Experiential events are solidly at the forefront of the advertising and marketing world.
From immersive activities to pop-up stores to social media challenges and more, you can find experiential marketing events at any time of year across the globe. Regardless of industry, brands are finding ways to make experiential advertising part of their outreach to existing and (hopefully) new customers.
As the following 20 experiential marketing examples demonstrate, this mode of advertising and marketing has flourished in popularity due to its ability to create memorable and often meaningful experiences for consumers.
First, let’s explain what experiential events are and why brands have come to rely on them.
As the name indicates, experiential events are events or experiences created by a brand to prompt an emotional connection between that brand band its customers. So unlike the average television commercial, experiential advertising aims to have the consumer actively interact with some component of the brand.
This emphasis on creating an emotional or at least memorable connection for consumers has led to a wide array of experiential events across various industries. We’re breaking down some of the best experiential events of this year from around the globe.
Many are ongoing, so it’s not too late for you to experience them for yourself!
The arts and culture space has proved to be huge for experiential events. In some cases, the popularity of these experiential marketing events has translated into ongoing, multiyear affairs that have expanded into multiple regions for consumers to experience.
SXSW is one of the most anticipated film festivals each year, which is why many entertainment productions head there as well for their own experiential advertising opportunities. Case in point, the Camp Yellowjackets pop-up. For three days during the festival, eventgoers could get a firsthand look at an abandoned 1990s summer camp complete with Easter eggs to be found from the hit Showtime series.
And so begins the first of our artist-centric experiential events. First up is Claude Monet: The Immersive Experience, which gives eventgoers the unique opportunity to walk among the Impressionist’s most famous works. So popular is this among the best experiential events that there’s a waiting list for it in nine cities where it’s currently showing.
Though the house of Disney now includes franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, it is first and foremost the home to dozens of beloved animated classics. Hence, the Disney Animation Immersive Experience. Showing in no less than 11 cities at the moment, this experiential advertising example demonstrates how an already popular brand has found a way to further its consumer reach.
People love Funko, and people love Snoop Dogg. It was a match made in heaven from the start.
Branded as a fan experience, Tha Dogg House in Inglewood, California gives attendees the chance to shop merchandise exclusive to this store, as well as photo ops with Instagram-friendly murals.
Releasing at the end of March is the much awaited Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves starring Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez. Given the rough estimate of more than 13 million tabletop D&D players worldwide, it makes sense that promoters would celebrate its opening with one of the best experiential events on our list. Located in Manila, Philippines, the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Tavern gives fans a literal taste of what they can expect from the film.
Leonardo da Vinci was an architect, draftsman, engineer, painter, scientist, sculptor, and theorist. And now those interested in this exceptionally brilliant man can learn all about him through Leonardo: The Universal Man, which is currently showing in three different cities.
Building on its Mountain of Entertainment campaign, Paramount+ opened The Lodge: A Paramount+ Experience in three locations this March. Attendees were then given the chance to explore the storied studio’s multiple properties both new and old, including 1923, Star Trek, and Fatal Attraction.
Time to get your om on with none other than Mozart himself! Mozart Immersive Yoga is unique among our best experiential events as it includes both the cultural aspects of the composer and the wellness elements of yoga.
Tickets are currently available in Chicago for this truly one-of-a-kind experience.
Technically speaking, this is the second of our Disney-centric experiential marketing examples, as the studio acquired Pixar back in 2006. It also happens to be another hybrid on our list of the best experiential events with its fun mashup of Pixar’s most well-known properties and its slightly sporty element. Miniature golf is a sport, right? Either way, you can enjoy Pixar Putt for yourself in Fort Lauderdale right now.
The Sound of Ukraine: An Immersive Concert brings together award-winning Ukrainian composer Tymur Polianskyi with Ukrainian artists Taras Shevchenko and Maria Prymachenko for an immersive arts and music experience unlike any other. Should you be in Toronto this April, add it to your must-do list.
The popularity of the Nexflix hit Stranger Things is stronger than ever, as is Stranger Things: The Experience, which puts fans of the show into Hawkins, Indiana to see what life is like for Eleven, Mike, and the crew. We mentioned that some of our listed experiential marketing examples have been going on for years, and this is one of them. And if it hasn’t come to your city just yet, you can nominate it!
Last on our list of the best experiential events in the arts and cultural space is Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, which has proved to be a truly global sensation. CNN has ranked it as one of the best 12 immersive experiences in the world! With showings across the Americas, Asia, and Europe, it’s an experiential event not to be missed.
All right, we’re moving on to experiential marketing examples in the culinary and food space! First up, everyone’s favorite ice cream-making duo.
Ben and Jerry’s is a brand that has long advocated for social justice, and their partnership with Colin Kaepernick builds upon that legacy. The result? Delicious experiential advertising. With Kaepernick, the brand has created a new full-time flavor called Change the Whirled with proceeds going to Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC), an organization created by Kaepernick “to empower and educate a new generation of Black and Brown youth.”
Dole Packaged Foods “Malnutrition Labels” campaign is among those experiential marketing campaigns trying to educate consumers on the importance of diet for both physical and mental health. By replicating nutrition labels via screen-printed posters made with real fruit waste, the brand is helping to create greater awareness of this global issue.
Familiar with the Svaldbard Global Seed Vault in Norway? Built as a last line of preservation for more than a million seeds, it inspired Oreo to do the same for its famed cookies. Perhaps 2023 is the year for a pilgrimage to Scandinavia to see for yourself? Or if not, you can stay home still comforted with the knowledge that those delicious treats are guarded in the event of a global catastrophe.
Lucille Ball was ahead of her time in so many ways. Fans of I Love Lucy certainly remember the hilarious grape stomping episode, but did you know you can try it out yourself?
Among the best experiential marketing events, we’re highlighting the Sonoma Adventures Grape Stomp, but they’re hardly the only wine country with this type of event. An afternoon of working out your stress with a little stomping and then a little sipping… Not bad, right?
Who doesn’t think of romance when they think of White Castle? Minus a two-year hiatus, the restaurant chain was back this Valentine’s Day with its holiday dinner experience. Customers were treated to hostess seating, tableside, and of course those delicious sliders.
Whether you’re on the go on the court or in another city, there are experiential marketing events to engage your sports and travel interests.
Delta Airlines knows that the airport is probably on few people’s lists of favorite places. That’s why the airline set up its PARALLEL REALITY Display at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport for a more personalized – and hopefully more enjoyable – traveling experience. Up to 100 people at a time can view the display for customized information pertaining to their travel plans.
How do you really know if that parka will make it through the winter? That’s what Germany’s Globetrotter never wants you to doubt. This outdoor clothing, shoes, and equipment company allows customers to test out their merchandise in its weather rooms, which replicate adverse conditions.
Our final entry on our list of the best experiential marketing events of 2023 is this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, which had a number of experiential advertising happenings for fans.
With no less than 35 brands at the sporting event, attendees were treated to fun and memorable experiences via State Farm, Starry, Kia, Meta Quest, Michelob Ultra, and more.
So… Even if you’re not asking what are experiential marketing events anymore, you might be wondering who exactly creates them.
Just as experiential events have multiplied over the last several years so too have the experiential marketing entities behind them. While brands may have ideas for events they’d like to roll out, they typically will partner with a dedicated experiential marketing agency to expand on those ideas and execute them.
HELO and JN Production are just two examples of experiential marketing companies behind hugely successful campaigns such as that for Headspace and Forever 21. As their clients will tell you, an experiential marketing agency is an imperative component of an experiential event, as they understand the importance of not only the key advertising aspects of a campaign, but also the many logistical and safety factors at play.
As each of our experiential marketing examples show, this facet of the advertising and marketing world is thriving. And with the creation of an experiential event comes the need to bring on the right people for them. From figuring out when finding local workers is the right choice to determining who is an employee versus contractor, let Wrapbook help you take care of your experiential marketing hiring needs.
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