Experiential marketing for charities

By May 19, 2016General

Last year was all about social media for charities – with the record-breaking Ice Bucket Challenge leading the way. But this year is all about experiential.

UK based charity Islamic Relief recently hosted an experiential event like no other, in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for those affected by the Arab Spring in Syria.

The charity transformed a warehouse in East London into the war-torn streets of Aleppo, to host the unique event – A Night in Aleppo. People were invited to attend the event to get a glimpse of what it would feel like to walk the streets of Aleppo.

Against a background of rubble and shattered buildings, and the sounds of bombs and gunfire, attendees walked past damaged shops, a school, and a makeshift hospital.

Actors played the part of aid workers, who were seen risking their lives to provide food, water and life-saving treatment to injured civilians.

Actors were also hired to act out the scenes of ordinary people, and their extraordinary struggle to survive in the chaos. There was a teacher desperate to learn about the fate of her school children.

There was a medic struggling to help an injured lady with inadequate equipment in the ruins of the hospital. Aid workers were overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster, and most hauntingly of all, there was a couple consoling each other about the loss of their young son.

Immersive event

The event immersed attendees physically and psychologically – forcing them to face the nightmarish reality of life in war-torn Syria head-on and no-holds barred.

The lighting was dingy, children wandered around with severe injuries and attendees were faced with the sight of corpses on street corners. The actors also interacted with attendees – recounting tales of their experiences in Aleppo.

The experience was hard-hitting, but expertly got the charity’s message across.

For brands, real-life experiences and touch points with audiences have become much more relevant. An experience like One Night in Aleppo is something you can’t download, or click to view.

It’s tangible, sensory and immersive. And immersive is a trend that’s going to grow in 2016, so if you haven’t experimented with experiential, it may be time to call Hotcow and talk tactics.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.