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The keys to a successful experiential marketing campaign

With the rising trend of brands and companies using experiential campaigns as a marketing tool, it is imperative that campaigns are memorable and push boundaries. To get people talking, they have to stand out.
There are certain key factors that need to be utilised to make sure a successful experiential event is produced.


Anyone can have an idea, you need to make sure it’s a particularly innovative one. Not only that, it should be in line with the brand’s message. An experiential event that gets a lot of consumer interaction is great. However people need to remember the brand associated with the campaign. It needs to be relevant. For their ‘Instant Connections’ campaign, Nescafé installed two control boxes with hidden coffee machines on traffic lights at opposite sides of the road.

The control boxes were equipped with cameras and displays that encouraged people to “push together”. When the people at both of the control boxes pushed together, they scored themselves free coffees courtesy of Nescafé. This is a perfect example of an on-brand campaign. It was about Nescafé’s coffee bringing people to together. It also placed itself in a busy yet unexpected place, which piqued people’s interest, encouraging them to engage with the campaign. Getting a free coffee left people with a smile on their face and with fond memories of Nescafé.


The event has to be creative, exciting and memorable. Today, people have less patience, so marketing campaigns have to be extremely interesting to capture their full attention. To get consumers excited about the brand as well as the experiential event, you need to give them an experience they’ve never had. It has to intrigue them enough for them to want to immerse themselves in the brand experience and share it with others after.

Stretch orchestrated an imaginative campaign for Lipton Ice Tea where a heat-detecting vending machine was placed in the V&A Waterfront, rewarding those that needed to cool down. To get a can of Lipton Ice Tea consumers had to come up with ways to get their body heat up, like running on the spot or doing a few push ups. This experiential campaign was simple yet unexpectedly fun, which is why it appealed to people. Like the Nescafé campaign, after interacting with the campaign people were rewarded with a complimentary drink which left them with a good memory of Lipton Ice Tea.


Consumers respond well to brands that show a sense of authenticity. People like feeling as though a brand is catering to their needs instead of trying to take their money. The experiential marketing event is the perfect place for this, because it is a chance for consumers to meet face to face with the brand. At the TED conference, Delta Air Lines staged a campaign titled ‘Stillness In Motion’. This interactive activation was designed to help people find ways to be productive on a flight and in their everyday lives by being still.

By placing their hands on biometric sensors, the lights and sounds in the room would reflect their heart rate. At the end of the experience, visitors got a keepsake of their lowest recorded heart rate in a Heart Rate Orb. This orb would act as a reminder to make time for stillness and productivity in their lives. Delta took the time to create an experience to get to know the consumer as well as cater to their specific needs.


High-profile personalities seen associating with the brand bring along their followers and fans as potential consumers. This ensures the brand is getting the right kinds of people to become a part of their consumer base. Red Heart Rum launched an exciting campaign called Flip The Script and enlisted 5FM Radio DJ Roger Goode as a brand ambassador. Roger Goode nominated sports correspondent Sias du Plessis to ‘Flip The Script’ by spontaneously incorporating extreme water activity into his day job. Having Roger Goode as the face of the campaign will get his huge social media following excited about the campaign as well as Red Heart.

Social networking

Being social media savvy is also a big part of making people notice your campaign. It is one of the easiest ways to engage with large groups of targeted people. Although it takes more than just having a Twitter account. The brand needs to connect with its consumer base in meaningful ways.

The Standard Bank Graduates Programmes’ Facebook account posts inspirational quotes from prolific African leaders and entrepreneurs. These do well with their community as they are intellectual young graduates on their journey to success. Standard Bank produces social media content that their followers can relate to, which ensures maximum engagement.

Implementation strategy

Making sure everything runs seamlessly seems like an obvious factor in pulling off a successful experiential campaign, but it is easier said than done. A dedicated team with an eye for precision as well as an airtight event execution plan is necessary for an experiential campaign to run smoothly.

About Amahle Madlala

Amahle Madlala works in the social media department at Stretch Experiential Marketing, where a team of experts work together to create seamless, innovative and memorable experiential campaigns.