Does location matter in Experiential Marketing campaigns?
To answer this question we need look at what experiential marketing is and how it differentiates from simple brand theatre, field marketing or a promotional sampling campaign.
Experiential revolves around the emotional and sensory interaction between people and brands. It has to be designed to be fluid and interesting and at all points should be aimed at reaching and connecting with the audience in a more personal manner.
The biggest problem now is that so many people have tried to limit the fluid nature of experiential and position it as repeat, bite-size easy to swallow pieces in locations such as shopping centres. This is where experiential marketing stops being truly experiential and becomes a brand experience positioned in a broadcast and push (sales and advertising) environment which works against the natural emotions required to become an immersive experiential event.
Experiential marketing should always be positioned in areas and destinations where the audience are least expecting the event or in areas where the environment is a pull only and typically non-broadcast location. As people repeatedly see the same space (for example, in shopping centres) being used by a different brand and the typical 'pamper zone' week after week it soon becomes as effective as the White Noise created by a 6 sheet on a bus shelter.
In my experience the most successful experiential campaigns take place at the likes of festivals, music arenas, air shows and other unusual but highly focused and typically diverse locations; not in shopping centres and other predictable locations. Kommando know from 11 years of activations across 16 countries (and growing) that the common denominator in true experiential marketing is unusual positioning.
Here's an example of how Kommando used service stations across Europe to target a forgotten customer base with real immersive experiential marketing: