A (brief) evolution of experiential marketing.

True, experiential marketing is different today. But it’s really not new. The first event marketing tactics were so simple, they might not even be considered “experiential” by today’s standards. But when you take a close look, some of the ideas are down right brilliant. It just goes to show – getting your consumers involved is the key to brand awareness and brand loyalty.

…No longer is marketing about just handing out a product, it is about giving consumers a memorable lifestyle experience designed around the product.” – Pawan Kumasi, medium.com

In the beginning…

Coca-Cola broke through barriers in 1886 when they started distributing sample coupons. Soon 1 in 10 Cokes was given away for free. They were a national sensation by 1900.

coca cola experiential marketing

Oscar Mayer made headlines with the infamous Weinermobile. And the ‘mobiles continue their journeys after nearly a hundred years! The drivers (called ‘hotdoggers’) travel around, winning America’s hearts and handing out “Weinerwhistles.”

wienermobile experiential marketing

The US got a bit bookish after that, creatively campaigning thanks to the words and wisdom of Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerilla Advertising. The book continues to inspire marketers, with techniques ranging from shocking to funny to just plain clever. The now-infamous Zappos versus Google Pay-With-A-Cupcake campaign says it all.

Related: 5 of the most amusing XM campaigns


Experiential marketing today

Now, experiential marketing is defined by social media, immersive events and pop-ups. With social media, brands can really talk to their consumers. They can identifying exactly what their audience is looking for, and give them a chance to engage in the conversation. MillerCoors in Austin, Texas hosted a massive event showcasing tons of boozy brands, and each one had their own customized booth. Such as the totally Instagram-able Crispin Rose booth, featuring the actual Pantone colors in their label. So chic. We loved doing this project.

crispin rose experiential marketing
The Crispin Rose booth – one of our favorite projects.


Every day, we see brands creating hashtags, contests and campaigns to engage their consumers. Special events and pop-ups let consumers try it before they buy it, so their purchase is genuinely driven by their experience. Sometimes, consumers even get a peek behind the emerald curtain. The White Claw Hard Seltzer living wall traveled to fifteen cities!

living wall experiential marketing



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