Conventional vs. Unconventional; experiential initiatives a marketer should opt for


Experiential marketing as a domain gives ample opportunity into the hands of a brand marketer to creatively market its product as per their own wish and commands. While most brands connect experiential activities as an extension to the brands overall image and message, there are also a number of brands who have created their own niche in the area by constantly coming up with unconventional and out of the box experiential marketing initiatives to charm their target group.

With all brands today investing a significant amount of their marketing budget on experiential marketing initiatives, it is indeed a big question ahead of every marketer today. Should they opt for conventional and safe methods to experientially cater their customers or go for unimaginable and unexpected out of the box unconventional ideas for the same?

Taking an example from marketing history, one brand that defines the term unconventional experiential initiatives in the country is Red Bull. Be it Flug-Tag championship or Redbull Tour bus, B-Boying championship or Air Race championship, the brand has always created diverse unexpected experiences for its consumers and all its initiatives have now become a reason why Red Bull is known as one of the most active brands in the country. Though its experiential campaigns have do not appeal to the masses but their uniqueness and authenticity have become the reason of the grand success for the brand.

Skore condoms in the past have associated themselves with many safe sex campaigns and social awareness initiatives but none of the experiential ventures could give the brand the spotlight it truly deserved. This however changed with their last experiential venture which was a one of its kind fashion show wherein the garments were made by using-Yes, Skore condoms itself. The fashion show not only gave the brand a status of unabashedly creating awareness about contraceptives but also became one of the most buzz creating events of the year.

With examples of unconventional experiential campaigns clearly proving of having a leg over conventional experiential campaigns; it is often questionable why don’t we see more of such unconventional experiential initiatives by brands? The answer to the above question can be the budget. Not all brands spend lavishly for customized experiences for their customers especially when they know that the reach of such initiatives are rather limited. Hence, even in the dynamic marketing environment today brands marketers call mass communication of advertisements as a safer bet on part of brand recall and revenue generation.

Brands like Mondelez, Idea, Baggit, Yamaha, Kwality walls, Bru, Kitkat are distinct yet clear examples of brands trying to safely manage their experiential ventures. Most of their activities are limited to new ways of sampling for products or digital campaigns that make an experiential activity seem like a massive success however the real impact made is rather minimalistic. However low budget campaigns such as Ferrero Rochers Diwali activation and we chat QR code campaigns are still recalled by consumers among experiences of a lifetime.

So what should a brand do? Come out with an experiential initiative out of the brands image? The answer to the above question is No. Brands today need not come out with concepts that do not relate with their respective brands at all. Doing that would be much more dangerous than playing a safe bet through general activations at malls. Brands marketers need to understand today that as the world of information and technology is evolving the consumers today need a more than usual initiative to be surprised from and for that the experiential ventures have to be carefully and not blindly designed.

Brands like Tata Motors, Vodafone, Puma and Coca-Cola are examples of brands coming up with unconventional experiential campaigns that can easily be identified with the image of their brands. All experiential initiatives by the above mentioned brands be it T1 Truck Racing or Urban Stampede, Invisible Dance campaign by Coca-Cola or Anti-Gravity photo booth by Vodafone, are all examples of how brands can come up with unconventional experiential campaigns for brands within their identity and still nail it. So next time you ponder upon designing an experiential campaign for your brands remember unconventional is the way to go.

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