Some CMOs spent millions dollars of their precious marketing budgets on Super Bowl spots to create an audience lasting seconds on television and possibly longer on social channels (if they’re lucky).
2014 is the noisiest era of marketing in history. Super Bowl advertising today is a race to become cheekier, with swat teams dedicated to real-time marketing. And hashtag-inspired spikes of engagement are quickly replaced by a celebrity getting a DUI.
But CMOs need more than a giggle or a nostalgia flashback moment for their return on outrageous TV ad costs, they need growth in their pipeline.
The truth is, neither millennials, nor contemporary folks with disposable income build brand loyalty with a television ad in 2014. They connect with stories existing in a synchronized habitat through digital and physical experiences. These stories transcend our constant information addictions, and lead us through a journey we can’t trace back.
Despite the din of noise created by Super Bowl Boulevard and the push for Super Bowl ads, GPJ Experience Marketing and Under Armour went in a different direction when the brand wanted to launch a game-changing running shoe in one of the world’s most densely populated cities. We partnered to build a physical, digital, and social experience with “House of Innovation.”
Under Armour’s “House of Innovation” was an interactive experience that took over Grand Central Station in NYC for the pre-Super Bowl week. Designed to be the launch pad for the introduction of Under Armour’s latest innovations in running footwear, “House of Innovation” featured Under Armour athletes, on-site fitness classes, digital interaction, and product displays. This experience activated new and existing fans by engaging their senses (and aspirations) inside a high energy and branded athletic environment along with the Super Bowl media wave.
In the midst of an event where the world is watching, “House of Innovation” was a lesson in how to win by doing your own thing, while riding the momentum of the main stream to capture actionable fans and viable business sales opportunities.
When NFL players are leaving Super Bowl Blvd. to relish in their choice of equipment, marketers realize that representing their brand through experience marketing can separate them from the pack and amplify their message. All while forging motivated relationships with people that may not have ever considered the brand. You can’t surprise and delight an audience in 60 seconds, much like you can’t build a loyal customer with a “hello/goodbye.”
Think of the authentic connection a brand could make if they had a day, three days, or a week with a customer. What if a CMO had momentum from social and digital engines to drive a real brand romance that is practically self-guided by the consumer? This is the promise of experience marketing. Experience marketing lets people and messages live in an environment built by a brand and propelled by a product’s value.
The buzz of the most high profile TV advertising opportunity in America imposes a deafening hum for your average Facebook-scrolling sports fan glued to primetime TV. Today, traditional advertising can’t be conducted in a vacuum of a broadcast-only approach. Experience Marketing creates a more powerful interaction between customers and a brand while capturing valuable data. It builds better relationships because it combines the flexibility and excitement of digital with the innovation and long-lasting memory of a physical experience. It’s a better way to tell a brand’s story that creates customers ready to pull the trigger.
So go ahead, create your commercial, but set it up with experiences, and follow it up with engagement. Otherwise, the value is largely gone in 60 seconds.