Blog: Technology and experiential - a view from Australia

Rebecca Rynehart from TRO Australia discusses the impact the latest technology has on experiential marketers.

Rebecca Rynehart, from TRO Australia, takes us through the latest experiental trends from Australia
Rebecca Rynehart, from TRO Australia, takes us through the latest experiental trends from Australia

In a world where humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, experiential marketers must be smarter than ever. 

You wake up and the first thing you do is check your smartphone. Sound familiar? At least 80% of us should be nodding our heads in (perhaps reluctant) agreement.

The convergence of the digital and physical worlds is no longer new news, in fact it's operation normal. What might be new news is that it’s changing the way our brains behave.

A recent study has attributed a more digital lifestyle to an overall decrease in sustained attention. So much so that we now have an attention span of eight seconds compared to the nine seconds of a goldfish. Clearly there’s a land grab for attention and if we want a piece of it we will need to think differently with our experiential campaigns.

This jostle to get noticed is pertinent for brands in Australia where smartphone penetration and adoption of wearables is higher than many markets. Over here, the best in class campaigns are blending creative technology with the things that matter to us most, resulting in a deeper, more intuitive and interconnected engagement.

Selfies, cling wrap and rugby

Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications provider has been embracing this approach for years with their award-winning interactive windows. At Christmas, knowing the popularity of a selfie, they transformed one of their windows into an interactive photo booth.

Busy Melburnians were invited to snap themselves and then customise with festive augmented reality props before receiving the image on their phone. This combination of personalisation and instant gratification meant a record number of shoppers stopped to take part.

Glad Cling Wrap’s recent #gladeveryday campaign encouraged us to take a welcome pause for a brief moment and consider more deeply the things that we are grateful for in our lives. Thoughts of gratitude were shared via social channels and a ‘great wall of glad’ installed in shopping centres. All content is aggregated and visible on a conversation hub, offering a great insight into what Australians are glad about.

In general, brand experiences that index high on fun times are #winning over here. The Samsung Slideliner grabbed our attention by tapping into the nation's obsession for rugby, offering up the best seat in the house and a money-can't-buy-piece of the action.

The Slideliner is an impressive four-person 'couch' that sits beside the pitch, moving along the field of play to follow the game in real time.  Lucky Slideliners had access to an internet-enabled Samsung tablet and cameras were built into the structure to enable snapping and sharing during the game.

Ultimately, technology is now enabling more immersive experiences, transporting people in a completely unique and magical way. Expect to see increased use of VR platforms, such as Google Cardboard, which are the next generation of storytelling mediums and excitingly accessible to anyone with a smartphone.

Unplugged experiences

We are physical beings and it’s important to step away from the touchscreen from time to time. In fact after a day of multiscreen multitasking, what we often crave is a good nights sleep. Ikea recognised this and teamed up with Airbnb to provide a once in a lifetime sleeping experience with a campaign that gained huge coverage from minimal media spend.

Three Australian families stayed overnight at a Sydney Ikea after applying for a unique Airbnb listing. They slept in themed Ikea showrooms, ate traditional Swedish food and were woken by puppies, an orchestra and breakfast in bed.

A refreshing change to being woken by your smartphone.

Rebecca Rynehart is managing director of TRO Australia

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