Experiential marketing can be a powerful tool to connect with your target audience, forge meaningful relationships, and create lasting brand loyalty. Brand experiences or experiential activations focus on getting people to interact with your brand, product or service in a fun or immersive way. 

In this blog, we’ll cover what experiential marketing is, the top experiential marketing trends, and 8 of the best experiential marketing campaigns to inspire you to run your own activation. 


What is experiential marketing?

First things first, you might be unsure what experiential marketing actually is. Experiential (sometimes called engagement) marketing is all about creating memorable experiences where consumers can interact with your brand as part of your wider marketing strategy. These events could be in-person, virtual or hybrid events. Some might be a one-off live event that lasts a few hours, while others might be hybrid experiences that last several weeks or months. 


Top experiential marketing trends

  • Hybrid experiences: More and more brands are creating hybrid experiences to reach consumers in-person and online. This means experiential activations can reach a wider audience and aren’t limited to a specific physical location.
  • VR and AR: Many experiential marketing campaigns now use both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This allows companies to offer immersive experiences where consumers can interact with their brand in a fun and interactive way.
  • Personalised experiences: Using data-driven insights, many brands now create tailored activations to engage with consumers in a more meaningful and personal way.
  • User-generated content: Many experiential events are now designed with social media sharing and user-generated content in mind with branded hashtags and photo opportunities. This encourages consumers to share their experiences, amplifying the initial activation’s reach.

Now you know what experiential marketing is and the most recent trends, we’ll get into our list of the most inspirational experiential campaigns. For each example, we’ll explain why this event was effective and the key takeaways you can apply to your own experiential marketing efforts. 


1. Red Bull: Stratos

Red Bull has always been at the forefront of experiential marketing and brand experiences, but one of their most effective approaches was their Stratos campaign. They partnered with Felix Baumgartner, a skydiver from Austria, to set the world record for the highest skydive – 128,000 feet or 24 miles above the Earth’s surface. The entire event was streamed online on YouTube to over 8 million views (a record in itself).

Key takeaways

Suspense can be a powerful tool when it comes to experiential events. Consider how you offer your audience something new, exciting or unusual so they’ll be more likely to engage and remember your brand.


2. Lean Cuisine: #WeighThis

Lean Cuisine’s #WeighThis campaign was an effective example of experiential marketing that was focused on sending a message rather than blatantly promoting a product. The campaign invited women to ‘weigh in’ in Grand Central Station, but instead of being weighed, they were given a board to write down how they wanted to be weighed. Most women focused on their achievements rather than aspects of their body image. 

Although the experience was branded (complete with a branded hashtag), none of the participants interacted with any Lean Cuisine products, sending a powerful message that the women’s accomplishments were more important than how they looked. The entire campaign led to a 33% increase in positive brand perception, showing how powerful this approach was.

Key takeaways

Sometimes, building a brand experience about the message you want to send is more powerful than centring it around a product or service. This is particularly effective if you’re trying to increase brand awareness, foster brand loyalty or improve the perception of your brand.


3. Benefit Cosmetics: A Lashtastic Virtual-Media Campaign

During the pandemic, Benefit Cosmetics had to create a virtual experience to promote its new Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara as most stores were closed. This was challenging as most consumers like to test new makeup products before purchasing. 

Benefit created an immersive experience where users could find tokens and exchange them for discounts or prizes. Using augmented reality, users would use their phones to find these tokens in their physical space. This strategy proved incredibly effective, with a conversion rate of over 50%.

Key takeaways 

Think about creating a fun and engaging experience that’s fun whether or not the users go on to purchase your product. Using AR can be a powerful way to gamify virtual experiences and make them feel as real as possible. 


4. Misereor: Charity Donation Billboard

German relief NGO Misereor decided to capitalise on people’s reliance on contactless payments with its charitable giving billboard, called SocialSwipe. 

They installed digital posters in airports which displayed images related to problems they work to solve, such as a loaf of bread to represent hunger. The screens were equipped with a card reader, and when a card was swiped (costing them a small fee), the image moved. For example, one board made it look like the card was cutting a slice of bread (therefore helping to solve the issue of hunger).

The user’s bank statement had a thank you note and a link with the option to turn their one-off donation into a monthly payment. By coordinating with banks, Misereor ensured that users were reminded of their experience and prompted to take a second action. 

Key takeaways

This campaign showcases the power of partnering with other companies to create a memorable and lasting experience. By showing users clearly what their money would do and offering a simple way to turn their payment into a monthly contribution, Misereor made it easier for users to give to their charity.  


5. Fortnite: Virtual Concert

During the pandemic, Fortnite created a series of virtual concerts, with one concert attracting over 12 million live attendees. They created a highly realistic CGI avatar of Travis Scott, fully embedded in the game world with dancing and special effects. This event was the first of its kind and offered a new way for people to experience both music and video games. 

Key takeaways 

Consider how you can use visual media to create an experiential activation that will impact your target audience, even after the event has ended. This is especially important if you’re trying to create a buzz around your brand or attract new customers. 


6. Kit-Kat: Free No WiFi Zone

In Amsterdam, KitKat installed outdoor branded benches that blocked all signals within a 5-meter radius, creating ‘Free No Wifi Zones’. A play on their slogan, ‘Have a break…have a KitKat’, these benches offered a space for people to sit, chat or read a book without any of the usual technological distractions. 

Key takeaways:

Think about how your brand could create an experience based on your slogan or message. Although creating a product-focused activation can be a great way to boost sales, you can also try running a memorable event that engages people and communicates a core element of your brand.  


7. Globetrotter: Bad Weather Chamber

Outdoor brand Globetrotter created an in-store ‘bad weather chamber’ where customers could try out their gear in bad weather conditions. The chamber could simulate wind chill, freezing low temperatures, and monsoon rain. This gave consumers a chance to put Globetrotter’s gear to the ultimate test and have fun at the same time. 

Key takeaways

Finding a fun and memorable way to prove the quality of your products can be an extremely effective approach to experiential marketing. This allows you to run an experiential activation focused on your products without being overly promotional.  


8. Ikea: Furniture Climbing Challenge

IKEA celebrated the opening of France’s 30th store with a rock-climbing wall featuring IKEA furniture. People in Clermont-Ferrand, where the new store was located, loved climbing, so this activation was tailored to those who would experience it. This campaign was incredibly effective at creating a buzz around the new store and offered a fun experience to everyone who was involved in the event.

Key takeaways

Understanding your target audience is essential to running a successful experiential activation. Think about creating a tailored experience designed to engage consumers and stand out to passers-by.


Need help with your experiential marketing?

If you’re thinking about running your experiential marketing campaign, it can be tricky to get it right. At Another Way, we create bespoke brand experiences that are designed to connect with your target audience in a fun and meaningful way. Our unique brand-infused events leverage storytelling and emotions to create lasting brand loyalty which extends beyond the initial event.

Our founder, Andrew, has been in the Experiential Marketing industry for over a decade. He’s created successful promotional and experiential campaigns for brands, like Ferrero and Airbnb, that drive real and long-lasting results. 

Whether you’re looking to create an event to promote the launch of a new product or run an influencer experience to build brand awareness, we have access to a global network of contacts and a trusted roster of talent. Our expert team will handle all elements of your experiential activation, from the planning to execution and post-event evaluation. 

We offer:

  • Brand strategy and identity consultations 
  • Physical, digital and hybrid experiences
  • Brand partnerships
  • Experiential activations and events 
  • Location and venue sourcing 
  • Travel, logistics and event management 
  • Post-event evaluations

If you’d like our help with your experiential marketing campaign, our team can help. Call us at 0778 948 5123 or email us at prizeteam@another-way.co.uk to learn more about how we do brand experiences differently. 

Or complete our online form, and a member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as they can.