If you’ve been anywhere near a Netflix account in recent months, then you’re definitely familiar with the groundbreaking series Stranger Things. This sci-fi sensation has become the second show to reach over a billion views on Netflix, skating just behind Squid Games. This record-breaking achievement has created a tidal wave in the marketing world, forcing brands to reevaluate their strategies altogether.
In fact, Stranger Things has spanned cross-culturally, cross-generationally, and even across multiple brands (like Eggo). It’s gone far beyond what any show on TV has done before: it’s become culturally iconic.
This is largely in part to its experiential marketing campaign. People all over the world want nothing more than to immerse themselves in the creep-tastic world of Stranger Things. Why? Because of brilliant marketing.
What is Experiential Marketing?
So what exactly is experiential marketing? Experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, is a strategy that invites audience members to immerse themselves in a brand.
These experiences are typically hands-on, immersive, sensory, and participatory by nature. Consumers get a chance to see, touch, taste, and feel the brand for themselves. Experiential marketing creates tangible experiences that people won’t forget.
The Stranger Things Experience Changed Everything
The Stranger Things Experience first made its way to Brooklyn, NY in early May, before the show aired in late May. Since then, it’s hit major cities like San Francisco, Atlanta, and London.
The experience takes you through spooky Hawkins, Indiana, where Stranger Things takes place. Fans venture into the Upside Down, where monsters (known as Demogorgons) lurk in the distance. Fans get to interact with their favorite characters and get to fulfill the ultimate hero’s journey.
Because the Experience hit cities before the show aired in late May, the famous show’s views skyrocketed. Experiential marketing satisfies where traditional marketing cannot. It allows people to become a part of the brand, not just passive consumers.
If it weren’t for the ingenuity of experiential marketing, Stranger Things might not have reached its noteworthy billion views.
Experiential Marketing Agencies Create Groundbreaking Marketing Campaigns
Although the Stranger Things Experience wasn’t the first experiential marketing campaign to grace the world, it was a game-changing one.
Many experiential marketing agencies work to create interactive experiences such as this one. The point of these campaigns is that they should reach beyond a typical business or work event. They should be far more interesting. They should feel fresh, exciting, connective, and totally original.
There’s a reason over 65% of brands report better sales when using an experiential strategy. Experiential marketing increases brand awareness, shifts brand perception, connects the brand with its target audience and builds on vital data.
When building a successful experiential marketing campaign, brands should strive for innovative and powerful strategies.
Examples of Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing is like the audience becoming a part of a broadway show’s production. People are no longer just members of an audience. They are actually, and quite literally, now in the show. If you’re curious about how to model yourself after this successful strategy, here are some examples:
1. M&M’s Flavor Rooms
This interactive pop-up experience allowed people to vote on their next flavor. These directly placed customers in a seat of authority, all while offering a fun, sensorial experience.
2. Rick & Morty’s Rickmobile
This traveling pop-up shop based on the animated adult TV show Rick & Morty sold merchandise in a funky Rick-shaped van. As a result, fans waited patiently for the Rickmobile to visit their city. Some even tracked its location for updates.
3. Coca-Cola’s FIFA World Cup VR Experience
To celebrate the 2018 World Cup, the famous soft-drink brand set up an interactive VR game in Zurich. Fans got to play soccer as they waited to travel at Zurich Central Station.
4. Lululemon’s Proud and Present
To commemorate Pride Month and honor their roots in yoga, Lululemon brought an art installation to Hudson River Park. The brand then showcased some of its very own employees. Passersby were inevitably drawn to this installation, and they effectively increased brand awareness as a result.
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