Experiential Marketing Is All About Lasting Impressions
I’m not a car guy. Not since 1977, when I, like every other kid in America, was awestruck by the big-screen debut of the Bandit’s Firebird Trans-Am, has my head been turned by whatever is the latest hottest thing on wheels.
A good mobile, though . . . that’s a different story.
There’s the Batmobile. The Blues Mobile. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. These are the apex of automotive cool. You can keep James Bond’s Aston Martin DB9; give me the Pontiff’s Pope Mobile (part gondola lift, part Bubble Boy’s home).
Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the classic bullpen cars they used in old Shea Stadium to taxi relief pitchers into a ballgame — golf carts shaped like a baseball with an oversized cap for a roof. I don’t remember every Ferrari that’s left me in the dust, but I do know that, to date, I’ve had three Wienermobile sightings (hot rods are nowhere near as memorable as a spotting a 27-foot hot dog on wheels in your rear view mirror).
I would imagine people feel the same way in the presence of the Bootmobile: the 13.5-foot-high replica of L.L. Bean’s signature boot. It must be stirring to see that big ol’ size 747 out for a stroll (the Bootmobile boot, by the way, would fit a person 143 feet tall – 32 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, though she’s more the open-toed type).
In a way, the Bootmobile represents the very sole of experiential marketing: It’s more than creating a single sale; it’s creating a connection between customer and brand, a positive association that has the potential to stay with someone even longer than the memory of a billboard ad, a radio spot or a television commercial.
For all manner of products, experiential marketing is becoming an increasingly vital way of engaging consumers. A study released last summer noted that 87% of consumers believe live event experiences are more effective in presenting a brand than traditional advertising, and 98% acknowledged that a live event drives them to make a purchase.
Which is why experiential marketing has long been a big part of what we do. Some of our most memorable and effective campaigns over the years have been the ones conceived and executed by our Newbridge LIVE! division. Programs like the one we recently did with Contiki, a travel experience company geared toward millennials travels. We set up shop on several college campuses and picked up unsuspecting students in rickshaws, then carted them all over the world. We carried them off to Australia (an area where we’d stationed a didgeridoo player) and on to Italy (where we had an opera singer) and Brazil (where we had Carnival dancers). Students who might have been reluctant to travel before were inspired by Contiki’s creative introduction.
At CES 2016, we gave people a feel for the GenZe electric scooter. It’s one thing to read or watch video of this increasingly popular transportation option. It’s another thing entirely to sit on the GenZe and experience it for yourself. Traditional marketing can tell you what makes this new ride so fun; experiential marketing literally puts you in the driver’s seat so you can feel it for yourself.
In future blogs, we’ll talk more about our expanding efforts in the world of experiential marketing. We’ll introduce some of our brand ambassadors, whose passion and expertise are so important in helping inspire that positive association between person and product.
We’ll even let you know where and when to attend one of our L.L. Bean events, so you can check out the Bootmobile and see for yourself how experiential marketing can be any company’s best foot forward.
David Seigerman has two new books out this fall,
Take Your Eye Off The Ball 2.0 (Triumph Books) and
Quarterback: The Toughest Job in Pro Sports (Triumph Books),
the first ebook in the Real Football Network’s Go Deeper series.
Follow him at @dseigs18.