Forging a connection with your audience is critical to brand success, and provoking an emotional response is the best way to create resonance (Nielsen 2016).
An effective emotion-based campaign has the potential to achieve reach well beyond the individuals who first consume the content, and people are more likely to share content that elicits a positive emotional response.
Experiential marketing uniquely positions brands to tap into this psychology by delivering events that ignite feelings of joy, as well as by designing visually interesting spaces that encourage participants to capture and share their own media.
Joy is often deeply linked to another powerful feeling—nostalgia. When people experience nostalgia they feel more socially connected, and brands can use these emotions to build trust with their audience. Chanel, Citibank, and Sugar Republic each delivered recent brand experiences that drew upon the joy of childhood:
In 2018 Chanel launched the travelling pop-up Chanel Coco Game Centre, where visitors can playfully interact with product in a game arcade experience. By creating an experience that is novel, nostalgic, fun, and visually creative, Chanel encourages participants to play with their product and share their experience through social channels—perfectly engaging with the millennial demographic.
Citi used the iconic ball pit in their ‘Moments of Joy’ brand activation in New York, which encouraged people to connect with their inner child and jump into a pit to retrieve prizes from an ATM. While in Sydney and Melbourne Sugar Republic took visitors on a flamboyant journey through the sweet obsessions of childhood, and Myer has partnered with the event to deliver the nostalgic pop-up experience in 2019.
Uber delivered joy to their audience with kittens (and then puppies), which combined a fun experience with a great social cause. The viral campaign enabled users to order kittens that were available for adoption to their workplace for a $30 donation. Hundreds found permanent homes and tens of thousands of dollars were raised for animal shelters.
ASB also showcased the power of animals in eliciting an emotional response through their clever ‘The Best Ball Boys in the World’ campaign, which received global coverage in a special tennis match between Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova. The campaign speaks for itself—watch the clip below.
Each experience is unique, but they all showcase the incredible value that joy can create for a brand. When you’re designing your brand strategy it’s well worth considering how you can use creative events to build an emotional connection with your audience.
If you’d like to chat about how a fresh, insightful approach to experiential strategy can help you and your brand, just give us a call on 03 9044 4300.
– Gillian Laging,
Brand & Marketing Manager, Aesthetic