Experiential marketing often relies heavily on imagination and less on substantial marketing budgets. The main objective of a good experiential marketing campaign is to create a unique and thought-provoking experience that engages the audience while gaining awareness for the brand. Experiential tactics work especially well for cause marketing programs. Even with limited dollars, these techniques provide a compelling message that pulls on our heartstrings and catapults us into action.
Here are some of our favorite cause marketing campaigns that utilize experiential marketing tactics:
Go Beyond Borders was launched at the end of 2009 to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall. 40 kilometers of red tape marked the former border between East and West Berlin, even traveling through buildings that now lie above where the country was once divided. The tape carried CNN’s Go Beyond Borders message and information panels, which encouraged people to share stories online. Coupled with a well executed social media marketing strategy, over two million people were affected by this campaign.
In April of 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Netherlands, in partnership with Bitmove, introduced an interactive billboard in Amsterdam to challenge people’s lack of response in regards to acts of public aggression. The billboard used technology to pick up images of people passing by and placed them into a pre-recorded violent situation, which was streamed on the billboard as though it were happening at that very moment. When people realized they were actually on the billboard, they stopped to watch themselves (vanity works every time) and were then lured into the campaign’s powerful message. Not only did this billboard garner the attention of passersby, it also provided four key tips people could use should they find themselves in a similar situation.
June 20, 2010 was World Refugee Day. To remember the millions of refugees affected around the world, the UN Refugee Agency transformed the main entrance of the national train station in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg into a miniature refugee camp. 3,000 blue cards symbolized the “famous” blue tents many refugees call their home and were distributed to help create awareness and acknowledgment for refugees worldwide. Instead of handing out fliers or having brand ambassadors talk to people one on one, this allowed people the freedom to come up and participate in the event without feeling pressured.
This July, UNICEF installed “Dirty Water” vending machines in Manhattan to create public awareness about the dangers of not having clean drinking water. There were 8 flavors available representing the 8 common diseases affecting impoverished communities around the world: malaria, cholera, typhoid, dengue, hepatitis, dysentery, salmonella, and yellow fever. Many people donated their cash, but kudos to UNICEF for incorporating a mobile component to this campaign and allowing consumers who didn’t have cash on hand to donate via text.
Experiential marketing is a great tool for gaining awareness for cause marketing campaigns because they are often cost effective and highly influential with great potential to go viral. These are just some cause marketing examples utilizing experiential marketing that we have enjoyed throughout the past year. To view an experiential marketing tactic you’ll want to avoid, view our blog post “Epic Oopsies: Experiential Marketing Gone Wrong.”