May 17, 2017
Three Ways Tech Takes Experiences Beyond the Footprint
The best way to learn about a brand is to experience it. Marketers are constantly on the hunt to uncover new ways to inform audiences and extend the brand relationship with real-life experiences. Experiential campaigns have no geographical limits, reaching consumers anywhere from events, tours, contests, and pop-up stores. To add new dimension and excitement to these experiences, brands have been using emerging technologies to go beyond the event footprint. Here are a few examples:
We live in a world of image sharing, thanks to hand-held devices that are hard to let go. Conference and festival attendees seek out experiences and share those experiences with their social networks. With the innovation of the hashtag printer, brands can provide their guests with pocket-sized take-aways, while increasing their social media status. The hashtag printer is more than a smart printer but a megaphone for the brand. IMW leveraged a hashtag printer recently to engage millennials. Guests took a photo with their own phone from anywhere at the event, posted it to Instagram or Twitter using the event hashtag, and picked up their branded photo at the footprint. The result was increased brand awareness through hashtag usage and a fun, take-home gift for guests.
Virtual reality is an exciting technology that is used to virtually export the consumer and create an unforgettably engaging experience. This evolving technology has been used both in consumer and B2B events. The most effective activations create a multisensory experience in order to fully immerse the user in the brand environment. Sony Pictures recently used virtual reality to promote their feature film, The Walk, where guests were asked: “Can you walk the walk?” The experience challenged guests to “virtually” walk and balance their weight onto a wire that was hung between the World Trade Center. Air fans blew onto the guests to give them the illusion that they were 104 stories up in the air in New York City. This activation allowed guests to experience what the film’s protagonist experienced, all the while creating content for visitors to share on their social media feeds. In return, the film received major exposure through organic conversations and word-of-mouth.
We recently showcased Avocados From Mexico at SXSW with the #AvoHappiness experience. We utilized new facial recognition software in our “touchscreen” dining experience. Through a camera placed at the top of the touchscreens, the software captured facial cues, such as smiles and frowns that indicated the person’s emotions, and triggered a set of pre-programed messages. Consumers were encouraged to smile in order to achieve #AvoHappiness. The camera then snapped a picture of the guests, catching them in a full ear-to-ear grin. Although the facial recognition software has been used broadly for marketing research, this was one of the first brand activations in an experiential environment. We connected the idea of happiness with avocados, creating a lasting impression among attendees. We also gathered important consumer data to measure engagement and use in future outreach. Most importantly, the technology delivered a fun, highly interactive experience unique to each user.