True magic happens when brands take people into an immersive design experience. Unique, emotional and interactive experiences are remembered far longer and create stronger connections between brands and its target. We are living in the era where consumers shop for stories and brands sell connections.
ADAM KLINE: Hi, I’m Adam Kline, Agency Director at JUICE Pharma Worldwide, and I’m here to talk to you today about experiential marketing at South by Southwest. Today, we live in an attention economy. Attention is the commodity that brands are fighting for. Consumers are no longer buying products or things; they’re buying experiences and stories. Successful brands are now selling connection and empathy. Successful brands are creating dynamic conversations with their consumers, and their consumer voice is now overlapping with the brand voice.
Brands are now creating brand activation events, large, live events that are meant to grab and hold on to the consumer’s attention and to create more meaningful connections with those consumers. Brand evangelists are invited to these events, they are treated like VIPs and they are encouraged to speak for the brand. Every consumer has a strong opinion as to what the value of a brand is, and these brand activation events give them an opportunity to share that. One panelist described it as giving the keys to the car to the consumer and letting them drive.
These events are happening in all industries. I saw panels from HBO talking about an event that they’re hosting here at South by Southwest to promote their show Westworld. I saw another panelist from Brazil who works for a brewery who created events where they brought water to an impoverished community, and used the event to connect to their consumers. Finally, I saw another panelist from Louis Vuitton talking about how the content from one event was enough to fuel a campaign for six months.