Why 2018 will be the year of Experiential

Earlier this month global intelligence platform PSFK launched their 2018 Advertising Playbook. Its packed with a tonne of statistical evidence that points to one thing:

Experiential Marketing will be the most effective channel for brands to forge meaningful connections with consumers in 2018.

Now, this is not news to us at Hyperactive. We believe in The Theory of The Experience Economy; that consumers desire to be entertained by experiences rules the way we interact, the way we socialise and critically, the content we post on our social channels. It is this trend that has made marketers reappraise the way their brands grab our attention. With over 5,000 advertising messages hurled in our faces every day, the more progressive, innovative and engaging brands have to be in order to be in with the slightest chance of brand recall, let alone loyalty.

The ancient Chinese proverb rings true:

Tell me, I’ll forget.
Show me, I’ll remember. 
Involve me, I’ll understand.

In 2018 experiential is predicted to enjoy the largest increase in growth to date, as marketers believe it will be a crucial and effective way to communicate with consumers, to cut through and to create emotional connections. By creating activations that not only drive awareness but engage and educate consumers by demonstrating products benefits, in a way that entertains and creates that lasting impression.

Experiential is often the catalyst for social content, PR assets, the story that drives channel fame, regardless of the footfall or first-hand engagement. Of the 400 marketers that PSFK interviewed almost half have ‘created an experiential campaign purely to take social content up a gear’, and that epitomises the strength of the channel.

Global Radio investing in festivals. Pop up shops popping up all over the shop. They are all catering for the Experience Economy, creating memories for consumers by offering brands cultural touch points. Brands have licence to invite consumers to touch, feel, taste their worlds, to entertain them, inspire them, and to convert them into advocates. When 59% of millennials look to their peers for purchasing advice, this advocacy can quickly translate into tangible results.

It is our view at Hyperactive that the big idea is half of the story – it’s what you do with it that counts. We believe that the more integrated Experiential Marketing is into a broader communications campaign, the more impact it will deliver. The combination of experience and influencer marketing is one that is paying dividends for our clients with trackable results. Our most successful campaigns have benefited from this combination: from launching Eurostar’s on-board Virtual Reality experience, Odyssey, to live-streaming Beats by Dre’s Anthony Joshua partnership launch on Hypebeast, or inviting vloggers to a preview of Maynard Bassett’s Sweet Art Gallery pop up.

Throw into the mix a cutting-edge technology, such as virtual reality, and the bond between brand and consumer becomes an immensely powerful one. Not solely by leaving a lasting impression of ‘wow’ but providing an experience that consumers will remember. Way more than the 4,999 other ads they’d have seen by bedtime.

Andrew Casher
Founder of Hyperactive