The engagement model
Davidge said the engagement model for live experiences is comprised of three key phases. First is the attraction phase, which is about driving awareness of an impending event, typically through media coverage.
Second is the live moment of engagement and content generation, and finally the amplification phase is where content is shared and coverage extends well beyond the event itself.
He explained while live experiences may reach less people when compared to broadcast media, there is greater potential for amplification of such experiences through social media and other channels.
"Live experiences are deliberately created moments where brands and consumers engage. They create opportunity for brands and consumers to have a dialogue," he said.
"We now have social media platforms that allow people to amplify and share their experiences. Marketers have this huge opportunity to be able to amplify their campaign."
The ‘rave and revenue’ model
Davidge introduced the audience to the rave and revenue model of live events, noting: "most experiences are a combination of the two."
The rave, or emotional model is about generating brand loyalty in the long term. "They are not so much about engaging the live audience but amplification," he said.
On the other hand, the rational or revenue approach is about generating an immediate response. These kinds of events will have a large primary reach – "they are generally high volume sampling campaigns," explained Davidge.
Seven brand experience strategies
With the idea of amplification via channels such as social media in mind, Davidge shared seven brand experience strategies, highlighting the options available to marketers when it comes to generating awareness of their brand.
1. Educate – he stated this could involve informing members of the public about a sensitive health issue via branded stands and informative staff.
2. Taste and touch – Davidge noted this can include high volume sampling, a location where the point of consumption and point of purchase take place within the same location, such as a bar, or a branded pop-up experience.
3. Fulfill a need – this is said to occur when a brand experience attends to a physical or emotional need. Davidge referenced an activation by Sprite in South America, where the soft drink company positioned branded showers that resembled drink dispensers on the nation’s beaches, which people could use to freshen up.
4. Give something back – this type of activation aims to assist the consumer in some way. Davidge discussed an example where ESPN offered eye exams that were themed around the Uefa Champions League.
5. Surprise and delight – quite simply put, this strategy is about delivering a brand experience that centres around fun and enjoyment.
6. Immersion in a brand world – he noted that historically this has been a powerful, but also quite expensive way to really pull people into a brand.
Davidge said virtual reality (VR) technology is helping to make this approach much more affordable - as a brand’s world can now be viewed via the technology.
7. Capture a moment – Davidge explained that various different types of content can help to capture, and subsequently amplify, the brand experience at hand. Influenced content includes images and videos that people share of the event, meanwhile controlled content refers to technology brands can employ to amplify the experiences they produce.
"Controlled content highlights how technology is starting to make sharing easy," said Davidge.
These include photobooths that produce images with particular brand filters or themes, that consumers can share on social media in an instant.
Davidge also noted the power of drones. "While virtual reality is going to have a big impact, drones and the sort of content they can generate will also have a major impact - they are able to produce content that has never been seen before," he said.