May 2021

Pepsi, Heineken, Google Arts and Audemars Piguet: here’s the news that grabbed our attention

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Tracking: From Emotion to Sales

Hybrid events are here to stay, and while we are excited about the creative challenges and opportunities that this will generate, we are possibly even more excited about the heightened measurability of experiential marketing.

Gradient always focused its strategic efforts on connecting final creative output to marketing ROI. For some projects, the trackability is simple: duration of stay for B2B experiences, # of posts over contracted amounts for influencer campaigns; yet larger consumer experiences can be harder to track. While social mentions is a good gage for whether or not an IRL experience hit the right audience and created the right emotion, the tracing of the word-of-mouth influence of a newly minted brand fan is a hard feat.

Digital advertising has clear tools to evaluate cost-per-click. While less precise, traditional marketing have well-established tools to estimate reach, ranging from the Nilson ratings to the Kanter research of the world. Of course, experiential being still in its infancy, tools are still bubbling up and standards have yet to gain industry-wide recognition. While some tools have developed over the years, such as LiveGauge and Network Ninja to name some of our favorites, the widening of audiences of IRL events to digital audiences via hybrid is a real opportunity for ROI trackability. The integration of hybrid-focused tools, like the Glisser’s of the world, will provide ROI-focused experiential marketer a real opportunity to close the gap from the emotion-inducing experience to the measurable transaction.

We’re not there yet, but we truly believe that the melding of physical and digital will only reinforce the growing impact of experiential marketing as its results become more and more obvious to those smart marketers that track. The idea that soon, we will be able to track the creation of human connection to actual sales is very exciting! And until we get there, we’ll keep evaluating all new tools that will enrich the measurability of clients’ experiences.

1. The Oscars + Livestream = Adapted Elegance

Livestream and virtual require an adapted production approach from both live events and from TV Broadcast. While the Oscars certainly read the memo on physical adaptation, their livestream content approach didn't hit the mark, hurting their viewership numbers. If you didn't watch it, Deadline provides solid overviews.

2. Pepsi Labs + Innovation = Optimal technology experience

Marketing Dive covers Pepsi’s amazing approach to staying ahead of the marketing innovation curve.

3. Virtual DJs + Beer = “Go Desperado”

Desperado, a Heineken-owned brand, is going full-steam ahead on hybrid events after realising the scale that can be achieved in audience participation. AdWeek covers their Go Desperado effort.

4. Liam Payne + BAFTA Film Awards = One of a kind AR experiential moment

Virtual performances are key to preventing zoom fatigue. To see how creative it can be, read more about how platinum selling artist Liam Payne beaming a life-size avatar of himself on stage for a very unique duet.

5. Superblue x Miami = IRL’s Comeback

Physical is coming back. We’ve all been craving it, and the first examples are bubbling up. Dezeen covers an exciting experience opening in Miami.

6. Audemars Piguet + Marvel = Outstanding virtual auction

In the category of impressive client projects: Audemars Piguet partnered with Marvel to release the first ever Black Panther watch and raise $8m for charity. Hosted by Kevin Hart, with a who’s who of celebrity integration from Serena Williams to Lebron James, the fully virtual experience is worth the “watch”. See it for yourself below.

7. Alexa + Lamborghini = Driving from another perspective

And for a little bit more client love - a quick shoutout to our partners Lamborghini - an exciting partnership with Alexa, integrating even more punch into their already exciting super cars, as covered by Gear Brain.