What is Experiential Marketing?

Experiential or engagement marketing is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages consumers to participate in the evolution of a brand.

Rather than relying on the more common marketing channels such as print or digital, the approach of experiential marketing focuses on letting the consumer directly experience the product or service. Quite often companies use these campaigns as a means of generating PR in what’s most commonly known as a PR stunt.

With some brands now seeing millennials as their largest customer base there is no denying that consumer expectations and preferences have changed. Millennials are known for their technical aptitude and willingness to share their lives via social media. These factors, combined with shorter attention spans have meant that companies are spending larger parts of their marketing budgets on events and experiences which appeal to this audience.


IKEA created a fabulous experiential campaign called ‘The Big Sleepover’ which let 100 competition winners spend the night in their Lakeside store. With sleep experts on hand to advise on how to choose the best mattress and participants receiving a goody bag, IKEA were able to promote their bedroom range to their customers. By offering massages, manicures, cake and milk and having a local reality star read a bedtime story, the participants got to be part of a fun, memorable event which generated lots of interest in social and mainstream media.

Red Bull is well known for their adventurous marketing campaigns and is a brand that has truly embraced experiential marketing. From their popular Flugtag events across the world to the huge success that was Red Bull Stratos in which Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s successfully completed a free fall jump from space, Red Bull’s marketing strategy now focuses mainly on experiential.

Beer giant Carlsberg’s ‘best poster in the world’ campaign included a huge poster mounted to the side of a brewery in London with a built-in beer tap. Passers-by were invited to pour themselves a half pint of beer.

During the Olympics in 2012 Samsung set up pop up ‘studios’ in train stations and airport terminals across London that let visitors play with and experience their new phones. They also ran various competitions and opportunities to try out their new virtual reality features.

Interested to read more about why companies invest in experiential marketing? Read this article talking about Experiential Marketing statistics

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