Relationship marketing agency RQ has launched a sister experiential agency called XQ.
The formation of XQ, which stands for Experiential Quotient, is the natural progression of RQ’s work, according to Chris Roberts SVP, experiential at XQ.
"There is such little brand trust right now, so we want to rebuild that trust through experiences," Roberts told Campaign.
"We want people to engage with these brands in real life, to be able to play in their sandbox, get past the distrust and interact with their own eyes and ears," he added.
Roberts, former director of global music projects at Red Bull, festival director at SXSW and an early employee at VICE who focused on artist relations and events, was brought in by RQ founder Brian Salzman to leverage his expertise to forge those relationships between brand and consumer.
Right now there’s low trust in the marketing space, so we want to bring honesty back into marketing," Salzman said.
He explained: "Most brands hire people to pretend to like them- but guess what, if I hire people to pretend to be my friend, then I still don’t have any friends do I? To that point, events are a notch in the relationship-building process and so an obvious next step for us."
According to Roberts, XQ’s clientele will seek work with brands that are willing to push the envelop and let marketers be marketers.
"For us a lot of times ints not about the brand, but about the marketer," he said. "These days it’s harder for marketers to take risks and use their marketing brains, So we look for brands that allow us to explore the power of relationships. Ultimately it’s about the marketer and if they want to to make an impact."
XQ will be located adjacent to the RQ office in Los Angeles, with initial clients including Pizza Hut, LG, YouTube Music, MINI Cooper and HBO with activations planned for the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and more.