By Lisa Major
Experiential marketing is defined as a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand or a brand experience (Wikipedia). Through face-to-face engagement, experiential accomplishes something that no other form of marketing can do – it creates an impactful and memorable impression. But as history proves, brands did not need technology to pull this off or flashy experiences. Instead, they relied on consumer engagement, visual cues, and sampling to get their messages across. In this week’s Happy Hour, we take a look back at the history of experiential marketing. We also feature the top experiential campaigns of the year and discover how experiential marketing experts are adapting to the new norm.
Though many may think of experiential marketing as a new concept that popped up in the 1990s, it has been around since the late 1800s, maybe longer. As we discovered in a previous article, the first examples of experiential marketing were from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Brands like Wrigleys and Cracker Jack showcased and sampled their products, while two smaller companies debuted and demonstrated brand new products – a ready-mix pancake mix and a life-changing appliance dubbed the dishwasher. Experiential continued to evolve throughout the years with more creative tactics such as branded vehicles, street marketing, and retailtainment experiences. In this article, we will take a look back at the history of experiential marketing from the late 1800s to the present day.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experiential marketing looks a lot different than it did this time last year. Organizations and brands have been faced with numerous challenges over the past several months, from event cancellations to adapting to the new norm of virtual events. But as we wait patiently for the return of live events, we can celebrate the amazing and mind-blowing campaigns from the previous year. Even though Event Marketer’s Experiential Marketing Summit is rescheduled, the 2020 EX Awards were presented in a virtual gala this week. Here, Event Marketer presents the best experiential marketing campaigns of the year!
Canceled, pivot, virtual…When we look back, these are words that will forever remind experiential marketers of the year 2020. As the pandemic settled into the U.S., events were canceled, and many went virtual. Virtual events are a new concept for most, and there has certainly been a learning curve. But as we settle into the new norm of the industry, event professionals are looking ahead to the future and the return of physical events. In this article, Agency EA recaps a recent roundtable discussion where experiential marketing professionals from four leading brands weigh in on the current climate of events, as well as what the future holds.
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