Brand activation or PR stunt? A little bit of both? “Sometimes brand experiences need to communicate and convey complex stories and messages – but not always. There’s been a run of clever, incredibly simple, easily accessible and most importantly memorable activations blurring the lines between brand experience, advertising, PR and media.” (thedrum.com, 2010). The brand activation approach to a marketing strategy is a key factor when it comes to giving your brand a refresh.
In 2020, millennials are more interested in an experience — photos that can be posted online for their followers to see. According to Forbes, experiential marketing can bolster a lasting connection between customers and a brand. It can also allows you to collect vital data about participating consumers which can then help you improve your strategy. Experiences are memorable because they can be photographed and shared across social media platforms whereas print marketing and commercials will lose their importance and a wow factor.
When I think of brand activation and experiential marketing I think of Refinery29’s 29Rooms. Refinery29 is an American digital media and entertainment website focused on young women owned by Vice Media. “29Rooms is an array of one-of-a-kind experiences under one roof. It’s a space for interaction and exploration: a place to dance, paint, think, make new friends, give a damn, it’s a tasting menu of contemporary culture built by voices in art, style, activism, and technology…it’s a visually stunning stage for creative expressionists, an invitation to dream bigger.” (29Rooms, 2020). My favorite part of 29Rooms is that they use local artists to create the rooms and the experience for their customers. I think their brand is great because everything Refinery29 does is a collaborate team effort that leaves a long lasting impression. Vibrant colors and a strong brand presence is what encapsulate’s Refinery29’s brand.
I think its so important when brands care about their customer’s experience enough to physically create one. Experiential design is a great way to promote a business without directly asking for business.
As a result, “With more than 20,000 visitors from 47 states and 24 countries, the 29Rooms franchise has grown to be the brand’s most expansive offline activation. It started as a “physical manifestation of the brand, reflecting the topics we cover in our content, our commitment to creativity, and the engagement we spark with our network,” Hueston said. “I will never forget the crowds of people who came to experience 29Rooms that first opening day. We had no idea what to expect, but it was a beautiful moment to realize we had created something truly special.” (BizBash, 2017).