Could Experiential Marketing Be Making a Comeback?

Just like 90’s fashion trends, experiential marketing is making a comeback in 2022.


In case you have forgotten, experiential marketing is an effective marketing strategy that fully immerses customers into a living, breathing, real-life experience. Unlike billboards and TV ads, this form of marketing requires active participation and engagement on behalf of the customer.


In simple terms, experiential marketing is a strategy that deeply engages customers with a product. The objective is to provide an authentic experience that creates an emotional connection between customers and the brand.


Some examples you might remember include Red Bull’s Stratos Jump or Coca Cola’s 2018 World Cup AR experience.


The number of in-person events no doubt lulled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but as communities begin to reopen, and digitally immersive platforms become more accessible, experiential marketing is making a fashionable comeback.


According to Hubspot, a full 48% of marketers who are currently leveraging experiential marketing strategies plan to increase experiential investments in 2022, and 9% of marketers plan to invest in experiential marketing for the first time.


Why is experiential marketing valuable?


Here are three reasons experiential marketing is making a comeback:


1. First, this strategy lets brands authentically connect with their customers on a personal level; it appeals to their emotional side. Connecting with customers this way establishes a strong foundation of trust and loyalty, both key components of driving sales.


2. Next, customers crave experiences. According to Salesforce, 68% of marketing leaders claim their company is increasingly competing on the basis of customer experience. To satisfy this appetite, brands are delivering experiential marketing in the form of events, pop-up photo opportunities for social media, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences.


3. Finally, according to Forbes, experiential marketing can bolster a lasting connection between customers and a brand. It can also allow brands to collect vital data about participating consumers which can then help the marketers improve their strategy.


So, how are some of the most well-known brands spearheading the ultimate experiential marketing strategy comeback? Let's take a look.


Exhibit A: Häagen-Dazs - Strawberries & Cream with Wimbledon


To introduce its limited-edition flavor Strawberries & Cream ice cream, Häagen-Dazs created a GIF photo booth at the tennis championship, Wimbledon. This mouth-watering experiential marketing tactic caught the attention of famous tennis players and influencers who posted the animated souvenirs on their social media accounts.


Photo credit: Campaign


Exhibit B: M&M Flavor Rooms


When M&M needed help choosing its next flavor - crunchy raspberry, crunchy espresso, or crunchy mint - it provided customers with a flavorful experience to help make the decision. The brand created an appetizing, immersive pop-up in New York City with three specialized rooms unique to each flavor. Within the rooms, exhibitors had the opportunity to sample the new flavor and select their favorite. The pop-up was complete with M&M-themed decor, fragrances, snacks, and cocktails, fully encompassing customers in the flavors and brand.


Photo Credits: AdWeek


Exhibit C: Lululemon - Proud & Present


Lululemon deployed an honorary experiential marketing campaign to celebrate pride month. To bring its strategy to life, the company built an art installation at Hudson River Park in New York City. The exhibit showcased reflections from employees and ambassadors about topics related to the LGBTQ+ community. This was a two-week-long intriguing exhibit for the public to enjoy at their leisure.


Photo Credit: MKG


What do these trendsetting marketing campaigns have in common? They help create memories that forge connections and keep customers coming back to the brand.


If you want to create your own experiential marketing strategy but need some guidance, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line.