10 Brand Execs Discuss the Value of Experiential Marketing

10 Brand Execs Discuss the Value of Experiential Marketing
10 Brand Executives Weigh-in on the Value of Experiential Marketing

The Power of Experiential: 10 Brand Executives Sound Off on the Value of Live Events

In light of the pandemic, we’re revisiting some of our favorite soundbites on the value of the experiential discipline. As we all await the return of live events and pivot into digital, let’s take a moment to bask in the power of live. 

Event profs examine experiential marketing’s grip on the marketing mix

To say that experiential marketing has come a long way since its inception is a vast understatement. Once viewed as a superfluous “add-on” that lacked any strategic backing, the industry has grown to be recognized as a critical part of the marketing mix—and in the era of the experience economy, its influence will only continue to expand. Brands of every stripe have witnessed the power of live events, and they’re passionate about driving the industry forward. Here, 10 brand executives weigh in on the value of experiential marketing and why it continues to play an essential role in their overall marketing strategy.

adidas_complexcon-teaser.“Over the past year, we’ve started incorporating our MakerLabs into events. That really gave kids of all ages the opportunity to sit down in a fully equipped creation studio and build sneakers or customize apparel using the same tools our own designers have access to. We think experiential enables us to provide these real-life tools, resources and opportunities for the next generation of creators, not just in the streetwear community, but across music, art, fashion, sport.”

—Jason Greenblatt, senior events manager at adidas Originals North America

craigellachie-teaser“It’s all about driving ‘liquid to lips,’ and also, ‘occasionality.’ When you look at whisky, your whisky choice is based on an occasion and creating special moments in life. So live events are really important for us because it means we can talk our whisky lovers through the Craigellachie story. Instead of reading it on a website, we can tell all those amazing tales and answer questions, and also guide them through the whisky in their glass.”

—Georgie Bell, global malts ambassador at Bacardi, parent brand of Craigellachie

nat-geo_valley-of-the-boom_teaser“To do exactly what we’re trying to accomplish with WeWork—which is how can you have some fun in an immersive environment, but also take a practical element—the live environment allows you to do that… The other thing is, particularly for an entertainment brand like National Geographic, we have access to incredible talent and influencers. And we know that for our audience, which is very hungry for facts and information in context, that providing an environment where they can have those interactions really helps to drive not only the practical intent-to-view for content, but it makes them feel much stronger affinity and affection for the National Geographic brand.”

—Jill Cress, chief marketing and communications officer at National Geographic Partners

canon-teaser“We very much believe that experiencing is believing. People take pictures all the time with their phones, but there is a real difference when you use the proper camera. A lot of people haven’t had that experience, so we want to give that to them so they really see the difference and they understand the creative possibilities… What we see all the time is once they start playing around with different settings and different looks, they get inspired and they go out and it adds another dimension to their work, which you wouldn’t get if you can’t put hands-on.”

—Rob Altman, senior marketing manager at Canon

smirnoff_teaser“When you’re trying to get people’s attention, you have to provoke them out of their daily routine. I think a really fun event can do that quite successfully for us, especially an event that is built to be fun… Secondly, it’s liquor, so you can’t taste it unless it’s live.”

—Jay Sethi, vice president-Smirnoff, Diageo North America

werthers_nostalgia_teaser“Experiences really allow consumers to interact with a brand in a very personal and memorable way. This game allowed [consumers] to discover everything Werther’s had to offer, our versatile product portfolio and also be introduced to new items in our lineup that they might not have known about before. So, discovering something new they might love. It also can, from a business-building perspective, drive mass awareness around not only the experience but also the online coverage and the media coverage we were able to get and drive really strong brand affinity because of this experience that they’ve had.”

—Meredith Suffron, director of marketing at Werther’s Original

bacardi_festival-teaser“It’s very natural to bring Bacardi to where [consumers] already are so we can connect in a better way with them. And festivals are the perfect combination of great music, delicious food and cocktails. Everything there inspires consumers to move and to get up, which is part of what we are trying to get consumers to do… Live events are a great opportunity to fuse music, cocktails and the Bacardi DNA—which is all about the fun you can have by being true to yourself. So we will always continue to explore and create these experiences where we can connect directly with consumers.”

Roberto Ramirez Laverde, vice president, Bacardi North America

CBSi teaser“Live events feel like a way to really envelop our audience in the brand. At GameSpot in particular, it’s such a family that the people are an extension of the brand. We have our internals at these parties… They’re very intertwined with the industry, and to really understand the brand and create true affinity for the brand, you need to know the people behind it.”

—Ashley Mansfield, svp-brand, experience & partnerships at CBS Interactive

exotico_teaser“Live events are always a great way to interact with consumers directly and hear their feedback, and also provide them with an opportunity to interact with the brand. It’s an opportunity for us to really show our personality to consumers and maybe even find new consumers and get people to try tequila who haven’t tried it. It’s also an opportunity to show love to some different markets that either are great tequila markets or markets we’re trying to develop and grow and show support to the consumers and our distributor partners in those areas.”

—Aimee Loyet, assistant brand manager at Luxco, parent brand of Exotico Tequila

lg_bonnaroo-teaser“Live events have always been an important part of our strategy because for us, it’s a way to really engage consumers in a very unique and interactive way… With Bonnaroo, it’s a way for people to be able to engage with our products within their different passion points. When people are experiencing our brand in a scenario where they’re enjoying themselves and doing something they love, it creates a great brand association.”

—Gail Conroy, senior director-LG Home Appliances marketing


*This article was originally published in 2019 and is updated periodically

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music and doting on her fur baby.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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