And so, the cast of contributors from the Huge family continues to rotate as we now welcome Andrew Kessler to the fold. Kessler is the founder/CEO of Togather, a startup out of Huge Labs that serves as a platform that helps clients like Barnes & Noble and Red Bull deploy event marketing programs with the same control and measurability of a digital ad buy. As the headline mentions, Kessler makes his AgencySpy debut by discussing whether it’s to sound the death knell for what’s known as experience marketing. Take it away, sir.
The “experience marketing” trend is close to extinction.
A sponsored pop-up/installation/lounge/whatever made sense as an “organic” brand experience — before the domination of digital. But today anything that would feel at home in Times Square doesn’t fulfill the new authentic standards for branded content.
Specifically, I’m talking about the big-budget consumer-facing events with colored lights, a giant logo, and, if you’re lucky, a fun stunt. In years of agency work, I’ve been a part of too many to count, and the result was always:
- A large crowd…but not the right audience
- Lots of product interest…but only about the freebie swag, and
- Photo albums of smiling fans…but no metrics or demographic data
Sure, our clients could claim a big success because a whole town could be counted as “impressions” and gift bags eventually ran out. But nobody was asking:
- Is this a useful exercise?
- Are we providing the right kind of value to give us a return on brand favorability?
- Are we just repeating a visibility stunt that has a negligible effect on ROI?