With the turn of the new year, it is time for us to reflect on our favourite experiential marketing brand events of 2018. Most of us have seen, visited or experienced an experiential brand event, how did you feel afterwards? The best brand events will leave you feeling emotionally connected, subtly educated and more inclined to shop with the company in the future. The less successful brand events can often have that ‘Instagrammable moment’, but fall short on creating a genuine deeper bond with the customer. The missing ingredient? Scientific research shows that when every sense works together, in line with product and brand, people will pay more, engage more and feel more.
Anya Hindmarch, Chubby Cloud
We kick off our list of our favourite experiential brand events with Anya Hindmarch’s London Fashion Week pop up “Chubby Cloud”. Located in Whitehall’s Banqueting House, visitors were invited to lie and sink into a huge white cloud beneath Rubens’ magnificent painted ceiling. The experiential installation was inspired by Hindmarch’s cloud motif from her Autumn/Winter 2018 Chubby collection. The three day event on the world’s largest bean bag also included meditation, bedtime stories by guest speakers, artists, meditation and live music.
Anya Hindmarch commented, “…inspired by our Chubby Collection, the world’s biggest beanbag will (quite literally) immerse people in our brand whilst listening to and experiencing things that we love.” Read more here..
Heineken, Special Edition: Wild Lager Discovery
Heineken embarked on a special edition craft beer experience which communicated the three different ‘wild yeast’ locations. Aptly named, ‘Wild Lager Discovery’, Heineken’s touring bar and taste experience, was fully immersive and engaged all the senses. Made of two containers, one opened up to create a walk-in bar serving the three Wild Lagers and the other took 12 people at a time on a three course immersive tasting. Each beer takes you on a journey which highlights individual flavours in each beer through the use of projections, canapés, aroma and ingredients to touch and smell. They premiered in Amsterdam, then Bilbao and Madrid with more to follow this year making them #2 on our top experiential marketing brand events of 2018 list.
“You just brought the experience to the next level"
"That thing with the moss and the mist/smoke is just amazing"
The Flipside, Selfridges
Located in The Old Selfridges Hotel, The Flipside was described as a ‘multisensory exhibition’ where one could experience ‘altered states of luxury’. Visitors found themselves in a mirrored maze of high gloss ball flooring, surrounded by pieces created by Louis Vuitton, Google, Loewe, Thom Browne and Gareth Pugh. As you journey through The Flipside in the raw concrete building, you find yourself in a dark room full of aromas where you can choose ingredients to turn into a cocktail. Once you have walked through the various spaces filled with art and installations, you reach a circular tunnel where you are invited to stand still and think (and listen to any whispers from other visitors).
“Luxury is about roughness instead of perfection. Luxury is about the controlled and uncontrolled. To me, luxury is the difference between recorded and live music” Fashion Designer, Yang Li.
“An incredible one-of a kind space created by Selfridges.”
The Singleton Experience, Hong Kong
The Singleton of Glen Ord is one of the oldest whisky distilleries in Scotland, established circa 1838. In 2018, The Singleton followed on from their hugely successful event in Taiwan with 'a feast for the senses' in Hong Kong. The Singleton House in Taiwan saw more than 100,00 visitors pass through during its six month lifespan and was highly influential. The immersive customer journey took visitors through the space where their senses were titillated, bringing out the warm and natural essence of The Singleton. Everything reflected The Singleton, from the shape, materials, textures, colours, sound and bespoke scent. Inside the sensory booth, guests were immersed in a 360º 4k visual world, surrounded by sounds and guided through flavours specifically designed to highlight the complex character traits of the whiskey.
“The ultimate sensorial experience. Poetically beautiful…” Claudia Lin, Taiwanese celebrity talk show host
Google, Curiosity Rooms
To promote the release of their new Pixel 3, Google opened a life-size curiosity cabinet in Piccadilly Circus which was aimed at engaging ‘experience-savvy’ Londoners. Instead of telling visitors about the new features, Google decided to let the public experience them in a series of ‘Curiosity Rooms’. Spanning 3 storeys, the Wes Anderson style experience ran for over 5 weeks and included talk from celebrity speakers, and experts in fashion, food and music. Some of our favourite rooms include The Laundrette, which consisted of enormous pink washing machines which, when you hover with the Google Pixel 3, tell you what is inside and recommend similar items! Another great feature of the phone is the Night Sight mode which is used in The Grotto, revealing the abilities to take a photo in a dark room. Better yet, tickets were free with a recommended donation to the charity Crisis.
Hunter, New York
And number 6 on our list of favourite pop-ups of 2018 is Hunter's greenhouse. Hunter took over Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station with this nifty four day pop-up. One of our favourites for its simplicity and efficacy. Designed to reflect their Scottish roots, the glass-roofed greenhouse was filled with atmospheric mist, the sound of rain and moss on the floor. Visitors were invited to wade through the mist and touch the iconic pieces in their intended environment. Without saying a word, the visitor was told everything they needed to know about the brand.
'Combining our pioneering Scottish heritage with a contemporary and playful approach to rainwear, we have built an immersive environment for the customer that we hope will transport them back to our roots,' says Alasdhair Willis, Creative Director at Hunter.