32 | The Grocer | 3 December 2011 | www.thegrocer.co.uk EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? Truvia is just one of many brands trying to make a splash using experiential marketing – often with a tangible impact on sales, says Samantha Lyster
www.thegrocer.co.uk | 3 December 2011 | The Grocer | 33W ith a cocktail in one ing the conversations. Black cherry Jim hand and an iPhone Beam brand extension Red Stag is lining in the other, Adam Stewart epitomises Consumers up music-related events at O2 Academies across the country next year after becom- the new holy grail for are no longer ing the music venues’ official shot. And marketers. He’s at St Aunt Bessie’s is planning a campaign Paul’s Church in spectators. They around its recently launched Twitter feedBirmingham, where Jameson Whiskey ishosting a Halloween screening of Alfred demand to be that could see TV ad characters Margaret and Mabel step from the screen into theHitchcock’s The Birds. All the while Stewartis updating his followers on Twitter and participants in real world for brand-building events. The key to creating great brand experi-Facebook. When the 24-year-old ﬁlm buﬀgets home he’ll blog about his experience marketing ence is making sure it is relevant to the target audience and extending its engage-at the Jameson Cult Film Club. The club is one of a growing number campaigns ment by following up with more commu- nication. The best experiential marketingof experiential marketing campaigns uses live and online tactics, believes Chrislaunched by food and drink brands. Next Cowman, head of experiential at Disrupt,year, many more brands will target web- the creative brand experience and eventssavvy consumers like Stewart through arm of marketing agency Reach.innovative event and social media-led “Social media has been used by brandscampaigns – including Red Stag bourbon, to shape events with consumers contrib-Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Aunt Bessie’s. uting to what they want the experience at “Across the board food and drink brands the live event to be,” he says. “We see thisare expanding their campaigns into next synergy between live face-to-face events,year, demonstrating the importance of digital and social media continuing andevent-led marketing,” confirms Chris believe it will begin to work harder forWalsh, business development manager brands and retailers. Combining a deeperat RPM, the marketing agency behind brand experience like an experiential liveSmirnoﬀ’s Nightlife Exchange Project. event with this immediate, more direct So has a tipping point been reached? sales tactic gives brands greater opportu-And if so, how have brands resolved the nity to push shoppers from awareness, tothorny issue of ROI – seen by many as low consideration and conversion.”or impossible to measure and therefore themain barrier to investment in the channel? Getting results There is no doubt that the relatively low Of course, it’s about more than just cre-cost of experiential marketing coupled ating a buzz online. It’s also about ROIwith the ease with which it allows brands and Sandwith feels that many of the oldto target younger consumers has made issues have now been addressed. “Thingsit increasingly potent in the downturn. have changed quickly and signiﬁcantly,”Its rise has also dovetailed with that of he says. “Increasing client accountability,social media. The hope is that consumers competition for budgets and a prolifera-like Stewart will go on to rave about their tion of agencies entering the space haveexperiences with their online friends and all played their role. The key questions ofbecome powerful brand advocates, says reach, impact and value can be answeredSara Gil, strategy and insight director at accurately and quickly.”marketing agency The Lounge Group. Using footfall data and dwell times to “The world is changing because of social move beyond the traditional “opportu-media – there is a hunger for content,” nities to see” data, as well as qualitativeshe adds. “Smartphones have fuelled our research to understand the impact onsocialising any time, anywhere.” brand perceptions and consumer behav- We also expect to be able to interact iour, brands can now robustly evaluate themore directly with our favourite brands. impact of their campaigns across a broad“Consumers are no longer passive specta- range of metrics, says Sandwith.tors of marketing,” says Marcus Sandwith, “By accurately measuring the numberMD of Haygarth. “They now demand to be of consumers engaged and overlaying thisactive participants in brand conversations with the impact on future versus previousand campaigns.” propensity to purchase, we are able to use More and more brands are now start- average customer values, weight of 34
34 | The Grocer | 3 December 2011 | www.thegrocer.co.uk EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING TRUVIA – A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY In July madcap experiential markets and jelly sculptors Bompas & Parr flooded Selfridges’ roof with emerald green water to create a boating lake, complete with a gushing waterfall. The idea behind the lake, which customers could row around on in one of 12 boats while munching sweetened strawberries, was to introduce the public to American sweetener Truvia, which is made from the green stevia plant. Elizabeth Fay, Truvia Europe’s head of external relations and communications, says the event exceeded expectations and that it is looking to do more activity in the new year. 33 purchase and margin data to produce we’ve created an opportunity to inﬂuence This summer, Maxxium UK elected to an ROI over set periods of time,” he adds. consumer perceptions of the brand.” use party organisers End of the World and The brands certainly believe they are With good campaigns, the sales spike is Underground Rebel Bingo to promote its generating tangible ROIs. RPM claims that not necessarily temporary either. Havana new Red Stag brand, launched in May. By Smirnoﬀ spirit sales more than quadru- Club’s Mint Revolution – a campaign in hosting events that would pinpoint the pled when its Nightlife Exchange Project which an app directed drinkers to pop-up right drinkers, Red Stag reached 50,000 – a scheme in which 12 countries swapped ‘mint ﬁeld’ gardens complete with Boom consumers directly and built a following their top clubbing nights with each other Bikes (bike/wheelbarrow/music decks con- through word of mouth. It also made it – brought a Miami pool party and rap act traptions) to sample a Havana Club mojito on to the shelves of all of the big four and N.E.R.D amongst others to London venue – yielded a 120% sales boost at participat- smashed initial expectations of achieving Troxy in November 2010. ing bars. More importantly, Havana Club listings in 500 stores – it’s now in 1,350. Pernod Ricard claims The Jameson Cult sales have remained up 50% since the cam- It wanted to put the limited resources Film Club nights not only created great paign, says The Lounge Group, the agency available to smarter use, says Maxxium theatre, providing plenty of photo oppor- behind the campaign. marketing controller Eileen Livingston. As tunities and entertainment for people to Such results are prompting some to well as teaming up with the O2 Academies, ﬁll their social network pages with, they eschew the traditional advertising route. Red Stag shunned TV, choosing instead to also contributed to a 7.1% rise in values show its commercial online through Chan- sales and a 4.9% hike in volume through nel 4’s 4 On Demand website. “We’re a new the grocery channel in the past year. launch and so we had to optimise our mar- Patrick Venning, head of UK marketing The event has to suit keting budget,” says Livingston. “Research at Pernod Ricard, says it’s the most suc- cessful experiential campaign the com- the brand. People need suggests our target market is watching TV through on-demand services.” pany has ever run. “We’ve seen increases in sales in areas where the events have run to be emotionally More established brands may prefer a more integrated approach. Indeed, says and among consumers who have attended. Critically, the activity has shifted consum- involved because if it Sandwith: “Experiential campaigns are best used as part of, or at the heart of, a ers’ attitudes and driven new consumers to the brand. Through targeting cult ﬁlm goes well its just like a fully integrated campaign – providing an opportunity for consumers to engage fans, rather than simply Jameson fans, mass press trip with and inﬂuence events and for media
www.thegrocer.co.uk | 3 December 2011 | The Grocer | 35to amplify the campaign through boughtand earned media coverage.” He cites the recent Febreze Breathe THE EXPERIENCE COMES TO LIFEHappy Experiment, in which real peoplewere led blindfolded into situations (dirty COURVOISIER’S DICKENSkitchens, rooms in which dogs had been PUNCH TOURkept, etc) and asked what they could smell. Courvoisier attributes its market share growthBecause the rooms had been sprayed with (last year it had 57% of the brandy market – thisFebreze, the response was consistently year it’s 65%) to its experiential-led push thatpositive. “Total footfall was over 700,000 put punch at the heart of its marketing tactics.with huge reach achieved through social Last year, it launched the Dickens Punch Tour,media and the press,” he says, adding that which has been brought back for a second runthe event resulted in a 37% increase in the on a larger scale this December. The ticketedconsumer’s propensity to buy Febreze. event involves an interactive hour-long walking Another example of this approach can tour of Dickensian London, culminating in drinksbe found in this summer’s Häagen-Dazs at Courvoisier’s very own Old Curiosity Shop.mini-cups campaign, an integrated pressand events initiative co-developed byShaz Smilansky, co-founder of market- G – BRING OUT YOUR INNERing agency Blazinsta. At events such as ROCK STARThe Clothes Show and Goodwood Vintage This May, the chocolate dessert brand installedFair, Häagen-Dazs photographed women an oversized drum kit (an interactive poster) justwhom they considered had perfect taste. off Tottenham Court Road in London for a dayThe nation can now vote for their most and invited the public to play it. It filmed peoplestylish women on Facebook. “auditioning” and uploaded the content to YouTube with the aim of getting the participantsEmotional involvement to encourage their social networks to view theThe cost of such campaigns can vary footage. The person with the most views waswildly, of course. Sam Bompas – one half of then rewarded with a £200 Virgin Experienceoddball experiential marketing duo Bom- voucher.pas & Parr – says the cost of a live experi-ence starts at about £20,000 but really itdepends on how much the brand is willing MO T’S FIREWORKS HITto spend. In July, Bompas & Parr ﬂooded MANCHESTERthe roof of Selfridges to create a ‘voyage of Last November, Mo t & Chandon partnereddiscovery’ for the US sweetener Truvio as with Manchester City Council to put on a hugepart of a £5m campaign that included press fireworks display during the switching on of theads. Red Stag, meanwhile, has forked out city centre’s Christmas lights. As part of this£1m on its marketing. activity, a Mo t branded light show was beamed But Bompas sounds a note of caution. onto Manchester Town Hall. The show was“The event has to suit the brand’s person- broadcast on regional television and videoality otherwise it will not connect with footage of the Mo t content was uploaded tothe consumer,” he says. “You want people YouTube and Facebook by members of theto be emotionally involved in the experi- public.ence because if it goes well, then it is justlike organising a mass press trip.” If theevent turns out to be a damp squib, nega- RED STAG – BOURBON BINGOtive blogs, tweets and other online feed- Red Stag, made with four-year-old Jim Beamback could easily damage a brand. If it’s bourbon whiskey and infused with a naturala success it will yield incredibly valuable black cherry flavour, partnered with a series ofreturns – positive word of mouth. cult party organisers over the summer, notably As Stewart blogged: “The Jameson cock- Underground Rebel Bingo. The bourbon wastails were lovely. I enjoyed the complete served at the nights from chilled shot machinesproduction Jameson put on as well as the in branded glassware and Rebel Bingo playersﬁlm itself. I would thoroughly recommend were offered the chance to win Red Stag prizes.others to attend a Cult Film Club night.” It was supported with a social media campaign Now that’s the sort of feedback money on both the Red Stag and The Undergroundcan’t buy. Rebel Bingo Club Facebook and Twitter pages.