As plans for the new festival season get underway, it's become clear that brands are increasingly looking to establish their presence at both large-scale, traditional events and smaller, more unique experiences.
While the ability to engage and interact with consumers during this type of activity is widely recognised and valued, what often gets missed is the opportunity of creating additional material and taking it to a wider audience. If planned and managed carefully, brands can extrapolate a wealth of rich content that can be used to connect with consumers beyond the event itself and can help build valuable online fan bases and communities.
In the run up to any experiential activity, it is essential that agencies work together from the planning stages to ensure that the maximum possible content can be extracted from the event. While in many cases it's important for experiential agencies to bag the right celebrity, this is only the first step. Engaging the content digital agency to create longer term content is critical and will have a major impact on the success of the campaign overall. A collaborative approach at the early stages can be hugely beneficial in the long term.
A prime example of this is the Lynx Shower
campaign that we were involved with, which set a Guinness World Record
for the largest number of people to shower together. As well as the actual 'shower' itself, which took place on Bournemouth beach, in the south of England, we created a play on the infamous Lynx Billions
ad as well as behind the scenes edits and vox pops. The film went viral and received over 300,000 views. It also led to hundreds of new followers on Twitter and Facebook.
In terms of content, the possibilities are endless. Our campaign for Guinness
involved an in-depth review of home nation teams through the official Guinness social networking sites, blogs from New Zealand, live web chats with the players and even the opportunity for fans to post their messages of support online. The ability for people to engage with a brand in such a wide variety of ways adds value to any campaign in a way that consumers are increasingly coming to expect. The Guinness Facebook
page has had an additional 2000 users since the campaign launched.
Events are a huge undertaking in terms of both time and financial investment so brands need to make sure that they are making the most of them. The analogy I like to use is that events are often seen as a headline when they should be viewed as a story. Brands need to go beyond the headline to engage a wider audience and get a better return on their investment.
Maxine Briggs is editorial director at TMW, London