Experiential Essays: FRUKT - Building experiential value through entertainment

Jim Robinson, client services director and managing partner, FRUKT
Jim Robinson, client services director and managing partner, FRUKT

Cutting through the marketing clutter means getting to the heart of what consumers in your target audience are truly passionate about.

To truly understand experiential marketing, you first need to understand what it is your audience actually wants to ‘experience’.

Consumers in 2013 are saturated with marketing content; most of it disruptive, invasive and, more often than not, unwanted. TV ads are up 22% in the UK in comparison to five years ago (that’s 47 ads on average per day, per person), and in March of this year 25% of all global videos viewed online were ads, a staggering 13.2 billion in total (doubled from December 2011). And you thought your garage was cluttered.

As the media landscape continues to fragment  - with ‘always on, always distracted’ audiences multitasking across a variety of second screen devices - the level of ad clutter has increased exponentially, requiring brands to find much smarter ways of cutting through. Budgets are tight and money spent needs to deliver not just measurable results, but longevity, advocacy and buy in from consumers whose loyalty increasingly needs to be earned, not bought.  

Consumer apathy to traditional ad mediums has created a heightened desire among brands to get out there and do something, anything, in a desperate bid for - that catchall term you only hear in marketing circles – "engagement". The trouble is, human beings simply don’t think like that. They don’t want to be ‘engaged’ with your brand (they’re not planning a wedding). In fact, for the most part they’d quite like to be left alone, thank you very much. That is, unless you can provide something evocative, exciting and entertaining enough for them to want to spend some time in your presence.

Take a quick scan across any social media destination and you’re unlikely to find people discussing their deep desire to "be given samples in a shopping mall" or their passion for "being accosted by promo staff in garish logo emblazoned t-shirts". What you will stumble on repeatedly, however, are people discussing the things they are truly passionate about; and whether its upcoming movies, must hear music or the latest fashions, these conversations are routed in a deep desire to be entertained.

And this is where the true value of experiential marketing lies.

If you’re eager to get to the heart of the consumer; if you’re looking for a point of differentiation from your competitors; if you’re seeking a credible, ownable asset, then there are few avenues that offer up an opportunity in the way entertainment does.

To put it in its simplest terms, entertainment is good for business. It has the ability to provide that most elusive and sought after return on investment – a long term emotional connection. We believe that when people are being entertained, they are happy, positive, grateful, more receptive to messages, more inclined to share their experience and more likely to try something new. It’s an incredible state of being which if harnessed and used sensitively can be exceptionally powerful for brands.

At FRUKT we have been living and breathing entertainment for the last decade and have a holistic attitude when it comes to delivering experiential value, for both brand and consumer. Whether its getting Southern Comfort to reconnect with impassioned festival fans, enabling Coca-Cola to kick off the London 2012 Olympics in true musical style, or turning hotels into creative music hubs for Starwood Hotels, we help create a meaningful role for brands at the heart of the entertainment experience.

So ask yourself, next time you’re considering running a piece of experiential marketing, is your activity harnessing people’s passions? Is it telling your brand story in an interactive, immersive way? And, most importantly, if you took the brand element away, would it stand up as something that someone would actively seek out? If not, then there is probably an entertainment shaped hole at the heart of your activation that needs filling.

Jim Robinson (pictured) is client services director and managing partner at FRUKT, and Giles Fitzgerald is trends and insight editor at FRUKT.

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