Why brand activation at events is a terrible idea


Many popular brands are using activations these days as a method to build popularity and give its prospective consumers an experience that will make them feel a real personal connection to the company. From malls to intersections on cornered streets and from school cafeterias to college festivals, activations are being conducted on a regular basis anywhere and everywhere.  With that being said the most recent marketing trend observed from key brands in India is to have activations done at popular ticketed and non-ticketed events.

Events in India are usually a magnanimous affair and thus it is very easy for a brand to think that the sheer presence of its product at an event will make a significant impact on the audiences and help it expand its market reach overtime. However in reality this is not only a delusional marketing myth but also a distracting element that reduces the overall impact of an event itself. So why is brand activation at events a terrible idea? Well, read the entire piece to find out.

Firstly, brand activation at events is a clumsy product placement method that speaks poorly of the company’s vision to market its products. Not only do the products looked forcibly thrust upon the audiences but also appear to be in desperate need of the consumer attention. Just imagine a couple of young college students entering the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex to experience some head banging music from their favorite band which is just about to perform and as they enter the arena all they see is the venue overtaken by brands and turned into a mini-supermarket, all doing their own marketing in their own manner. The above scenario not only takes away from the main content of the event but also defines chaos in its most profound sense.

Another reason why activations at events are a complete no-no is the fact that amidst of all the hoopla, noise and festivities happening at the venue the brand is not the single point of focus for the audience present and hence the core message that the brand aims to exemplify gets lost in the process. Branding and activations are without a doubt a very costly affair so what is the use of having one if the crux of all your activities remains unclear to a prospective consumer at the end of the day? Would it not be simply better to spend the similar amount of money for a dedicated crowd attention? Of course it would be.

Poor retention value is another drawback of activations being conducted at events. Brand marketers should realize that at the end of the day the sole reason the audience happens to be present at the given venue for a different motive altogether. The main intention of a prospective consumer at an event is to enjoy its main content be it a musical performance, dance show, award function or even trade exhibitions. No matter what do marketers do at such events there is always a chance that a consumer will most likely forget its initiatives at the end of the day and will only remember the impact the main content of the event created on them.

Also worth realizing is the fact that brand activations at events simply boils down to a fight between divided vs. dedicated attention from the prospective consumers. While at events the attention span of a consumer is divided, it is completely dedicated when it comes to having brand activations done away from the shadows of events.  Why deliver a diluted brand message in a noisy ambience with plenty of distractions available when you have the availability of creating one-on-one personalized experiences for the masses? Hence activations at events is a terrible idea that brands should refrain from implementing.

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