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Elevating Experience With Adweek

Elevating Experience With Adweek

Jess Santini

Jess Santini

May 21, 2019

“Ultimately, the current brand experience is all about what the brand can do for the consumer,” says Havas Media North America’s Jess Santini

"86% of consumers believe a brand should lift their emotional wellbeing."

Havas Media North America Communications Manager Jess Santini shares what she learned at the Adweek Elevate: Creativity conference about how brands are evolving and developing experience for their customers.

 

Elevating Experience With Adweek

The Adweek Elevate: Creativity conference brought talent from all across the industry to share insights on the customer experience through candid and lively presentations. With a focus on bridging the real world with the digital world, they went behind the scenes of hit campaigns and shared bold ideas with the goal of answering one simple yet critical question: How does the digital experience translate to the physical world?

Consumer expectations or experience have shifted over the past few years, as evidenced from insights shared by Momentum’s Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer Elena Klau. A few years after the economic crisis in 2014, we saw a rise in the experience economy, where exclusivity and ephemeral experiences reigned supreme. Consumers were interested in bragging rights—sharing experiences on social media to gain a feeling of higher status, which combated the reality of a financial struggle. With a focused desire for ease and utility, only 23% of consumers believed a brand could or should alter their wellbeing.

Compare that to 2019, where the desire for utility dropped to 50% and the desire for inspiration increased to 200%. You can blame the political atmosphere for these changes: distrust due to lack of transparency in the media, disconnect from the rise of nationalism, and loneliness because of increased use of social media. In an environment where many suffer from stress and isolation, 86% of consumers believe a brand should lift their emotional wellbeing. Ultimately, the current brand experience is all about what the brand can do for the consumer. And the future of brand experience? How the brand becomes part of you and your life.

At the core of a meaningful experience is creativity, and those who think outside the box and reject the fear of failure are gaining the best results. From identifying a need for a product or service, researching solutions, choosing the brand, and interacting with said brand, the customer journey has evolved tremendously in recent years. And with advancements in technology, brands have gained the ability to create real change in the participant’s life. They have both the opportunity and the responsibility to create a meaningful customer experience.

Below you’ll find examples of how brands across several markets are changing the customer experience:

“Creativity needs to be protected. Making the consumer feel a little uncomfortable creates motivation and sparks conversation.”

NEW REALITY COMPANY

Using state of the art gaming technology, the New Reality Company uses immersive storytelling for impact marketing. They create interactive experiences where films are screened via virtual reality in locations that mirror the contextual environment of the film with real-life special effects. During the screening of their film “Tree,” which centers around climate change and takes place in the rainforest, the company introduced specialty lighting, nature scents, and a slight breeze into the screening room, so viewers felt like they were in the rainforest.

REFINERY 29

To celebrate their 10-year anniversary, the platform recently launched a creative space called 29Rooms where non-profits, influencers, creatives, and artists develop immersive experiences for the millennial woman. The mission is to elevate voices and topics that matter most to women today by creating rich layered experiences that resonate with their fans. The activation is so successful that it went from a singular pop-up experience to a multicity initiative that currently reaches 1 in 2 users on Instagram. Refinery29 knows their audience, and fully embraces selfie culture, leaning into it as a deeper form of self-expression than most give it credit for. Participants at 29Rooms use the activation as a backdrops for their meaningful thoughts and expressions, for example, people using a Pride installation for coming out or expressing their support for marriage equality. This embrace of social media fuels content creation for both the participants and the brand, creating a win-win situation for both.

BULLEIT

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey took 3D-printing to a new level for a series of truly immersive private events to showcase their product. As a first-to-market activation, they enlisted leaders in design and tech to produce a 3D-printed dynamic bar and 3D-printed cocktails. To enhance the overall experience, they brought in tattoo artists, DJs, and local mixologists from renowned watering holes Please Don’t Tell and Dead Rabbit.

IHOP

In 2018, IHOP stopped flipping pancakes and started flipping expectations, when they rebranded as the International House of Burgers aka IHOb. The creative strategy behind the campaign was to convince the public that the company takes their burgers as seriously as their pancakes. It started with the announcement of a new logo, where fans were encouraged to guess what the “b” in IHOb stood for.

Scott Bell, Group Creative Director at Droga5, and Brad Haley, CMO at IHOP started off their presentation with a series of mean tweets from consumers, but explained that this outrage culture was actually a good thing. The dramatic reactions from media and consumers were sparked because they cared about the brand so much, they didn’t want it to change. Despite the perceived negativity, IHOP was able to infiltrate the burger conversation on social media with the likes of Wendy’s and Burger King. “At the end of the day, we have a really great burger and we deserve to be in that conversation, so the campaign worked,” they added.

And when asked how they approached such a controversial campaign? “Creativity needs to be protected. Making the consumer feel a little uncomfortable creates motivation and sparks conversation.”

"86% of consumers believe a brand should lift their emotional wellbeing."

Havas Media North America Communications Manager Jess Santini shares what she learned at the Adweek Elevate: Creativity conference about how brands are evolving and developing experience for their customers.

 

Elevating Experience With Adweek

The Adweek Elevate: Creativity conference brought talent from all across the industry to share insights on the customer experience through candid and lively presentations. With a focus on bridging the real world with the digital world, they went behind the scenes of hit campaigns and shared bold ideas with the goal of answering one simple yet critical question: How does the digital experience translate to the physical world?

Consumer expectations or experience have shifted over the past few years, as evidenced from insights shared by Momentum’s Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer Elena Klau. A few years after the economic crisis in 2014, we saw a rise in the experience economy, where exclusivity and ephemeral experiences reigned supreme. Consumers were interested in bragging rights—sharing experiences on social media to gain a feeling of higher status, which combated the reality of a financial struggle. With a focused desire for ease and utility, only 23% of consumers believed a brand could or should alter their wellbeing.

Compare that to 2019, where the desire for utility dropped to 50% and the desire for inspiration increased to 200%. You can blame the political atmosphere for these changes: distrust due to lack of transparency in the media, disconnect from the rise of nationalism, and loneliness because of increased use of social media. In an environment where many suffer from stress and isolation, 86% of consumers believe a brand should lift their emotional wellbeing. Ultimately, the current brand experience is all about what the brand can do for the consumer. And the future of brand experience? How the brand becomes part of you and your life.

At the core of a meaningful experience is creativity, and those who think outside the box and reject the fear of failure are gaining the best results. From identifying a need for a product or service, researching solutions, choosing the brand, and interacting with said brand, the customer journey has evolved tremendously in recent years. And with advancements in technology, brands have gained the ability to create real change in the participant’s life. They have both the opportunity and the responsibility to create a meaningful customer experience.

Below you’ll find examples of how brands across several markets are changing the customer experience:

“Creativity needs to be protected. Making the consumer feel a little uncomfortable creates motivation and sparks conversation.”

NEW REALITY COMPANY

Using state of the art gaming technology, the New Reality Company uses immersive storytelling for impact marketing. They create interactive experiences where films are screened via virtual reality in locations that mirror the contextual environment of the film with real-life special effects. During the screening of their film “Tree,” which centers around climate change and takes place in the rainforest, the company introduced specialty lighting, nature scents, and a slight breeze into the screening room, so viewers felt like they were in the rainforest.

REFINERY 29

To celebrate their 10-year anniversary, the platform recently launched a creative space called 29Rooms where non-profits, influencers, creatives, and artists develop immersive experiences for the millennial woman. The mission is to elevate voices and topics that matter most to women today by creating rich layered experiences that resonate with their fans. The activation is so successful that it went from a singular pop-up experience to a multicity initiative that currently reaches 1 in 2 users on Instagram. Refinery29 knows their audience, and fully embraces selfie culture, leaning into it as a deeper form of self-expression than most give it credit for. Participants at 29Rooms use the activation as a backdrops for their meaningful thoughts and expressions, for example, people using a Pride installation for coming out or expressing their support for marriage equality. This embrace of social media fuels content creation for both the participants and the brand, creating a win-win situation for both.

BULLEIT

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey took 3D-printing to a new level for a series of truly immersive private events to showcase their product. As a first-to-market activation, they enlisted leaders in design and tech to produce a 3D-printed dynamic bar and 3D-printed cocktails. To enhance the overall experience, they brought in tattoo artists, DJs, and local mixologists from renowned watering holes Please Don’t Tell and Dead Rabbit.

IHOP

In 2018, IHOP stopped flipping pancakes and started flipping expectations, when they rebranded as the International House of Burgers aka IHOb. The creative strategy behind the campaign was to convince the public that the company takes their burgers as seriously as their pancakes. It started with the announcement of a new logo, where fans were encouraged to guess what the “b” in IHOb stood for.

Scott Bell, Group Creative Director at Droga5, and Brad Haley, CMO at IHOP started off their presentation with a series of mean tweets from consumers, but explained that this outrage culture was actually a good thing. The dramatic reactions from media and consumers were sparked because they cared about the brand so much, they didn’t want it to change. Despite the perceived negativity, IHOP was able to infiltrate the burger conversation on social media with the likes of Wendy’s and Burger King. “At the end of the day, we have a really great burger and we deserve to be in that conversation, so the campaign worked,” they added.

And when asked how they approached such a controversial campaign? “Creativity needs to be protected. Making the consumer feel a little uncomfortable creates motivation and sparks conversation.”

Jess oversees media relations, content management, culture, and events for Havas Media NA.

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