Written By: Eighmy Dobbins 

Experiential advertising has become the new way to create memorable connections between a brand and their consumers. Over the past few years, more and more companies are turning to experiential ads instead of traditional digital advertising. According to Rich Ord, Digital advertising has become over saturated and boring to consumers.  Many consumers claim it has become too invasive into their search history or past clicking habits (Turow, 2009). Others do not like the fact that they can’t get on social media without seeing multiple advertisements each minute (and usually the same ones over and over again). Advertisements on YouTube are also ineffective because viewers press “skip ad” as soon as possible. Advertisers are realizing the struggle of digital advertisements as well. The human attention span is  only about six seconds, which makes it harder to create a memorable advertisement that will stick with consumers. Now, experiences are becoming the trend companies are investing in.

            Experiential advertising creates a natural relationship with consumers by recognizing the memory of their personal experience with the brand and their product. This, in turn, creates a high level of loyalty and gives brands  an edge over their competitors. It’s impersonal and does not have much impact when someone scrolls by an advertisement on a page. When a consumer goes to an event and gets to see/taste/smell a product, it creates a memory and they will be more inclined to buy the product in the future. Consumers get to talk with brand employees and influencers and engage personal dialogue about the product, as well as get their questions answered. The same goes for brands, because they get feedback from consumers about what they like or dislike about their product.

            One of the first advertisement experiences I remember was the Red Bull “Stratos” jump. This advertisement took place in 2012, but to me, it feels like yesterday. Red Bull is notorious for partnering with extreme sports athletes, but they took this event in 2012 to the next level. Red Bull  hired skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, to do the world’s highest skydive. The entire event was live streamed on YouTube and had the highest viewing traffic ever with over eight million people watching. Although viewers didn’t skydive with Felix, they felt like they were in space with him as he jumped.

            South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas has more and more experiential advertisements each year. This past year, two of my favorites were: HBO and Casper. HBO created themed escape rooms for SXSW goers to try and solve. The escape rooms were themed as some of HBO’s hit shows, like: Veep, Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones.

Casper is a mattress company and they partnered with an app called One Night, which lets travelers book a hotel room after 3 p.m. for that night. Consumers who downloaded and used the app received a discount price at the Austin Motel, one of Austin’s trendiest hotels. On top of that, Casper had refresh rooms on site with Casper beds and pillows. Visitors signed up for a time slot and spent 45 minutes of relaxation on a Casper mattress. This experience was my favorite because consumers had the opportunity to sleep on the product before investing in it. Now the next time they are in the market for a new mattress, Casper will pop into their heads. There is a new wave of advertising approaching us, and we will see more brands allocating their budget to create experiences for consumers instead of the same digital advertisements we are accustomed to now. 

Ord, R. (2018, August 28). Experiential Advertising - Where Live Advertising is Exploding. Retrieved from https://www.webpronews.com/experiential-advertising-where-live-advertising-is-exploding/


Turow, J., King, J., Hoofnatle, C. J., Bleakley, A., & Hennessy, M. (2009). Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities at Enable It. h ps://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1478214l