He said: “The worldwide investment in augmented and virtual reality is finally starting to filter through to the customer and our industry, by its very nature, is becoming expert at putting that in the hands of, and telling brand stories to, our target markets.”
Judges took focus on campaigns that showed excellent diversity and allowed for social mobility and centered their thinking around what was inclusive rather than exclusive.
The nominations for B2C experiential brand campaign/event of the year are: Amplify, Brands2life, BT, Cheil Worldwide London, FRUKT, Ice – Brand Experience Agency, VCCP Kin, LIDA/M&C Saatchi, Gingerline, Hearst Magazines UK, Maynineteen, Xini Communications, Synergy, TRO and www.produceuk.com.
The Great Barrier Reef is under threat. Human influence is slowly destroying it.
The world’s biggest reef system which has taken shape over millions of years has been battered by climate change, pollution and rising sea temperatures which leads to coral bleaching.
It’s reported that as much as half of the reef may be dead from coral bleaching events in recent years and if we keep going at this rate, 60% of the world’s coral reefs will be lost by 2030.
The largest living organism on the planet, it is known for its rich biodiversity with many of the world’s sea creatures relying on the reef for survival from humpback whales to the 2,000 different fish species that call the reef home.
It’s not only marine life that relies on the reef, the Australian tourism sector is also affected by its survival. A popular destination for snorkelling, boat trips and diving, it brings in approximately 2m tourists and around $5-6 billion per year; many people rely on it for their income.
It needs urgent protection.
Popular rideshare service Uber teamed up with Tourism and Events Queensland, to highlight the natural beauty and plight of the Great Barrier Reef with a truly unique and unforgettable tourist experience.
Kick started on World Ocean Day, Uber opened the world’s first rideshare submarine to give consumers a close-up encounter of the Reef like never before.
The incredible bucket-list experience could be booked via the Uber app for AUD $3,000 which gave two users a one-hour ride in the scUber submarine and even included pickup and drop off from your location.
Available for only 10 days, the activation gave consumers a spectacular view of the Northern section of the outer Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Port Douglas. Without the need for snorkels, diving gear or swimwear, riders were submerged up to 30 metres into crystal clear waters to see in unique detail the beautifully diverse aquatic and plant life.
To launch scUber rides, a competition was announced which saw 150,000 people from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK and France enter for a chance to travel to Queensland and gain a place in the scUber submarine.
The magical experience had an important mission; to remind people of the crucial role the oceans play in our lives and why we need to protect them. With an experience as memorable and breath-taking as this, those who took the trip were overawed and said it would stay in their minds for years to come.
The campaign was part of Uber’s sustainability drive which supports a number of environmentally friendly projects and is focused on reducing air pollution and carbon emissions through greener automotive technologies and carpooling.
There’s something very exciting and magical about taking consumers into unknown underwater worlds like this underwater museum experience and this wonderful aquatic bus shelter activation.
This year also saw a major move towards full service experiential campaigns being entered into the awards.
Clarke explained: “Agencies and brands alike are showing a real focus on fully integrated pieces of work. As an industry we are seeing brand experience taking the lead in wider campaigns and that was only more prevalent this year.”
The nominations for experiential brand activation at a festival or large-scale event of the year are: FRUKT, George P. Johnson, Imagination, Jack Morton Worldwide, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, Space, Sunshine, TRO for: Nissan, Volvo Cars and BMW.
Sponsors for this year’s event are: SquareMeal, JLA, Special EFX, Tint, The Drum’s RAR and The Drum Network.
This article is about:
Reporting For Drums.
SKYDIVING INTO THE BIG GAME WITH CBS SPORTS NETWORK
Is the first Sunday of February a national holiday yet? Even if our teams didn’t make the playoffs, most Americans sit down and watch the Big Game. We eat our favorite foods, bond over entertaining commercials, and have a shared experience. We have our traditions, memories of our favorite games and halftime shows, and favorite beverages. But beyond the comfort of our couches, there’s another level of experience that draws die-hard fans from all over the world.
Every year, the Super Bowl Experience invites fans to celebrate their love of professional football by attending what they call an “interactive theme park” in the city hosting the Big Game. This year, the CBS Sports Network marketing team asked us to help create an unforgettable experiential moment at the Super Bowl Experience in Atlanta.
The challenge? This mind-blowing experience had to fit into a 10x30ft footprint.
When presented with the brief, we challenged ourselves to find a way to create a never been done before stand-out moment that aligned with the CBS Sports Network and their core services. We needed to incorporate The Super Bowl, the city of Atlanta, trends in the industry, and of course fit the parameters of the event.
Our solution? A stunning VR experience, centered around the fact that CBS Sports Network delivers amazing sports content and during the Super Bowl, their audience can deliver the most important game ball of the year.
Fans would have the opportunity to jump out of an airplane, fly over Atlanta, skydive through the roof of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and deliver the game ball to the referee at the 50 yard line.
Here’s the play-by-play of the Virtual Skydiving experiential marketing Experience:
Fans step up to the platform. They are hooked into a harness and given VR goggles to wear. As the simulator lifts them into the air, they can see the door of an airplane and are asked to jump out! Wind is blown from fans in the floor of the platform so that they can experience the sensation of soaring through the air, adding a unique 4D element. They skydive through the air for about 30 seconds and enter the stadium through the roof (Lady Gaga Style). They are greeted by the cheers of a full Mercedes-Benz Stadium. After they land on the grass (and back on the platform in real life), they deliver the game ball to the ref, and cheer with the crowd in excitement!
Once the fans are finished, they can pose in front of a sky backdrop in a branded skydiving suit. The picture is then printed out as a keepsake from the experiential marketing experience.
Even with a dual platform, the lines for this experience were consistent throughout the experience. Despite the length, the crowd loved it! While they waited, fans jammed to music and were entertained with trivia games, giveaways, and challenges by an Emcee. Every single person has said “that was well worth the wait.” One fan even remarked, when asked his thoughts on the wait, “of course the hottest thing here is going to have that long of a line”.
The Skydive Experience brought so much joy to the faces of the fans in those harnesses, and we saw plenty of fans post-skydive with the unmistakable flushed face of a post-thrill adrenaline seeker. It was an absolute blast and a one of a kind experience.
After the Super Bowl Experience ended on February 2nd, the Skydive experiential marketing Experience was moved to the Game Day Plaza at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This was an amazing way to engage the fans on their way into the big game and give them an additional cherry on top of their Super Bowl experience.
With the Skydive experiential marketing Experience, CBS Sports Network was able to deliver exactly what their audience was looking for: a thrill, an introduction to mind blowing technology, and the fantasy of being an integral part of their favorite day of the year. By gathering a crowd around this one-of-a-kind experience, CBS Sports Network was able to engage with their audience for 1-2 hours. It’s an audience that would have been somewhere else if they weren’t sure that the Skydiving Experience would be worth every minute of their valuable time, and provide an unforgettable shared experience with family and friends.
MY SUPER SWEET (SUMMER) INTERN EXPERIENCE: EVENT MARKETING FEATURING DEADMAU5
My experience at BeCore thus far has been one like a kid in a candy store. Since I’ve laid eyes on it and learned more, I want to touch, see, look under, over, and around everything… I want a taste of everything. Walking in, you are greeted by the sound of trickling water and beautiful art pieces left and right. (It’s good feng shui). You can’t help but notice a majority of the offices are enclosed with glass to create an inclusive environment. The BeCore office is full of amazing art and funky memorabilia making work just that much more interesting and inspiring day to day. You can’t turn a corner without seeing a couple of pieces including some that the team helped create together, and that’s an element that made my heart sing. There is an incredible sense of community here at BeCore. As an experiential marketing agency you know experiential marketing experience is everything, but I’ve felt that the experiential marketing experience created for the consumer is not the only one that matters.
The coolest part of my summer has been working on Amazon’s Unboxing Prime Day event. As an intern at BeCore, there are zero coffee runs. They do an effortless job of creating an inclusive experience, meaning each bit of work I do is considered and has great potential to come to life during an event. I stand as a member of the creative development team where I work with some awesome, talented, out-of-the box thinkers. Together, we were able to develop a gaming experience for Amazon Prime customers as Amazon partnered with Twitch Prime, PUBG, and Deadmau5. From mapping out and measuring what was soon to be the battlegrounds and collecting images from countless Twitch streams and Youtube videos, to walking through the entrance of the large Amazon shipping box where you are then exposed to the war zone and thrilling performance by Deadmau5, I had butterflies in my stomach. I entered the event in awe, smiling ear to ear.
I couldn’t help but think, “wow, they get to do THIS all the time.” I am truly grateful to be a part of this team. Their passion is transparent. Within two weeks of working here, you pick up on some key values. I quickly identified a couple:
- A. Time Management
BeCore is an experiential marketing agency with an array of notable clients who trust us to help fulfill their goals by creating an immersive experience. Yes, time is money, but that is not the core focus here. Time is sensitive in experiential because there is a full process from point A to Z. We aim for efficiency so we are effective.
- B. Details
“We sweat the details.” It’s the little things that count. When creating an immersive experience for consumers, we want them to feel like they are in the applied environment. Everything including seating, lighting, props, wall ornaments, and beyond, we want our guests to notice and be excited about.
A bit about myself
At 21, it is easy for me to feel the pressures of life and worries of the job search. A position in the entertainment industry has been a long-term dream of mine, and as I have gotten older and built my résumé, I’ve slowly been able to narrow my focus. I always say it’s better to be doing something rather than nothing, so I’ve had a few jobs. I’ve worked in retail, been a tour ambassador, and currently stand as a Sports Information Director. While I remain proud of those accomplishments and appreciative of each experience, I am still hungry for more!
Working in an ever changing environment is a key factor for me when looking to settle down in my career. Organized chaos keeps me on my toes and engaged in all that occurs in my environment. BeCore stands the perfect fit for me because at least every other week, there is a new project and task to tackle.
Motivational speaker Simon Sinek reminds me, “the challenge of our unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of our accomplished past.” As my internship goes on and I have the pleasure to learn more about the key roles at BeCore, in addition to gaining insight on their path to success, my excitement for my future increases. I’ve learned there is no correct or secret path. To anyone trying to figure out what to do in this life, keep going. Start with what you like and narrow it down from there. Talk to people! Speak with someone in a field or industry of interest and ask themhow they got there. It never hurts to ask. I was afraid to jump once upon a time, but once I did, I discovered a new world I happened to fall in love with.
BEYOND THE STREETS LA REVIEW: RECAPPING THE BECORE TEAM ART TRIP
Recently the BeCore team had the opportunity to take a team bonding trip to the Beyond The Streets exhibition in Downtown LA. As an experiential marketing agency, we felt the “event” side of the exhibition, but it also feels like a culturally significant museum with 50 years of art in one setting. The exhibit has a bit of everything, it has what can be considered “high art” and it has “low art”. It’s a specially curated show by experts in urban art. There are political elements but also many with a lighter, humorous feel. Even though it is based in Los Angeles, we could feel and see the energy of places around the globe. There’s influence from music and skate, and ideas from the past and from the future. Read on to learn more about the exhibit, hear what our team thought about their experience, and if we recommend a trip to our friends and readers (spoiler: we do). experiential marketing in Lagos is growing as other parts of the worls.
What is Beyond The Streets?
Beyond The Streets is an immersive exhibit spanning over 40,000 square feet located at the Werkartz Building along the LA River. Beyond The Streets celebrates how graffiti and street art have changed and shaped our modern culture. Featured throughout the large industrial and outdoor spaces are installations, photography, sculpture, paintings, and environments by some of the world’s leading modern artists.
Who are the artists?
Beyond The Streets features over 100 artists all with incredibly independent and personal styles. Of course, the exhibition recognizes the legendary work of Banksy, Kilroy Was Here, C.R. Stecyk III, and Kristofferson San Pablo- their work is some of the first that comes to mind when we talk about street art. Beyond The Streets expands the narrative of street art and graffiti to include multimedia artists with new perspectives and creative mindsets.
After experiential marketing then sales why?
“It was incredible to see how many of the artists had their street art ultimately became integrated into various areas of pop culture. It reinforced for me the power of genuine, authentic experiences to capture people’s attention and make them react.” – Steve Dupee, President of BeCore
Beyond The Streets includes canvas work by the mind-bending Felipe Pantone and Todd James. Todd James started out painting subway trains in New York in the early 80’s and went on to become one of the most successful graffiti and commercial artists of our time: opening exhibitions like Street Market and Art in the Streets.
Felipe Pantone-Chromadynamica 61
The Richard Colman canvas entitled Blue Figure, acrylic on canvas, was a favorite of creative intern Tori Jackson’s. “The colors were so vibrant, and I found it to be so creative how he used different shades of the same color. I think he executed this very well. And HuskMitNavn’s acrylic pieces made me love the idea of a backwards canvas.”
What really sets Beyond The Streets apart from other modern exhibits are the environments. BeCore’s Executive Creative Director Jen Fisch “loved that Beyond The Streets took a more experiential approach than a traditional art show. From the moment you enter the gates you are greeted with installations that encourage the audience to participate. The handball installation by Lee Quiñones recreated an NYC site in the 80s and came complete with equipment to play an actual game of handball. The Gangsta Gardener, Ron Finley, built a garden out front for everyone to enjoy. He is known for building gardens in inner city food deserts.”
“Inside there were at least half a dozen different installations where you were encouraged to touch, feel and explore a physical space. A couple that stood out, where the massive Temple by FAILE which has an insane amount of detail and also the strip club style installation by AIKO which came from a female empowerment perspective.”
The works of Brooklyn based artist, SWOON also highlight a new emerging narrative in the world of street art. They feature beautifully detailed portraits painted on found objects like doors and pieces of driftwood.
Who is the curator?
Beyond The Streets is curated by Roger Gastman. Roger is a graffiti historian, collector, urban anthropologist, and founder and co-publisher of Swindle magazine with Shepard Fairey. This exhibition is his follow up to Art in the Streets, which was the first graffiti and street art exhibit in the U.S., which broke MoCA LA’s attendance record with 220,000 visitors). Roger is also known for co-authoring “The History of American Graffiti” and for co-producing the Oscar nominated Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. Quite the resume, and his expertise shows through in the Beyond The Streets experiential marketing exhibition.
So, Does the team at BeCore think you should go?
Beyond The Streets captures the heart and soul of LA. What started as a way for a few kids to express themselves transformed into a universal language. Street Art is now a celebrated part of Los Angeles History and Culture and there is no better place to see it then Beyond The Streets.
Tori Jackson’s Los Angeles pride was represented in Estevan Oriol’s L.A. Fingers. This piece “stuck out to me just being from the city and seeing the representation and combination of art, Angeleno pride, and culture. The long nails were a plus haha.”
Estevan Oriol – L.A. Fingers
“Beyond The Streets is the future of art and experience. This type of activation is changing the
way people immerse themselves into art. It gives you context, background and makes you feel
like you are there.”- Mark Billik, Founder and CEO
BeCore’s Founder and CEO Mark Billik
“Beyond The Streets is a perfect source of inspiration for any creative. It introduced me to a variety of different styles and artists and encouraged me to pick up my sketchbook the second I got home. It’s also a great destination for whoever wants to spice up their social media, as it offers plenty of unique photo opportunities.” -Tia Ruszkowska, Junior Art Director
Our team loved their experience at the exhibit and highly recommend making some time to visit, especially for those in the LA area or street art fans. Our creative director Lyla had a great summary of our thoughts:
“I loved the variety of artists they showcased. If you love street art, you know you usually have to hunt for it. To get to see all these great artists in one location was so inspiring!”
-Lyla Morrison, Creative Director
This is a must for street art fans, there’s no need to hunt through the city. Beyond The Streets is open to the public now through August 26th, Friday-Sunday. Admission is $25.
For more information about visiting the Beyond The Streets exhibition in Downtown LA and to buy tickets, click here. Also check out the Beyond The Streets Instagram for more photos and behind-the-scenes video.
THE INCREASING ROLE OF LIVE STREAMED VIDEO IN EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING ACTIVATIONS
Your brand is in the process of planning the perfect event, and you’re left with a choice: to stream or not to stream? Great question. The simple answer? It depends. There are pros and cons to live streaming, and we’re happy to walk you through both sides! But first, is it “live streaming” or “livestreaming”? The AP style guide will accept both, so that works for us (although we prefer “live streaming”). So, what qualifies us to talk about live streaming? We have many successful live streamed events under our belt, most recently the Mixer Anniversary Domino Build. Each stream presents unique challenges, but the opportunity to reach a larger audience than the physical experiential marketing space can handle is often the deciding factor.
Why should I live stream my event? Let’s use Coachella as an example of the incredible potential reach of live streaming. The festival drew 24.5 million live views in 2017. In 2018, Coachella live views grew to 41 million. After last year’s cancellation, Beyonce’s Coachella performance was highly anticipated and drew a peak audience of 458,000 simultaneous global viewers making her set one of the most streamed videos of all time. Reach a larger audience at a low cost. It will almost always be cheaper to acquire a video viewer than to get people to buy tickets to an event. All that’s truly required to stream is a social account and an Internet connected device. We recommend reserving some budget to hire professionals. This will remove some of the risk of going live, and ensure that your stream looks its best. Right now, audiences around the world are consuming video at historic rates.
The majority of the population prefers visual content to written content. It’s easier than ever to watch videos, as our devices and Internet connections now have better streaming capabilities. Gaming conferences such as E3 know their audience well, and are providing numerous entertaining streams throughout the week of the E3 conference. Why limit your event reach to the number of seats in a venue? Coachella has been live streaming for eight years. It’s past time for other brands to catch up. When should I skip the live stream? If it’s an exclusive, high cost event. Your paying audience may not be happy that the rest of the world can view the event for free, especially if the value is the same for both audiences. Make sure you’re not stepping on your paying audience’s toes. Avoid live streaming just because you can. Low quality video due to a weak Internet connection or cheap camera paints your brand in a poor light. A live stream with no purpose or value will be obvious to the consumer. As live video grows in popularity, consumers will be better educated on quality. If your live stream has no value, skip the live stream and focus on executing your next activation with enough value to live stream. If you decide to live stream your experiential marketing event, here are a few tips we recommend: Test, test, and test. Make sure your technology is working before the event, and have a backup plan. We’re dealing with technology, and things could go wrong. Run some tests and rehearsals in advance. Live footage can’t be edited, so have someone ready to kill the stream at any time. If something goes wrong, pause or cut the feed and start it up again when everything is back in order. Plan as much as possible in advance, and make sure the area you are filming is clean. With a live stream, your audience will see everything that happens. Did your top executive trip when taking the stage? Let’s hope you don’t have to see that GIF on social media for the next few days. Anything can happen on a live video, so preparation is key. Make sure your talent is well prepared, know your surroundings, and don’t make rehearsals an afterthought. Expand your reach with digital ad spend or influencer marketing before the event.Don’t forget to tell your audience that the event will be streamed. If influencers experiential marketing will be present, work out a deal to have them promote the live stream. Remarketing ads targeting your site’s visitors are an inexpensive way to add to your stream count (you only pay when they click on your ads). You’re spending part of your budget to be able to show your event to an audience, reserve some to multiply that audience with these inexpensive ads. Social promotion is a must as well; make sure your social team is on the same page. Provide Value and Engage the Audience. Having a chat function, exclusive discounts for viewers, and opportunities to interact with influencers are a few ways to add value to your live stream. Q&A’s are another great way to add value to a stream. As marketers, the question we must constantly ask is “How can we provide value?” and a live stream is no exception. Hopefully with these tips, you’re ready to take on a live stream for your next event. Our highly experienced team is always happy to answer questions, and help you decide if live streaming is the right choice for your next experiential marketing activation.
HUMAN EXPERIENCES: THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND AMBASSADORS IN EXPERIENTIAL
Today we’re going to discuss the importance of brand ambassadors. For the majority of businesses getting the word out about their business is absolutely essential to success. There’s a lot of different ways that you can go about promoting your brand in order to raise awareness. Sometimes, advertising and sales can come off as if you’re trying too hard to sell your product.
Companies have been seeing success with ambassadors, especially with brands activating using experiential marketing campaigns. In fact, Ambassadors are the not-so-secret weapon of many hot brands. They help the up-and-coming brands stand out among many others. Building ambassadors is not about trying to create a magical viral video, it’s about building heart centered relationships one person at a time.
Ambassadors help humanize your brand
People like to buy products from people, plain and simple. Even though organizations traditionally brand themselves with logos, symbols and colors, social media offers opportunities to do more. When ambassadors are aligned with your brand, they tend to be emotionally engaged, which consumers notice. When someone is passionate about what they’re doing it’s contagious and not only do they show passion, they show authenticity.
Brand Ambassadors will increase your social media impression reach
When a brand goes the extra mile to help out an attendee or consumer, it doesn’t go forgotten. Consumers remember their experience, and in turn help increase positive brand mention. When people see or hear something positive about a brand, people attach high credibility to it. When you integrate brand ambassadors into your campaign, you are integrating their individual social media clout into the picture which magnifies what you’re doing at your brand activation.
Brand Ambassadors help with reputation management
When you have feet on the ground and a guest may have an issue with something, they are there to help. If your brand ambassador is online and someone has an issue, they can swoop in to help with any issues they may have experienced. It’s all about exceeding service expectation. The great thing about brand ambassadors is they see opportunities all over, they can take a frustrated guest and help turn their experience around. It’s these kinds of engagements that people remember for good.
Brand Ambassadors help provide positive word of mouth
When people are out there using your product publicly, it gets the conversation going. Nothing can be as powerful as word of mouth. When you can transform your fans into supporters, you’ve just earned yourself the best word of mouth marketing you can get. Brand ambassadors are out there endorsing your brand turning people into potential customers one by one. The possibilities of a reliable experiential marketing structure is dependent on how trained field agents can be at times.
Brand Ambassadors can help increase your web traffic
When you shift your focus from content to community, you earn content. Ambassadors who have their own blog or social channels will talk about their experience with your company or products. This in-turn will help increase your SEO rank, as well as your domain authority with google. This is an easy and effective way to get extra traffic to your site without your marketing team having to add extra effort.
Brand Ambassadors help increase brand awareness, authentically
People listen to their friend’s advice over an advertisement. Usually because they know they’re not being manipulated by a TV ad, or commercial, perhaps a banner ad shouting at you while you’re trying to listen to music. Brand ambassadors live the brand, and as they use it’s products and service, people take notice. This alone can speak louder than any ad or commercial.
If you’ve got questions about experiential marketing or are interested in speaking with someone about creating your own marketing campaign, contact BeCore today! We’d love to partner with you on your next project.
Experiential Marketing still remains that important aspect of a brand that can not be left out. In Lagos, Nigeria lots of planned brand activation keeps rolling daily but we always try to analyse to see if it can measure up to how the experience feels across the world.
CREATING IMMERSIVE ART EXPERIENCES THAT ARE MORE THAN AN INSTAGRAM PHOTO OP
Art popups have been a thing for a while now, but we’re seeing a trend of art installations that are designed to be “just another millennial photo op.”
People may be enticed to go somewhere to take a great photo. They may post it to Instagram and you’ll get your social cred. But will they stay after the photo has been posted to Instagram? Will they recommend it to their friends? Not if there’s nothing else available at your event that’s designed for the present, and not simply for a #latergram.
Using the incredibly immersive experience of Meow Wolf as our guide, let’s explore the ways that the experiential marketing world can create art experiences that are so much more than a photo opportunity.
The collaboration of artists is something we support, and we’ve seen the incredible results first hand in our world through art installations such as Meow Wolf. Located in Santa Fe, Meow Wolf is a place where you can feel the energy and passion of dozens of artists, all working towards the same goal: to display their hearts and souls for the world to see, and inspire creativity.
The 150 artists that worked on the “gallery” (it’s more than a gallery) titled it “The House of Eternal Return” and described it as a massive, immersive, multimedia installation. Since that description may not help, one of the artists involved mentioned she’ll often start listing things the installations are similar to: “‘A haunted house, a choose your own adventure, a dreamscape, etc.”
Meow Wolf is a visually appealing journey with a striking variety of themes, designs, and brilliant color that can even hold the attention span of a modern screen addict. There are clearly areas of the experience that look stunning on Instagram.
But we’re here to talk about what makes Meow Wolf more than a selfie backdrop. We have some simple suggestions for taking your art experiences to the next level:
-Allow Artists to Lead
-Tell an Entertaining Story
-Make it Highly Interactive
We’d love to see more creative spaces designed and led by the artists themselves. Using Meow Wolf as an example, the partnership of an artist community and the primary investor of “Game of Thrones” writer George R.R. Martin has led to fantastic results. Martin understands the value in letting people tell their stories unfiltered (at last count, his epic story has led over 1,000 characters to their graves, including many main characters). Martin paid for the space, which is in a former bowling alley, made some improvements, and then charged a well-below market rent to allow Meow Wolf to make their mark. With no restraints on the artists, they were free to take the experience and story in any direction they chose. Giving your audience an experiential marketing experience that they will never forget.
The experience does have a compelling story, that leads visitors through the gates and provides an incentive to see and explore more. While we won’t ruin the full story for you, we can give a brief synopsis. You walk through the front door and see a Victorian home, owned by the family “the Seligs”. The house is filled with family details that help you piece together the story, including a child’s journal, and clues to secret passageways and rooms, with the story veering into multi-dimensional territory. The story is a big factor in the amount of time people spend in the space, attempting to connect the dots and discover tiny details that the average visitor might miss. Providing a theme for your art experience, and a simple story line can move visitors to focus beyond the photo-worthy exterior and immerse themselves in the present. It would be difficult to attempt photographing the journey as your eye bounces to minute details and you wrap yourself in the story. And a large percentage of the Meow Wolf experience would not be worth an Instagram. There are certainly rooms that make for a great backdrop, but you’ll find yourself drawn into dark rooms to discover story elements, and that’s what makes it such an immersive experience.
As odd as it may sound, the difficulty to document a majority of the space for social media is what visitors love about The House of Eternal Return. They’re simply engaged in an experience with friends or family. 400,000 visitors came through the Meow Wolf space in its first year. Those visitors were also drawn in by the ability to touch and interact with everything in the space. A roped off art exhibit is not as engaging as a room with a preserved wooly mammoth, inviting you to play its bones like a giant musical instrument. There’s an escape room feel that encourages visitors to find a combination to the safe, or open the fridge and check out what the family has inside. There’s a maze of psychedelic trees to explore. Around every corner, there’s a surprise waiting to be played with and touched. You’re inspired to open new doors, solve mysteries, and play music. It’s comfortable yet eerie, and it’s totally different than most art experiences in world of experiential marketing
What’s the next step for the art world? Are experiences such as the Museum of Ice Cream and the Infinity Mirrors by Yayoi Kusama at the Broad in LA overplayed? One concern is the limitations of time and space, especially for the Infinity Mirrors. The max time a viewer is allowed to remain in the room is 45 seconds, just enough time to snap a photo and revel in the brilliance of a room that feels boundless. The docents even encourage visitors to have their phones ready to snap a photo since time is so limited. Is that enough to convince someone to come to the Broad, especially if they know that they’re only going to have 45 seconds? It’s possible. But where Meow Wolf excels is a visitor is not restricted by time or rules. It’s a free play, seemingly endless space where the only limits are your imagination. That’s a draw, considering most art experiences can cost $20 a person or more. Visitors would rather explore, rather than wait in lines for an awesome photo. If your art experience can provide both, that’s what the visitor is looking for. Make Experiential Marketing a daily focus for your brand to stay peak.
What does all of this mean for lovers of art, and brands eager to contribute to art experiences? On theMeow Wolf side, they are setting their sights on other cities, with Denver and Las Vegas experiences in the works. We want to see more, and so does the community.
On the brand side, we encourage brands to work with artists, but allow the artists to keep their ideas and creativity. A collaborative process can’t be forced and controlled. A highly branded experience with little to no input from the artists will not be seen as authentic. Work together on the story. Make sure that the artists are comfortable with the interactive elements. It must be a partnership.
Brands can provide opportunities that engage beyond the visual. Food brands can offer a space to taste products in a highly visual setting. Alcohol brands could have a bar in one of the rooms. Technology brands can incorporate a space to showcase a product in line with the art experience’s theme. There are so many ways for brands to contribute, just make sure that it’s a contribution, and not a directive. Clever marketing campaigns can be highly successful, but an authentically immersive experience will go so much further towards creating lifelong brand advocates.
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