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Engaging Audiences via Storytelling - the Key to Successful Experiential

Can you remember your first trip abroad? Or how you broke that bone that time? We love stories and at any given opportunity we consume them and want to share them. Whether it’s in conversation, over social media, or in a text - we always want to share our experiences.

Marketing too, is a form of storytelling. Brands share stories that they feel consumers will buy into – traditionally via print and more recently digital. However today, according to EMI & Mosaic, 77% of marketers are using experiential marketing as a vital part of a brand’s marketing strategy.

23rd ‍‍‍January 2018

77% of marketers are using
experiential marketing
as a vital part of a brand’s
marketing strategy.

Having worked as a brand ambassador periodically over the last 4 years, I’ve seen several experiential campaigns that have been incredible - and others that haven’t gone so well. So, what exactly is it that makes a successful experiential campaign? This is a question I’ve asked myself many times and the answer is always the same: a good story that is genuinely connected to the brand and has a purpose. Without this, it’s not worth the effort.

In a recent study from Hill Holliday it was suggested that consumers are willing to pay up to 64% more for a product that has a story behind it - and a good example of a brand linking their products’ story to an experiential campaign, is Cadbury. Having first introduced the ‘Milk Tray Man’ back in 1968, the chocolatiers marked the Milk Tray 100th Anniversary by introducing their new modern day Milk Tray Man with an immersive brand experience. Consumers, or ‘operatives’ as they were called, were invited to take part in a series of activities to help the Milk Tray Man complete his mission - this was then followed by the premier of the new Cadbury TV advert.

Another factor ‍‍‍is that it’s also important to integrate experiential campaigns within wider marketing strategies. Consumers taking part in an experience are likely to soon forget it if there are no other methods in place. I believe it’s key for the brand to engage with consumers in a coherent way before the experiential campaign, to spike their curiosity and make them more receptive to the experience; and also following on from the campaign, to keep the brand at the forefront of the consumer’s mind - seemingly ubiquitous.

With the increasing use of experiential marketing it is however meaning marketers can no longer rely on monitoring the success of their campaigns by conventional ROIs – incredibly valuable one-to-one brand interactions are unfortunately not directly translatable into sales figures. Experiential is more about the bigger, and longer term, picture. It’s about growing brand awareness and advocacy, generating leads, and establishing market prowess – and it’s these elements that allow us as marketers to monitor objectives, rather than solely revenue.


Event Marketing Institute / Mosaic: Experiential Marketing Content Benchmarking Report
eventmarketer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016EventTrackExecSummary.pdf

Origin: How Storytelling is Helping Brands Sell More Products
adweek.com/brand-marketing/infographic-how-storytelling-helping-brands-sell-more-products-175524/

collab-ed, an award-winning international creative agency: Engaging Audiences via Storytelling - the Key to Successful Experiential Blog
collab-ed, an award-winning international creative agency: Engaging Audiences via Storytelling - the Key to Successful Experiential Blog

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