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With the controversial “Whatever USA” event wrapping up in Crested Butte, I thought I’d focus on the growing trend of experiential marketing. If you’ve missed all the hoopla about the Whatever event, it was basically this in a nutshell… Bud Light took over the town of Crested Butte this past weekend, painted it blue, had a huge party, and invited thousands of people from around the US to attend.
Despite the backlash from Crested Butte Locals, it sounds like it was a success – but what was the point?
According to USA today, “Bud Light officials say the creation of the faux town, “Whatever, USA,” will generate content for a variety of advertising platforms, including social media, while rewarding some of its most enthusiastic customers.”
The marketing world is constantly looking for new ways to get consumers to pay attention. And experiential marketing has always been around, but it historically has just been a small piece of large campaigns. Many marketers are now increasing the role of live events and PR stunts to get consumers to interact directly with their brand because it is working. An EventTrack study on event marketing recently said that 62% of brands participating in the study were getting a 2 to 1 return on these type of events.
AdWeek referred to the few campaigns that included experiential marketing this summer: Purina set up a cat café in NYC, Oreo had a 3D printer at South by Southwest that made custom Oreos, And Coke had its off beat vending machines to promote its Open Happiness campaign.
To read more about all this, check out the AdWeek article that inspired this post.