Idea envy. When it comes to conceptualizing experiential marketing campaigns, the struggle can be real. Some examples are so over-the-top awesome, they leave you frustrated with your own project, scratching your head and thinking “Why didn’t I think of that!?”
At MC², we think that little ping of jealousy is actually your own creative juices starting to flow. Whether you’re researching experiential marketing in preparation for a big event, or just looking for cool ideas, these 6 inspirational campaign examples are sure to give you the spark you need to push your ideas even further.
Here are some of our favorite—and most successful—experiential marketing examples.
6 Inspirational Experiential Marketing Campaigns
1. Magnum Ice Cream’s Soho Pop-Up
The Big Idea: Ice cream is never a difficult sell, but communicating indulgence to customers with high expectations takes more than just a taste test. Unilever’s premium ice-cream brand, Magnum, asked MC² to help build a luxury ice cream pop-up on the streets of SoHo Manhattan. The decadent experience combined glittering toppings, high-end decor, and scent scapes in order to provide the discerning crowd with an oasis that felt more five-star hotel than $5 ice cream bar.
Why It Worked: Magnum’s “create your own indulgence” pop-up shop used touch, sight, scent, and of course, taste in order to elicit an emotional response from its audience. This was no ordinary ice cream bar – it was an indulgent experience. The high-end décor, exceptional service, and over-the-top treats helped Magnum’s guests associate their ice-cream bars with a thoroughly pleasurable moment in time.
2. Lexus Drift Roulette
The Big Idea: If you think playing roulette in Las Vegas is a heart-pounding experience, try playing “drift roulette” in a Lexus IS F with World Drifting Champion, Ken Gushi. To create an unforgettable moment that coincided with the launch of their new luxury vehicle, MC² helped Lexus build a thrilling demonstration that paired a game of roulette with a daring driving demonstration. We’re talking a 60 foot in diameter Roulette wheel packed with Lexus branded items and experiences up for grabs. Guests got to watch Gushi drift around the wheel and then scored a prize based on wherever those front wheels stopped.
Why It Worked: A first of its kind, Drift Roulette was pure fun and pure adrenaline. Just like the Lexus IS F, this experience got people’s hearts racing and pulled them right into the action by building a strong emotional association between product and feeling. Not only that, the demonstration showcased the car’s phenomenal handling with each drift around this larger-than-life take on a classic game.
3. Toyota Ever Better
The Big Idea: Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda had a huge idea. In order to make his cars better than ever, he would get his 300,000+ engineers up from their desks and out on the open road. That’s how The Five Continents Driving Project was born. As the leader of Ever Better, the North American tour, MC² helped take drivers from Mexico to Canada on an 18,000 mile journey through some of the world’s toughest driving conditions. From busy cities to California’s death valley to the icy back roads of Canada and Alaska, the epic expedition served as a way to collect feedback, while promoting their vehicles. The epic sensory experience allowed Toyota to share footage and stories with the world.
Why it worked: This campaign worked on two levels. First, it upped employee engagement and morale by letting Toyota’s valued engineers feel and enjoy the product they created. Second, it connected potential customers to both the brand and its engineers by allowing them to feel the excitement through their eyes.
4. Canon’s Imagine Journey
The Big Idea: Every five years, MC² helps Canon showcases its most exciting new products, prototypes and emerging technologies at New York’s Javits Center. But in order to stay in sync with Canon’s rapidly-advancing technology, each showcase has to be even more exciting than the last. The Imagine Journey delivered on Canon’s promise of pure tech giddiness by creating a 145,000 square foot immersive experience that guided people through a futuristic world full of Canon’s technology.
Why it worked: As a leading tech brand, Canon needed a way to show people the potential of their technology and get them excited for a future full of amazing possibilities. From fun simulated sports games to revolutionary camera advancements, and so much more, Canon got gave their audience a taste test of what the future holds, all through intelligently designed and well-executed exhibits.
5. Nokia Bell Labs Raw Space
The Big Idea: Speaking of old ideas, streaming music isn’t as exciting as it used to be. But thanks to MC²‘s collaboration with Nokia Bell technology and British singer Beatie Wolfe, the online launch of an album is no longer a passive experience. Enter Raw Space, the world’s first real-time, 360-degree streaming experience. Using augmented reality within the Nokia Bell Lab’s completely silent anechoic chamber, MC² built a fully immersive, multi-sensory live stream that brought Beatie Wolfe’s audience into her album in a way that neither digital music or live concerts had done before.
Why It Worked: With a groundbreaking artistic album such as Raw Space, a quiet digital launch just didn’t feel right. Bell Lab’s amazing technology gave listeners an experience that complimented the album’s emotions and helped them get lost in the sounds. Feeling the music on a deeper level helped them connect to the artist in a way that headphones alone just can’t do. That emotional connection and sensory memory helped up sales for Wolfe, and get people talking about the amazing potential of Nokia technology in the music world.
6. Cisco Songdo Innovation Center
The Big Idea: New Songdo City in South Korea is one of the world’s first smart cities, with Cisco technology at its core. If you think the world is interconnected now, just wait until your home is connected to your favorite coffee shop to your office to your gym. Hard to imagine? Cisco’s Innovation Center brings that city of the future to life, taking visitors through eight vignettes of Songdo’s futuristic infrastructure. From transportation to education and security, the Innovation Center is New Songdo’s hub, which keeps all that interconnectivity humming along smoothly.
Why It Worked: When you’re on the cutting-edge of tech, you need more than words to describe what the future holds. People need to experience it. And that’s exactly what the Songdo Innovation Center did for South Korean government officials and business leaders. Seeing how smart cities will run first-hand means rich opportunities to dream big while experiencing real-world solutions of Cisco’s products.
Remember, not all activations need to be groundbreaking in order to be effective. The secret to successful experiential marketing activations lies in avoiding unnecessary bells and whistles and focusing your attention on accomplishing something concrete. When armed with the right information and the right partners, anyone can design an intelligent campaign that accomplishes their goals and reaches their audience on a deeper, more emotional level.
And we’re here to show you how to make a difference.
Contact us today to get your next impactful experiential event started.