Just because budgets are making a comeback doesn’t mean budget-busting experiences are, too. Small is the new big as FedEx activates phase two of its first-ever pilot program to reach Gen Y consumers. The grassroots program—a first for the big budget sports sponsorship spender—focuses on community cultivation, face-to-face events and support for small business owners. The killer app? A deep research effort that matched the unique “need states” of small business owners with free expertise, services and networking opportunities both online and through a series of live events. The program is so popular that its members now practically run it themselves… a major trend in 2012 and just what FedEx intended.
Fast-forward to July and the industry convenes in London for one of the world’s biggest global experiential platforms, the 2012 Summer Olympics, this time held on some of the smallest square footage of any major sponsorship event. EM is there to capture the highlights (Coca-Cola, Cisco, P&G and Cadbury, to name a few) and the lowlights (why, Panasonic, why?) and preview a few of the trends taking off in late 2012. Our fave? Coke’s brand pavilion—a fan experience that transforms the architecture of the structure into a 35-minute interactive music-making journey. Event marketers have made clever use of the exteriors of many a building and mobile vehicle, but few, if any, have made such impactful and interactive use of the architecture itself.
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