need for emotional satisfaction, as well as create image-shaping footprints that help create short-term and  long-term favorable sentiment and  loyalty to a brand .

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Q: How are technology trends shaping experiential delivery?

A: On a macro-level, if I were to answer this question 10 years ago, by comparison I’d say it has little impact on our space, other than some behind-the-scenes operational advancements or website integrations. 5 years ago, I’d say we’re pushing technology – utilizing technology experiences to send consumers to micro-sites to download and  share a photo from a brand ed event – but somewhat still forced, as the adoption of smart phones and  social media platforms were low.  However, today, we’re 100% being pulled by technology – in organic and  natural or seamless ways.  Technology today is no longer that cool, unique component of an event that attracts consumers; rather it is the new norm.  Consumers come to events expecting to engage with our brand s through both physical and  digital means, and  we need to be prepared to facilitate these expectations.

On a micro-level, the evolution of technology has shaped the “Who,” the “What,” and  the “How” of brand ed experiences.

The “Who”

We’re in an age where we can literally select the consumers we want to engage.  Through social media platforms and  influencer identification tools, we can now very effectively and  efficiently identify the consumers that have the highest Reach, Relevance and  Resonance – relative to a brand ’s marketing objectives.

By micro-targeting our consumers, we’re able to create richer experiences that carry more relevance and  ultimately deliver higher marketing investment returns.

The “What”

There is no clear line between where physical experiences end digital experiences begin. It’s the convergence of technology and  the shift of consumer application of technology that has blurred these lines.  We no longer live in an online/offline world – we’re always online. For that reason the “What” has become a petri dish of digital and  physical experimentation and  innovation within the experiential marketing space.

The “How”

There are some fascinating and  very engaging technologies that are becoming commonplace within our space, however we never start with the technology.  Possibilities of how to engage are endless, therefore we always start with the consumer, and  ask what story do we want them to experience.  From there we use technology to help us tell that story.  Through this approach we’re often playing in technological places that may not exist yet.

As a result, we no longer force technology into an experience, rather we seamlessly integrate it where consumers intuitively use it to facilitate and  elevate a brand  experience.

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Q: Give an example of an effective experiential marketing campaign. 

A: Effective experiential marketing campaign has the following characteristics:

  • Tells a story worth sharing
  • Creatively brings a brand  to life across all 5 senses
  • Is amplifiable beyond the first-person
  • It’s effectiveness is measurable and  delivers positive marketing value

There are many great examples – from varying size and  budgets – but the program I’m most proud of and  feel accomplished all the objectives was   Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D Land  launch event.

  

On November 12, 2011, Times Square became fully immersed in Super Mario 3D Land . From the real-life world that brought the 3D elements of the game to life to the digital integrations with an ABC SuperSign takeover and  online video content, consumers and  reporters from around the world had the opportunity to experience the launch of this new title for the Nintendo 3DS.

To open the event, an acrobatic group of “mass Marios” performed for the media, providing video and  photo opportunities. Joining reporters for the opening performance was Jon Bon Jovi and  his family.

Once the event officially opened, media and  consumers were given   Mario Tanooki ears and  tails and  then had the opportunity to literally step into the game through a life-sized Nintendo 3DS unit where they could run, jump and  slide through Mario’s World. Trampolines triggered iconic game sounds as people jumped for a coin or Question Mark block and  massive sound-filled warped pipes transitioned into the flagpole finale for a photo opportunity. After exploring the 3D world, people could go to the sampling tent for a hand s-on trial of new game prior to it officially hitting shelves the next day.

We amplified the on-site and  online experiences with key digital integrations. Within Times Square, the ABC Jumbotron displayed Super Mario 3D Land  content and  live event tweets that earned consumers free slices of Mario-themed pizza.  Additionally, we posted the   time-lapse video of the event build-out and  an   event video capturing the overall consumer experience to Nintendo’s YouTube Channel that continues to be viewed and  enjoyed today.

 

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