2015 saw a continuation of the trend towards brand marketing linking the virtual and the tangible. With online content reaching saturation point, many businesses are increasingly focusing their marketing on creating real-life experiences and touch points for their customers. If you’re a marketing director or brand manager thinking of creating an immersive event in 2016, here are five things you should remember:
Understand who your audience are
The immediate impulse when planning a big, impactful event is to choose an iconic landmark or high footfall area. While this can work well to garner column inches, there’s a risk your audience will be tourists or passers-by who have little or no association with your brand.
Make sure the people that come to your event want to be there and when they arrive, they know it is a special happening created exclusively for them. You can ensure you’re involving the right audience by reaching out to your customer base with exclusive content in the months and weeks leading up to the experience you’ve created.
Use innovative storytelling
A classic mistake many brands make is to end the experience with a product message. Avoid killing the moment by interweaving the brand story throughout the narrative. Storytelling has a beginning, a middle and an end that should leave you thinking. Don’t try and hide who you are - if your audience is the right one, they will want to buy your product. Great events are a conversation. Continue the dialogue by inviting your customers to feed back on what they’ve seen and where they’d like you to go next.
It has to be 4D
A truly immersive experience deals in all the senses and, if done successfully, will linger in the memory far longer than an amazing animation or impressive piece of projection mapping. For our work with the London Boat Show, we controlled the climate with tropical scent, wind generators, temperature changes, lighting and smoke effects to augment the immersive seascape projections. With Ralph Lauren, we used scent machines to fill New Bond Street and Madison Avenue with the latest Polo Ralph Lauren fragrances.
Don’t shy away from emotion
Create truthful moments that give your audience goosebumps. Any great immersive event – whether it be cinema, theatre or a brand event – should ignite waves of adrenaline in the audience. It should be an experience that evokes authentic emotions and leaves people feeling inspired.
Think about it. The real world doesn’t have corners, the real world is all around us. Why only present your brand on screen? Experiences empower your audience. I guarantee 2016 will see an increase in 360 films and virtual reality content where audiences can navigate their own way through the world of your brand.
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