For as long as Ricky Jeffery, Designer at iD Experiential has been working in experiential marketing, photo mechanisms have been integral to nearly every campaign he's worked on. But how many of these campaigns really connect with people in a meaningful and fun way?
Be honest do you really want to share, with the entire world, a photograph of yourself in front a wall of logos? As the influence from social media grows, so does the quality/quantity of information people are willing to share about themselves. There needs to be something more engaging nowadays – that still holds the brands objectives at its heart.
Last year I went to several art exhibitions which encouraged the viewer to interact and explore. By looking to the art world brands may be able to find ways of better engaging with their target audience.
The Rain Room at The Barbican Centre is a beautiful example of this. Visitors to the exhibition walk through a room full of rain without getting wet. Art installations like this and the Bedlam exhibition held at The Old Vic Tunnels require the audience to participate in order for the experience (art) to exist at all.
Some of the most inspiring work I saw last year can be found on the streets – traditionally experiential marketers’ home ground! Mirrors Georgetown was a 3D interactive project by Ernest Zacharevic in Malaysia. Unique wall paintings were combined with familiar objects tapping into the minds of residents provoking fascinating responses - and a great photo op! This artwork is open to interpretations, recreations and narratives. Street art is at its best, when it stops being an individual painting and becomes part of public imagination. The installation has gained tremendous viral status which has had the potential to reach millions around the world. And it is this reach that brands need to start taking notice of.
Some brands have been successful in replicating this already but the key for them has been finding a way to allow immersive interaction without losing all control of their core objectives.
A good example of this is Chupa Chups’ “Life Less Serious” campaign. The lollipop brand created a huge piece of colourful sidewalk art in the middle of Amsterdam's business district. Together with street artist Sasa Ostoja, a group of kids, got all kinds of business folk involved in the creative process to make the sidewalk less serious.
Another great example has to be the Reebok CrossFit campaign. Reebok wanted to create a backdrop of truly epic proportions for their Cross Fit range commissioning artists to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever 3D street art. Consumers could then take part in a Reebok CrossFit workout on the 1,160.4m² artwork.
By using some imagination and a bit of inspiration from contemporary art, brands could change the way they interact with their consumers; helping to build longer term relationships with those who get to take part and initiating a whole lot of noise online too.