Experiential marketing is on the rise and requires more focus then ever before. It is playing an important role in bringing brand assets to life, creating sharable content and having wider conversations with new and potential customers. Creatively we can turn a print ad into a 3D Hologram and a street corner into a live gaming platform creating surprise and delight to people who normally wouldn’t see that ad or brand.

When we look back over the past year (2013) and beyond we see a pattern of creative regression by UK brand owners when activating experiential marketing campaigns. There are so many cool technologies available today, with a plethora of opportunities to turn the streets into something noticeable and unique, but when we look around we see the same old ideas being executed (apart form a few of course); car brands displaying a new car on a small platform, a branded ice cream van giving out freebies, a pop up shop handing out free goodies and people in fancy dress giving out flyers. Oh dear Britain what is going on, we are more creative than that!

When we look around the world at some of the most loved, talked about and coolest campaigns on the planet, a lot of them do not originate in Britain. Is it because of a conservative no risk culture, lack of imagination or something else? I believe most experiential marketing agencies in the UK come up with brilliant and sound creative ideas and strategies but 90% of the winning ideas gets diluted into a skimmed down version of its original form. Whilst modifying creative work for improvement is all part of teamwork, complete changes and deletions often completely change the outcome of an activity. The real magic has normally been eradicated!

I suppose it is likened to going to the hairdressers and saying “I want something new and different, please” and after a long conversation, partly due to habit, you end up with just a trim.

Why must we make our experiential marketing campaigns more creative in 2014?

Sometimes stepping away from spreadsheets and pay per click data to dream up fantastical campaigns that cast a spell on your target audience can provide greater value then you or the spreadsheets can anticipate. Below we have highlighted 5 key facts as to why it is imperative that we get more experimental and creative this year.

1. A growing population – making it harder to cut through and make messages stick with consumers
2. A growing ethnic community – more diverse cultures make it more important than ever to create campaigns that are understood by a wider audience
3. A growing number of brands entering the marketplace – more competition, not just from direct competitors, but for spend in your category
4. Less budget in the household for spending – people looking for value, deals and to feel good from products/brands
5. Personal happiness – people are looking for products/brands and experiences that make them feel good.

Here is some inspiration to kick start your imagination when thinking about doing great experiential campaigns in 2014.

1. Create the biggest lego tower in the world standing at 29.5m
2. Turn a bus stop into a oven cooking burgers
3. Take over the inside of tube and turn it into a tropical beach to make the journey to work more fun
4. Create a giant sprit machine and turn it into showers on the beach

Thanks for reading. Please send us your questions or comments.

Hotcow, is a multi-award winning full service experiential marketing and product sampling agency. We help brands to have high quality conversations with shoppers, commuters or workers and turn them into customers. We offer a range of services including: Product Sampling, Roadshows, Ambient marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, Content Creation, PR Stunts. For more information please call us on 0207 503 0442.