Why experiential marketing is like a rainbow

December 20, 2016 - Posted by Aesthetic

Rainbows often stop people in their tracks. They deliver people a sense of magic and delight, painting the sky with an exotic arch of colourful fun that can turn an ordinary day on it’s head. That’s what good experiential marketing can do. It can impact someone’s day, someone’s week, or if you’re really really good, someone’s life!

A little skeptical? Let’s get specific.

1. There’s a pot of gold at the end. All good experiential marketing should have a pay off for the consumer.

Like most rainbows, there might not be a physical prize for participants at the end of it all, but if they follow the rainbow experience all the way to the end there should be a pay off of some kind. It could very well be something of monetary value, or it may be a fun or useful gift that reminds them of the experience.

Or perhaps it’s something intangible?


They could simply be left with an emotion. Whether that’s joy, enlightenment, sorrow or compassion, sometimes the feeling is enough. You need to know what you want people to feel when they reach the end. And you need to understand how they will draw upon that feeling to influence future decisions when it comes to your brand.

2. People stop in awe. They even take photos. Experiential should be shareable.

A theory, if I may? If 100 people saw the same rainbow out their window or on a walk, at least 50 of them would take a photo on their phone and share it. When we see cool things, we like to capture the moment and share the discovery. Now, this might be an exaggerated example but the sentiment is bang on – we all remember the double rainbow…

When people see something different, special, unusual, they will stop. They will look. They will appreciate the effort that has gone into the creation, whether natural or man-made. And most importantly, they’ll remember the experience of the spectacle.

3. Rainbows break through the clouds. Good experiential breaks through clutter.

Some people think of advertising as dark clouds of consumerism. Why not give them a rainbow of reward to change their tune? Like a rainbow, a well-executed experiential activation can appear out of nowhere. Almost everywhere we go, someone is trying to tell us about a product and get us to buy it based on words or pictures, which is why experiential stands out. It encourages action and participation.

On a similar tangent, experiential marketing is usually found in either a set area that hosts competing brands and messages like a festival, or it is popped-up in a public space, often out of context, competing for attention from busy people. So you can’t just rely on the concept of experiential marketing, you really need to create the brightest, fullest rainbow you can. So people will be drawn to it.

4. The best rainbows have all the colours. Make sure you don’t skip one.


Try to sing the rainbow song without ‘yellow’. It doesn’t work. The rainbow just isn’t as good without yellow. There are certain elements of an experiential campaign that are mandatory to its success. If you skip an element the experience won’t flow and people may reject it. You have to start with red (the problem that needs solving), define the yellow (audience), work out the pink (objectives) then build the green (strategy). Once you have that first half shining bright, you can get creative with the purple and orange and blue (idea, execution, measurement).

Now you know why experiential marketing is like a rainbow, let’s see how long it takes you to get the song out of your head!

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