Event360: Sony, Jack Daniel's and HP discuss their biggest experiential events

During the 5 by 5 session at Event360 today (23 June), brand representatives from Sony, Jack Daniel's and Hewlett-Packard (HP) had just five minutes, and five slides, to discuss a recent experiential activity.

Representatives from Jack Daniel's, Hewlett-Packard and Sony discuss their recent experiential activity at Event360 (Julian Dodd)
Representatives from Jack Daniel's, Hewlett-Packard and Sony discuss their recent experiential activity at Event360 (Julian Dodd)

The panel included Melissa Noakes, head of brand experience at Sony Mobile; Jane Culcheth Beard, manager of WW programs and central EMEA events of global marketing at Hewlett-Packard; and Michael Boaler, senior brand manager for Jack Daniel’s.

Each were asked to discuss the challenge, brief, activity, result and finally, learnings and implications of their particular brand experience. 

Mark Spragg, SVP, director of operations at Jack Morton Worldwide facilitated the session. 

Sony at the Mobile World Congress

Sony Mobile's Noakes opted to discuss the brand’s activation at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Challenge: To be the destination of choice.

Noakes posed the question: "Our customers have hundreds of meetings and people to see, so how do we get people to visit us?"

The brief: What is it that our customer wants?

She explained the brand wanted to: "Build an experience that encouraged customers to see us and return to us." 

The activity: Build a bespoke hospitality space

Noakes said Sony devised a hospitality-focused space where delegates could refuel with good quality food and coffee, and it was equipped with charging points. 

 Other key features:

  • The space was complete with 19 meeting rooms.
  • It was 500 square metres in size.
  • It was open from 7.30 to 10pm throughout the duration of the congress. 

 "We made sure everything they needed to stay was there," said Noakes.


Noakes said the average dwell time was 80 minutes, people visited the space two times or more, and satisfaction was recorded at 90%.

"The reason we do this so well is because we really know our audience," she added.

Hewlett-Packard at Cannes Film Festival 2015

HP's Culcheth Beard explained the brand has been Cannes’ technology partner for the last 10 years.

The brief:

She explained Cannes enables the brand to do some very important things:

  1. Connect with our customers in a fantastic environment.
  2. Showcase the HP brand. 
  3. Be able talk about what HP does as an actor in the film industry. 

"Cannes allows us to showcase the things we do with these very important clients," said Culcheth Beard.


HP was involved with Cannes 2015 in myriad ways, she explained. "The most visual thing we do is provide print for the film festival.

"We created an HP space called the HP Studio in a hotel near the festival – it’s a very dynamic space, there was a mini studio for videos, live streaming and meetings."

HP also provided a visual wall of young talent which attendees could view, as well as a press room, where there were 700 connections per day. "This is where we bring our deep technical expertise," she said.

Jack Daniel’s Jack Rocks campaign

Michael Boaler, senior brand manager at Brown Forman brand Jack Daniel’s, briefed the audience on its Jack Rocks experiential campaign.

Challenge: To see Jack Daniel’s remain the alcohol brand of choice.

"We want people to choose Jack Daniel’s rather than a new brand on the block or another spirit brand," he said.

Brief: How do we maintain that?

He explained the brand wanted to reach and engage with a broad range of consumers by "communicating that Jack Daniel’s brand values are aligned with theirs in relevant ways."

Activity: Simply put, it’s about the brand delivering experiences with music.  

"It’s all about creating ‘I was there’ memories," said Boaler.

Results and learnings:

In 2014 Jack Daniel’s hosted more than 200 gigs that were attended by more than 500,000 people, however Boaler noted: "We need to share the love around the UK." This year, the brand is hosting music events throughout the country.

The brand recognised the importance of content, and in 2014 its video content received 5.5 million views. "Put the content where the audience is," he said.

Boaler added it is perhaps most important that the Jack Daniel's brand remains at the forefront of these live events. If Jack Daniel's were to book the Foo Fighters or Kings of Leon, for example, people wouldn’t necessarily be coming for the brand, he explained. 

"It is vitally important that Jack Daniel’s has a point of view, and ours is ‘come to Jack Rocks and enjoy a great drink, enjoy a great night." 

Stay up-to-date with Event360 happenings throughout the day via the Event360: Live blog.

More: Event360: GSM reveals golf activation for Mobile World Congress Shanghai 

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