Experiential Marketing

Three Great Brand Experiences at E3

I had the opportunity to work behind the scenes at this year's E3 Expo, creating an activation for Ubisoft's Watch Dog fanatics. The not-yet released Watch Dogs comes out in November 2013. As such, I was one of the few to witness some great brand experiences. Three of them are outlined below:

 

 

1. Live Demo Presentation

Fans, including gaming professionals, media, and general audiences alike, are dying to get a peak of the live demo presentation at E3. Not surprisingly, there was a wait of 2.5 hours to experience the live demo with Watch Dogs producers, demo-ists, and lead game-makers in an intimate 24-seat, live demo presentation to viewers. I was excited when Steven Spielberg showed up for the demo!

 

 

2. Game Makers playing live with General Audiences

One of my personal favorite activations was Just Dance 2014. The center of the Ubisoft demo became a living installation, staging professional dancers and models in live Just Dance outfits. Ubisoft game makers also danced on stage with professional dancers, creating a stark contrast! Guess which Clippers player joined them? In my opinion, this activation made all the games, more relatable between game creators and users. Ubisoft game makers also played, “The Division,” and died in the game live!

 

Todd McFarlane at E3

 

3. Die-Hard Fans create buzz

Guess who else attended? Todd McFarlane, creator of Spiderman comics and action figure designer for Halo 3, amongst other games, signed comics in the center of the Ubisoft exhibit. He made Ubisoft one of the busiest exhibitors in the LA Convention Center. On top of that, one fan announced that she would get his autographed tattooed on her body. With tattoos being the new “in” trend, guess what the buzz was on that?

From my standpoint, Ubisoft’s E3 activation was highly successful, drawing international crowds from around the globe. As a first time E3’er, I really enjoyed this year’s event but I can’t wait to see what they bring to the 2013 Comic-Con in San Diego and the 2013 E-3. I think Ubisoft has a couple more tricks up their sleeve, don’t you?

Madria Sangria Fruit Stand

We got a little love recently from Event Marketer magazine on our program for Madria Sangria. Throughout the summer, you can find the Madria Fruit Stand popping up at beer festivals, bridal shows, arts fairs and other lifestyle events. Brand Ambassadors will be on-hand, having conversations, cutting up fresh fruit, and serving sangria samples.

If you have an event and want the Madria Sangria Fruit Stand there, hit us up here.

The Convenient Truth

This month, Rebel produced the Street King booth at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show. NACS brings buyers from the nation’s 100,000+ convenience stores and gas stations to see the latest and greatest products that are cheap, small, and easy to consume.

What a crazy show! I’m no stranger to trade shows: I’ve attended and exhibited at MAGIC close to a dozen times, walked the never-ending halls at CES, been overstimulated at E3, ogled the custom cars at SEMA, and sat through more auto show press days than I care to remember. All things considered, I’d never seen anything quite like NACS.

The first thing I noticed was all the cigarettes. Given that I spend most of my time on the Westside of LA (Wessiide!) in airplanes or other major metropolitan areas, it seemed to me that America had basically given up smoking. Judging from the ridiculous number of tobacco brands on exhibit, I was wrong. Apparently, I’m also very late on a technology called electronic cigarettes, which eliminate the need for lighters. Several of the booths offered attendees the opportunity to light-up inside the hall, so lets hope they give off less second-hand smoke effects too!

Unlike most trade shows, which you have to leave in order to get a bite to eat, NACS provides the world’s largest buffet. All you can eat, as long as you only want to eat chips, cookies, energy bars, slushies, pre-packaged pies, muffins, and the like. Fortunately, the good people at Gallo and Miller Coors, provided open bars in their booths to help us wash down all of the junk food. By 1PM, the Miller booth was completely packed with delegates enjoying free beers and watching football. I wonder how much work they got done that afternoon...

All of this fascinates me, especially since I’ve pretty much ruled out convenience from my life. In fact, I think the only thing I would actually use from a convenience store (except for gas) is water. Don't let me fool you though. Judging from the vibrancy of the show and  numerous trade publications on display, the convenience store sector is hot! It makes sense: We are increasingly dependent on our cars, and our speedy lifestyles are well served by mini-mart clerks who can give us something unhealthy to snack on while we sit in traffic and gulp down a supplement to keep us awake for the ride.

On the other hand, the activation at NACS is definitely not keeping pace with industry growth. Most of the booths featured little more than basic displays. Heavy hitters like Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble had nice looking booths, but nothing interactive for the viewers. A few booths offered the chance to meet celebrities or Mascots. Detour had a champion bodybuilder (not sure why anyone wanted to meet him), and one booth had a UFC fighter. Miller provided photo opps with the delivery guy from its commercials, and Trident gum had the lady in the trench coat.

Of course, we brought 50 Cent (co-founder and spokesperson for Street King) to take pictures with possibly the biggest crowd of the weekend. We may have had the only bona fide celebrity, unless you count Snookie, who made an appearance at the Ebi-Brown booth for no apparent reason.

Other standouts included the Monster booth, where girls in bikinis went sliding into a swimming pool. Trashy? Maybe, but it was an impressive production nonetheless. Matador had a mechanical bull. I didn’t ride. Red Bull showcased “the brand behind the can" with a media-driven experience that featured its bar-raising lifestyle content.

Besides that, it seems like most of the would-be convenience store powerhouses need to step their game up.

Smart Tour Sponsorship Gives You Wings: Mazda, Converse, Redbull and You

“A-list artists have always gotten sponsorships and probably always will, because something about human nature makes us want to give money to people who don’t need it.” That’s Josh Levine retelling every starving artist’s nightmare, the one where the evil Bieber gets all the spoils. But there’s a trickle-down effect on corporate/pop economics. “As consumers become more savvy, those big deals mean less and less,” says Levine, who’s the CEO of experiential marketing agency Rebel Industries. “A banner on stage or tour website just becomes part of the clutter.”

Levine’s clients, which include Microsoft, Reebok, T-Mobile, Warner Bros., Absolut and Mazda, realize that most Americans are sick of advertising. That’s why they come to him: He knows how to put them face-to-face with the people they want to speak to when they are enjoying themselves. Such as when they listen to music.

Read the full article on OurStage.com.