Showcase: Roadshows - in action - On the right track

Mobile events provide a unique environment in which to engage consumers.


When US electronics firm Sandisk vowed to challenge Apple's dominance of the MP3 player market with its relatively unknown Sansa brand, an Anglo-French roadshow proved the route to crucial product sampling. "The campaign encouraged thousands of consumers to get hands-on," says Sandisk Europe product marketing manager Wojtek Rudko.

Targeting teenagers and twenty-somethings, the three-week push launched on 3 December 2007 and toured 12 city centres including Manchester, Birmingham, Paris and Lyon. London was omitted, says Event Marketing Solutions account director Justin Isles, because suitable outdoor space could not be secured. "Acquiring strong sites over the Christmas period in the UK and France was a challenge," he adds.

Graphics, live music, DJs, breakdancers and sampling pods were key to the campaign, which notched up an average of 351 product demonstrations to 567 consumers each day.

Marketing communications agency: FK3
Stand fittings and graphics: Service Exhibitions
UK promotional staff: Simply
French promotional staff: Idea Tiff
Break-dancers: Bago Diwa and Denis Cegielski


Jaws dropped when Cadbury Schweppes unveiled the marketing push for its latest acquisition, The Natural Confectionery Company (TNCC). Out went glitzy above-the-line ads in favour of an interactive roadshow - a relatively untried format in the aggressively competitive kids' sweets sector.

Retailers may have been surprised but this changed as the campaign by Sledge reached two million mums and dads. "The activity allowed us to engage with more people than advertising ever could," says TNCC brand manager Martin Driver.

Sledge created a mobile jungle activity centre, modelled around TNCC's animal characters, and filled it with slides, ball pools and games to enthral youngsters and impress parents. The roadshow toured family-orientated festivals such as the Innocent Village Fete and Bristol Balloon Festival, and UK shopping centres such as Lakeside, from 13 July to 23 September 2007. "It raised brand awareness and helped parents discover the brand in a relaxed environment," adds Driver.

Set build: Scenex, Rocket
Sound and video: Online AV
Space hire: Space and People
Generators: Mr Plant Hire

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