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University and Campus Marketing programs are a great way to position your brand with a very desirable demographic. It is a unique environment and target audience that requires a knowledgeable team to deliver a memorable and successful experience.
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What is a brand?

“What is a brand?” We get asked that question a lot. The best definition we have come across is “A brand is that which is memorable”.

In order to be memorable you have to activate the senses and stir the emotions of the audience. The point of experiential marketing is to create an environment where your customers make that connection with your product or service and are left with an emotional reference point.

Check out the YouTube video below. This was a “promo clip” prepared for the movie “Carrie”. It eventually gathered over 58 Million views and is still counting.

When you examine the fundamentals of this approach it is a very good illustration of a well-orchestrated experiential campaign.

Think – The critical component was an understanding of their audience and the desired emotional response to be generated. The more detailed the “script” that identifies with the target audience the higher the probability of success. It is clear in this production that a desired emotional outcome was clearly defined.

Create – The next component which is just as important as the script is the setting. This becomes much clearer once you have identified your target audience and know where you will naturally find a high concentration of the desired audience, one that is receptive to the experience. In the case of the Carrie promotion the selection of the coffee shop was brilliant in that it was a location that was innocuous, where people are involved in a daily routine and where there is an opportunity to deliver a maximum “unexpected” event that would leave a lasting impression. The expressions on the faces of the customers are testimony that it had the desired “shock” value and not something they will forget. It is human nature to share our experiences (both positive and negative) with friends and colleagues. The creators recorded the experience of a handful of people and took the opportunity to capitalize on their event by sharing it through social media with over 58 million views.

Perform – The performance is where the brand comes to life within the context of the story you are telling the audience. Everything that could impact the senses needs to support the brand. In this particular example the visual and auditory components were consistent with the “Carrie” brand and a precursor to what the audience could expect when going to the theatre to see the movie. The desired emotional experience of attending the movie was replicated in the experiential marketing setting so the audience had a direct connection with the “Carrie” brand. A successful campaign is one that is relevant.

Think again – The final component was that the method of delivery and measurement was decided before hand, in this case YouTube and other social media. The marketing team had an accurate and quantifiable metric in YouTube views to determine the response to the campaign.

By paying attention to this process your experiential marketing campaign can be tremendously effective whether it is on location, door to door, or multiple street level program.

- Written by Keith Andrews -