What does “Experiential Marketing” mean?

How design can transform flat marketing campaigns into 3D experiences

06 Oct What does “Experiential Marketing” mean?

What does “Experiential Marketing” mean? Lets break it down.
Experiential is related to experience, or what we know by observation. Marketing is defined as: the action of promoting and selling products or services.  Therefore Experiential Marketing means engaging people with novel content which they interact with to create memorable experiences.
Maybe it is better to think of Experiential marketing in relationship to “Traditional” advertising. Traditionally, marketing is two-dimensional, I mean this literally: it is on a screen, a poster, and almost every surface these days. This makes for a passive user experience: users watch or observe the content of the advertisement but they do not engage with it other than visually. Surrounded by images, and millions of ad companies all selling flat, 2D “experiences”, it is hard to make an impact and create a memorable brand experience using traditional methods.
Experiential marketing on the other hand is three-dimensional: it creates a space were people can engage, interact, walk through, around, behind the brands content. This may happen on the street, in a conference or convention, in a lobby, festival, or event. Because this marketing approach is based around experienced and interaction as opposed to simply observing or watching, it creates a more impactful experience for consumers. It makes sense: as we drive by the posters, billboards, as we scroll the web past dozens of ads: our eyes may pause on them for a second, and we do not remember them. Yet if we can create marketing which stops us and causes us to have an experience with a brand, then we are truly making an impact. Experiential marketing can engage by creating sculptures, installations, backdrops and 3D objects which break-out of the flat-plane which most marketing exists on.
Cardboard represents a great material for Experiential Marketing because of the ability of the cardboard to be printed on, cut, folded, attached, as well it is lightweight so can be assembled on-site easily. With our experience working with cardboard we are able to use these properties to sculpt and form the cardboard into shapes which defy convention and create a powerful tool for companies looking to conduct experiential marketing. Examples of Experiential Marketing using cardboard can be seen from our Swiss Pavilion project, and our Rocket Ship. This past summer we were contacted by the Swiss Consulate in New York to create a pavilion for the Northside Festival in Brooklyn. We worked closely with them to create a backdrop with striking, bold graphics, presence from afar, depth and texture. They also required something that was easy to assemble and dissemble, as well as store for later use.
swiss blog post 2
Another example is our work for the Video Marketing company Vidyard. They approached us looking for a novel and impactful object as part of their yearly conference in San Francisco. Working off of the conference theme “Space Camp” we developed a 10’cardboard rocket ship that was used as a prop in their marketing video, as well as sent to San Francisco to act as a centre piece of the conference. This is a good example of experiential marketing because we created a unique 3d object for them which was then used in multiple firms of media to create a more rich user engagement.

In a world drowning in images and graphics, experiential marketing has the capacity to rise above this and lead the way to novel and impactful marketing. Our Paper Life uses cardboard and other materials to create the 3D objects and experiences that translate into memorable brand-consumer engagement.