Experiential efforts deserve recognition

The Engage Awards 2011 sees several new trophies added to the line up – including one for experiential campaigns.

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Unilever’s ice-cream smile machine

The award recognises the increasingly valuable role that experiential marketing is playing in engaging potential customers and helping develop an emotional response to a brand.

The past year has seen a number of companies develop clever campaigns that allowed the public to interact directly with a brand and experience a tangible “wow factor”. Often the final push to purchase for a customer comes from engaging all the senses and enjoying physical interaction with a product.

Examples of brands that have been innovative in the field recently include Britvic, with its touchscreen vending machines for Juicy Drench that rewarded customers with a free drink if they managed a series of mental challenges.

Unilever also garnered lots of coverage with its Wall’s ice cream vending machine that used face-reading technology to encourage customers to smile. With permission, the machine took a photo which was then uploaded to Facebook. The company says that the innovation was part of the strategy for its ice cream brands, which is to encourage people to share small moments of happiness.

And Ferrero Rocher embraced the spirit of Christmas last December in an experiential way with a Christmas tree made of 2,500 golden baubles resembling wrapped chocolate in three shopping centres. The company carried out sampling activity alongside the “trees” with models wearing outfits in Ferrero Rocher colours of brown and gold distributing neatly wrapped boxes. A live element was created when Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, also dressed in gold, hosted a concert at Westfield shopping mall in London.

The Ferrero Rocher initiative illustrated how social media is also becoming part of experiential activity and allows the campaign to live “beyond the moment”, as clips of the Holden concert circulated virally via YouTube.

For the purposes of the Engage Awards 2011, the category covers live branded events, experiential and field marketing executions. If you’ve developed work you are proud of and that you know has made a difference to brand perception and sales then make sure you enter this category. Find the Engage Awards entry form here.

For more on experiential marketing read this feature.

The 2011 Engage Awards ceremony in May will be the biggest party of the year. Come and be a part of it. Visit www.marketingweekawards.co.uk to enter

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