A fascinating look at Experiential Marketing

Patrick Icasas.
Patrick Icasas.

From CAMP (Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals) and B2B blogger, copywriter and Content Marketing Consultant Patrick Icasas, comes a fascinating look at Experiential Marketing.

Experiential Marketing allows consumers to physically interact with a brand in a memorable and unique fashion. This is done by immersing the consumer in a controlled environment meant to associate the brand with positive emotions. According to Icasas, there are a number of reasons why a brand would run an Experiential Marketing campaign. These include:

  • Generating buzz around a specific product or service (new or otherwise)
  • Creating or strengthening relationships within a local community
  • Brand building and awareness
  • Verifying a target audience
  • Encouraging positive word of mouth

This is different from simply sponsoring a concert or handing out flyers, in that marketers try to make the experience as creative and memorable as possible so that it leaves a lasting impression on both the people who experience the brand first-hand, as well as the people who learn about it afterwards (either on social media or in the news). Here are a few excellent examples of Experiential Marketing in action:

A scene from the Coca-Cola Happiness Truck video.
A scene from the Coca-Cola Happiness Truck video.

TimsDark. When Tim Hortons first introduced their Dark Roast blend in 2014, they wanted to make a splash in both stores and on social media. So they took the “dark” theme and applied it to one of their stores. They blocked the windows so that the interior was shrouded in complete darkness and invited customers in to taste the new dark roast blend without any distractions whatsoever – not even sight!

Coca-Cola Happiness Truck. Coca-Cola is one of the best brands in the world at Experiential Marketing, as proven by their “Happiness” vending machines and trucks. In this video, a truck rolls through the streets of Brazil handing out bottles of Coke and… a little bit extra.

Google Home Donut. In a more recent example, Google Home put up a fake mini-donut shop in downtown Toronto, where customers would be able to go into a booth and order a donut using a specially-rigged Google Home Unit. It emphasized the power of the new Google Home Smart Hub and associated it with getting a tasty pastry treat.

As you can see, well-executed Experiential Marketing events can get you mileage far beyond the day of the event itself. It can also serve as valuable content for future marketing campaigns, and reach even those who were not able to attend the event themselves. Don’t be afraid to come up with outlandish ideas for an interactive event. The sky is the limit as long as people are safe and it aligns with your brand.

For videos of these Experiential Marketing initiatives in action, please visit



Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.