What is an Experiential Marketing Agency?


What is Experiential Marketing?

What is an Experiential Marketing Agency?
Opinion BySubstance Global12.06.23

Hands up who remembers their first gig or their first taste of a delicacy from another country? Yeah, us too! 

Why do we remember these things? Because the act of being in that moment with those senses being triggered leaves a lasting impression on you and the memories created at that time.

This is exactly what Experiential Marketing is all about. Creating impactful experiences that leave lasting impressions tied to a specific brand, product or company.

It’s a marketing strategy that creates a memorable impact on the consumer by providing real-life experiences that involve participatory, hands-on, and tangible branding material. The idea is to immerse consumers in live experiences that involve their emotions, personalisation and creating a closer bond between consumer and brand.

At its core, experiential marketing is all about involving the senses – touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. The more senses you be involved in an experience, the greater the likelihood of a memorable interaction with a consumer. Think about the best restaurant you’ve ever been to, it will have touched upon all of these senses at one time or another in that moment.

It is important to note that experiential marketing is not just limited to brand-in-hand promotional work but also includes immersive events, guerrilla marketing, theatrical engagement, and more. These experiences could include an event, a part of an event, or a pop-up activation not tied to any event.

Experiential marketing agencies, therefore, focus on providing real-life experiences that are interesting or amusing to the people they’re targeting. The point is to offer consumers a first-hand encounter with your brand or product instead of merely telling people what they’re about. By doing this, you let people actually test and judge your product and participate in the advertising process.

Why is Experiential Marketing beneficial to your business?

If you can leave a lasting impression on a consumer, not only are they more likely to have a positive view of your business or product but they are more likely to purchase, use or consume it. They are then much more likely to tell others around them about it and their experience too. 

Experiential marketing is a tool in the arsenal that is Creative Marketing, but it is a finely tuned, razor sharp and laser-focussed tool that offers many benefits to those who use it.

Brand Awareness

Experiential marketing is an effective tool for building brand awareness. 

Unlike traditional advertising, experiential marketing enables businesses to create immersive experiences that engage customers on a deeper level. 

These experiences are also more likely to be shared on social media, generating buzz and amplifying the reach of the campaign. In fact, experiential marketing gives brands a great hook for press coverage, partnerships and PR amplification.

Direct Communication with Customers

Experiential marketing allows businesses to directly communicate with customers in a way that is not possible through other forms of advertising. 

By creating face-to-face interactions between customers and brands, businesses can establish a deeper connection with their audience. This allows businesses to better understand the needs and desires of their customers and tailor their messaging accordingly. 

Additionally, direct communication allows businesses to provide more detailed information about their products or services, answer questions, and address concerns.

Build Emotional Relationships

Successful experiential marketing campaigns seek to harness consumer emotions and personalise every step of the consumer journey to drive relevance and saliency with the consumer. 

By doing so, it can unlock many doors, allowing consumers to positively and emotionally engage with a product or company. This emotional engagement is important because it helps to build strong relationships between customers and brands. When customers feel an emotional connection to a brand, they are more likely to remain loyal and advocate for the brand to others. 

Successful campaigns measure impact through social expressions earned (such as likes, shares, and comments on social media) and surveys of attendees.

Types of Experiential Marketing

Event Marketing

One popular type of experiential marketing is event marketing, where brands organise events to promote their business. 

The event in question can be anything from a festival, party, competition, kiosk or wherever you can place a unique and engaging activity that captures passers-by and educates them on your brand or product by immersing them in an experience.

With event marketing, companies usually provide information about their products and services, and they may have photo opportunities, giveaways, games, quizzes, or other live events.

Brand Activations

Brand activations are a type of experiential marketing that is usually employed when a company is introducing a new product or line of products. 

The goal of brand activations is to gain initial recognition for the product and convince people to try it. To achieve this, brands can go beyond free tastings or samplings and try to grab people's attention in an innovative way. 

For example, watersports equipment brand, Tribord, created a fake drink called "Wave" that was full of seawater to remind people of the dangers at sea and the importance of quality watersports gear.

Technology-Inspired (Immersive)

Technology-inspired experiential marketing involves using highly-engaging technology to create unique experiences for customers. 

Virtual and augmented reality are the most commonly used technologies for this type of marketing.

Brands can use AR to make interactive catalogs, menus, or even make their products come to life. This technology can be used to entertain users or provide them with additional information about products. 

Experiential marketing that uses AR technology has been shown to be highly effective in engaging customers and building brand loyalty.

Take a look at some of our AR filter examples here.

Examples of Experiential Marketing

Jurassic World: Dominion - Trafalgar Square

The goal: Substance Global’s objective was to create genuine firsts for the campaign. This experiential event was the world’s first to use ground-breaking virtual production technology in a consumer-facing environment, bringing a life-sized animated dinosaur into the 'real world'. This was the first takeover of Trafalgar Square for a multiple-day run by a film studio, using the biggest screen installed into the square, and took over the largest footprint ever allowed in the location.

Why it was Effective: We aimed for 500 guests per day and nearly surpassed 8,000 across five live days. #JurassicLondon was used by nearly 9000 people and we had a reach of over 6.7M.

Takeaway: The impossible is now becoming that bit more possible with advanced technology. Will we ever see a Giganotosaurus in real-life? Probably not. But for a day at least people felt like they knew the scale and power it once had. Promoting something that seems impossible just needs some creative thinking to bring it to life.

IKEA - The Furniture Climbing Challenge

The goal: IKEA wanted to celebrate France’s opening of the country’s 30th IKEA store but they wanted it to be extra-ordinary and extra-immersive.

And so, they did it with a furnished vertical rock-climbing wall. 

The marketing firm, Ubi Bene, worked with IKEA to install the wall in the centre of the city of Clermont-Ferrand. 

It was a hit attraction.

Why it was Effective: It tapped into a primed market. The people there already loved climbing.

“As Clermont-Ferrand is a sporty city, IKEA wanted to give to the inhabitants an event that perfectly suits their needs,” explained Vanessa Vannier.

By understanding their target demographic, IKEA created an encounter that would draw in enthusiastic individuals and distinguish itself.

Refinery29: 29Rooms

The goal: To create a series of rooms (29 to be exact) that offer a unique experience in every room. 

Each year (for the past three years) Refinery19 has been running 29Rooms. It is an adult playground of interactivity based on brand, artist and musician awareness. 

Why it was Effective: By combining many experiences in one you are inviting a much bigger audience to come and participate. With so many rooms they all need to have a very strong visual and sensory hook/experience. This heats up the competition and makes for an even more impactful experience for those attending.

Takeaway: Experiences can be out there and even whacky but they need to be relevant to the people attending.

By collaborating with artists, musicians and diverse brands you offer more unique experiences.

How can Substance Global help you run an Experiential Marketing Event?

From pop-up cabins in London that scream YellowJackets, to bespoke and intimate dinners for influencers promoting the new Transformers: Rise of the Beasts feature film we are able to come up with, execute and deliver on BIG experiential experiences that drive engagement for businesses.

The possibilities for a unique and memorable event are endless and can be overwhelming. That’s why we take the hassle out of the equation for you.

Using our dedicated insights and strategy team we dig deeper to find out where your audience resides (both in the physical and digital worlds), how to get to them and what may pique their interest.

We then come up with a unique experience tailored to your audience that will drive conversion based on a memorable experience that promotes your business, brand or product to those who matter to you most.

If this isn’t impressive enough we can then utilise our in-house social and PR divisions to amplify experiences further through press syndication, media attendance, influencer partnerships and more.

How to Work with Substance Global?

Well, now this is the easy part… drop us a message using the contact form and one of our specialist team members will be in touch with you to see how we can facilitate your activation with ease.

We’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure you get the experience you want for your audience and that reaches far and wide.

Let’s make the next award-winning experience together!


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