360? Experiential marketing gains flavour

mam/headlines/y2k3/nov/novmam18.htmMUMBAI: Vanilla marketing of the good old days seems to be making way for more innovative new-age marketing concepts fuelled by new modes of communication and emerging lifestyles. With the digital medium gathering critical mass, 'Experiential Marketing' in its new avatar is now gaining flavour with marketing executives.



With more than 35 million digitally connected Indians making for over 45 per cent of cable reach and with more consumers spending time at shopping malls, cinema halls, pubs and nightclubs and entertainment centers, 360? experiential marketing is a concept whose time has arrived.

The new avatar 'Experiential Marketing' uses Integrated Communication as a tool to promote brands on a turnkey basis by creating a holistic experience for the customer. Marketers are now attempting to capture consumers' attention and imagination in a manner that touches them, leading to a two-way dialogue that is spontaneous and which could lead to a call for action.

And so we have recent marketing trends based on integrated turnkey experiential marketing plans to promote products through the print media, TV commercials, outdoor promotions and games over the Internet, radio and mobile phones.

Among those to have used the concept in a big way in India is Hungama which conceptualised and executed a number of integrated promotion plans and also managed to get visibility and retention value for their products.

Of Hungama's numerous promotions, those that stand out in recent memory include the SMS contests for Hollywood movies like Tomb Raider 2 and 2Fast 2Furious.

Another turnkey integrated plan took shape when movie, mobile, Internet and coke came together to create a special promo for Bollywood movie Kuch Na Kaho where a movie zone was created on Reliance India Mobile's (RIM) R World service. The movie zone offered a contest sponsored by Coca-Cola where a select number of RIM consumers could win a chance to spend an evening with Bollywood's numero uno actress, Aishwarya Rai. Hungama, which created the site, claims that it received over 30,000 hits within two hours of activation.

Though experiential marketing has been more visible in entertainment, it is not restricted to just that. Financial institutions are jumping into the fray as well. Western Union Money Transfer and Ramesh Sippy Productions got Hungama to do an 'In Film' branding for the movie Kuch Na Kaho along with promoting the film on its website.

This new trend in marketing is not going unnoticed by the industry either. The Promotions and Marketing Awards for Asia (PMAA) held in Singapore in July 2003 recognised the emergence of this concept in its various award categories where Hungama bagged the Gold for Best Multi-disciplined Promotion Campaign and Best Use of New Media, and a Silver for Best Marketing Campaign (for using Movies & Sport as a discipline).

Again at the All India Promo Awards held in New Delhi on 10 September 2003, Hungama bagged the Best Event Award for SPEED Run 2003 which was a motor sport event for the promotion of Bharat Petroleum's hi-performance hi-octane petrol, Speed. Also, at the prestigious Abby Gold awards 2003 held in Mumbai, Hungama was the youngest agency to bag two Abby Gold awards in Digital marketing.

Moreover, as industry segments other than entertainment are opening up to this new marketing funda, experiential marketing seems to have arrived for Entertainment, Beverages, Automobiles, FMCG, Banking and Financial Services and many others.

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