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Agencies And Marketers Discover Food Trucks Can Deliver More Than Food

By  Experiential Food Truck Rental



“Heinz’s truck, offering free fries, began its trip in Pittsburgh, then visited New York. Other stops are Philadelphia and Dallas”.

When the Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe, Nev., wanted to promote its ski passes this season, it bypassed the usual advertising media like billboards, radio and print ads and instead chose a truck filled with snow cones driven by two improv actors to publicize its message.

For Heavenly, the idea to distribute snow cones from a truck was simple: “We’re going to give you a little bit of the mountain,” said Michael Chamberlin, the executive vice president and director of client services at BBDO San Francisco, which created the campaign for the resort.

That strategy — pairing a brand’s message with of all things, a food truck — has been increasingly employed in recent months, with major advertisers using trucks as rolling sandwich boards while advertising agencies issue the call to food truck marketing companies, like Experiential Food truck rental out in California. They provide food trucks to participate in brand-sponsored events.

Food trucks selling things like falafels and waffles have grown in popularity in cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and advertisers now see them as a vehicle for delivering their message directly to consumers.

“All the companies that are involved in this understand the power of this guerrilla-type marketing, being on the street, being very hands-on with the consumer that’s walking around,” said Beth Lawrence, the chief marketing officer of La Cense Beef, whose La Cense Beef Burger Truck has been used in many events in Manhattan since the summer.

The challenge with buying traditional media, said John Wagnon, the vice president for marketing at Heavenly, one of the properties of the Vail Resorts group, is “paying for eyeballs of people who have no interest in what you’re trying to sell.”

The food truck campaign is the first assignment by Heavenly for BBDO San Francisco, part of the BBDO West unit of BBDO Worldwide, owned by the Omnicom Group.

The resort’s truck, outfitted with iPads and large televisions showing skiing and snowboarding films, will promote a $379 ski season pass at locations around the San Francisco Bay Area through Dec. 15.

Visitors can buy a pass at the truck itself or they can collect a card and visit a Web site for more information. The actors driving the truck will also create video content that will be posted to a blog and Facebook page associated with the campaign.

“It’s like a mobile billboard on steroids,” Mr. Chamberlin said.

Ms. Lawrence said that La Cense Beef started getting calls from advertising agencies at the end of the summer and credited it to the media attention food trucks have gotten, including a mention in New York Magazine’s list of 25 of its favorite food trucks in New York City. According to the 2011 Zagat New York City restaurants survey, 26 percent of respondents reported eating from gourmet food trucks while 40 percent expressed interest in trying them.

In November, the La Cense Beef Burger truck was hired by Team One, a division of Saatchi and Saatchi, for a private event on behalf of Lexus. In October, it was hired by IAC to participate in the Vimeo Festival + Awards event. In June, the 94×50 agency used the truck for a private event on behalf of Nike.

“They like the brand, they like the positioning and they like the fact that the meat is coming from the ranch,” William Kriegel, owner and founder of La Cense Beef, said of the grass-fed beef used to make the hamburgers sold on the truck.

At the 11th annual New Yorker festival this fall, HSBC bank used six independent food trucks to promote its first sponsorship of the event.

The trucks — Rickshaw Dumpling, Schnitzel & Things, Wafels & Dinges, Bistro, NYC Cravings and Van Leeuwen — were wrapped almost entirely in an HSBC ad campaign and each featured a special dish created for the event. Rickshaw Dumpling, for example, created a Peking duck dumpling, while Van Leeuwen offered pumpkin ice cream to visitors.

HSBC customers who showed their bank cards at any of the trucks were given special treats like a free drink of Moroccan mint tea at the Bistro truck and a free scoop of ice cream on a waffle at Wafels & Dinges. HSBC also branded the napkins used in the trucks.

But some brands prefer to create their own food truck instead of hiring an independent operator.

To promote its new product, Heinz Dip & Squeeze Ketchup, the H.J. Heinz Companybought a used truck and added a custom kitchen that included double-stacked convection ovens, food warmers, sinks and a freezer. The truck was then branded with a custom wrapping that displayed the “Heinz Ketchup Road Trip” message along with the relatedTwitter handle and Facebook page address.

The company hopes to capitalize on the growing familiarity with food trucks, said Jessica Jackson, the group head of public relations and communications at Heinz North America. The redesigned ketchup packets were also a perfect fit for a food truck, Ms. Jackson said.

“Since it was really made for eating on the go, we wanted to create an environment where people could experience it on the go,” she said.

The road trip began in mid-November in Pittsburgh, the company’s hometown, spent the Thanksgiving holiday in New York City and will make its way to Philadelphia with a final stop in Dallas. At each stop, visitors get a free serving of Ore-Ida crinkle cut fries or Ore-Ida sweet potato fries and a packet of the Dip & Squeeze Ketchup.

The company will also give away promotional T-shirts to people who have participated in one of the social media parts of the campaign. For example, the first 20 people who arrive at the truck showing on their smartphone that they have “checked in” to the “Ketchup Road Trip” on Foursquare or who post their preference as “dippers” or “squeezers” on Facebook or use the Twitter handle @DipAndSqeeze to announce their preference are also eligible for a free T-shirt.

Most food trucks, corporate or not, use social media tools like Twitter to post their location to their followers, and now Zagat, the restaurant guide, has gotten into the game. In early November, Zagat announced a food truck Web site that features a map with the location of the food trucks that it partners with. They are also conducting a survey of the best food trucks in New York.

To learn more about using food trucks for brand marketing and promotions visit:  

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Your Client’s Brand Message On Food Trucks

Target office or construction workers going to work or on break


By Diego Vasquez

coffee truck  food truck custom marketing


There aren’t many opportunities for advertisers to reach people during the typical workday, whether they’re stuck in an office, a factory or on a construction site.

But one area where they can get such interaction is on coffee trucks, which target workers outside of office buildings, factories and construction sites.

Advertisers can use simple signage on the trucks or place their ads on coffee cups, sleeves or napkins. Or for more impact marketers can custom-wrap their own truck and take it to areas where their target audience works.

To find out how to get your client at coffee trucks, read on.



Fast Facts

Food Trucks and Ice Cream Trucks are now a promotional medium for marketers and agencies.


Advertising at coffee trucks.

Any agency with street team and/or alternative media capabilities can execute a coffee truck campaign. There is also one national network of coffee/lunch trucks, and most local markets also have coffee/lunch truck operators.

How it works


There are two ways to target workers using coffee trucks.

The most common, least expensive is to place ads on coffee/lunch trucks with existing daily routes.

This could include 30-by-60-inch signs on the rear of the truck, a slimmer 20-by-60-inch sign on the side of the truck near the serving window, or 12-by-12-inch ads that sit atop the truck’s counter.


Advertisers can also do giveaways or hand out brochures or coupons. Trucks can also set up displays that allow customers to take a brochure on their own.

Advertisers may also employ a street team member to travel with the truck and pass out samples while customers wait to order.

coffee truck food truck custom marketingAdvertisers may also rent or lease their own truck, wrap it in the brand’s colors and deploy it along with street teams in areas where their desired audience works.

In these campaigns, the coffee is usually given away for free, something recipients tend to appreciate.

Street team members can interact with passersby to chat up the product or service, and a call-to-action such as a web address or coupon can be printed on the coffee cup sleeve.

In both cases, ads on coffee cups or sleeves are also seen by the customer’s co-workers.

Coffee truck campaigns can be executed national.

Numbers vary, but an average daily coffee truck route consists of about 20 stops, according to Experiential Food Truck Rental. Among more blue-collar routes, those 20 stops will include five construction sites, 10 other workplaces such as factories and manufacturing plants, and five institutions such as colleges.


The number of impressions in a given also vary by the market and the route. In Los Angeles, a typical truck brings in about 9,000 impressions per day.

How it is measured
Trucks can track how many cups of coffee they distribute, and street teams can count how many other items they give away, such as samples or brochures.


What product categories work well

Recent or current coffee truck advertisers include retail, fast food, TV networks, insurance, dairy products, apparel and radio stations.

Demographics vary depending on the truck’s route and whether it’s primarily blue color or white collar.

Among construction workers, 97 percent are male and 3 percent female, according to Scarborough Research.

Twenty-one percent are ages 18-29, 41 percent are 30-44, 37 percent are 45-64, and 1 percent are age 65 or older.

Seventy-five percent have an annual household income of $35,000 or more, with 54 percent at $50,000 or more, 34 percent at $75,000 or more and 16 percent at $100,000 or more.

Among office workers, audience is 52 percent female and 48 percent male, according to Nielsen. Average annual household income is $65,000 to $70,000 the median age 39, and 68 percent are college grads.

Making the buy
Lead time can be two to four weeks for campaigns that use basic signage, but lead time for campaigns using customized coffee cups is typically at least six weeks to allow for production time.

Basic signage on coffee/lunch trucks costs between $260 and $300 per month, per truck. Cost for fully wrapped lunch trucks in multiple markets starts at $5,000 per month, plus production.


Customized campaigns cost much more. Cost for a custom-wrapped truck with a street team and printed coffee cups and/or sleeves starts at about $20,000. A month-long campaign with these elements could cost six figures.

Who’s already been on coffee trucks
Current or recent brands that have advertised using coffee trucks include LinkedIn, McDonald’s, New York Red Bulls, MertroPCS, Nike Foot Wear, and Nestle Foods.


What they’re saying

“It’s the perfect medium to target the on-the-go working professional. You have a billboard in the city core, which is the vehicle, you have a street team interacting with them one-on-one, and then you’re giving them something in their hand that they bring back to the office.


For more information visit:

Experiential Food Truck Rental

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The Multicultural Marketing Divide: Who Is the Real Mainstream Consumer?

Most years are evolutionary, but few are revolutionary — and honestly, 2013 was hardly transformational. In many ways, a stagnant business landscape was affected by a deadlocked political atmosphere and highly divergent perceptions of critical national issues — such as health care and immigration reform. In other words, some embrace change; some embrace legacy — even to the detriment of their own businesses’ vital signs.

Some of the trepidation seen among business executives revolves around defining their target consumers. Whereas most of America is still made up of white non-Hispanic families, the vast majority of future growth emanates from diverse cultures — such as Hispanic, Asian and African Americans among others. The difficulty lies partly in “marketing science” and partly on corporate legacy and priorities.

There are certainly many corporations who have increased their spending and focus on high-growth groups such as Hispanic, Asian and African American. According to Ad Age’s2013 Hispanic Fact Pack, for example, the top 10 investors in the “new mainstream” consumer spent $1.25 billion on “Hispanic media” during 2012 alone. This is up from $956 million in 2011 — a 31 percent change year over year! At the top of the list are Procter & Gamble, McDonalds and T-Mobile, who each spent more than $100 million on Hispanic targeted advertising.

Overall, media spending growth from 2011 to 2012 was 3.2 percent, yet growth in overall Hispanic ad spending was 11.1 percent — that’s nearly $8 billion and well over three times the growth of ad spending overall. Nonetheless, the ad spending on the Hispanic segment is reportedly far below this segment’s proportion of the population (about 6 percent of total ad spending, compared to 18 percent of total population) and much less than their proportion of population growth, which has been around 60 percent in recent years. As Hispanic media spending increases, will it begin to blend with the overall spend? Or will “Hispanic-focused media” continue its ascent at the current rates?

One emerging theory has been the discussion of “Total Market,” which — although somewhat vague and subject to interpretation — generally refers to addressing multiple cultural segments (including white non-Hispanic) which roll-up into the aggregate consumer population.

The discussion is interesting, but it’s also peculiar. It appears the same proponents of multicultural marketing are promoting the Total Market concept. But those previously charged with addressing the “General Market” (a term used to describe the mainstream consumer) are not participating in the Total Market dialog in any meaningful way. Therefore, despite the recent growth in spending and buying power of multicultural audiences, multicultural marketers and those examining the general market do not appear to be on the same page.

The risk of the Total Market approach is that it’s also too broad — cultural segments get blended in and compromised within the overall milieu of the marketing mix. In some ways, this seems a defensive approach for brands in order to not get left out — “playing not to lose,” if you will.

The political landscape seems to contribute to the ambivalence among marketers. For instance, the fact that immigration reform has been severely stalled in congress seems to reflect that many leaders (and the public at large I suppose) are in denial as to the emerging role that cultural segments are playing and will play in our business economy. Perhaps it’s an excuse for business executives not to get more aggressive and maintain the status quo.As stated in prior blogs, I find the continued delay of immigration reform especially disappointing, given the fact that we have a multicultural individual in the White House and that 71 percent of the Hispanic vote provided a clear mandate to reform outdated immigration laws.

But I have hope for next year. I believe that as businesses and marketers, we can free ourselves of the gridlocked national perspective on immigration to recognize the importance of a multicultural audience. Here are some tangible gains to be made next year:

    • A leading Hispanic or Multicultural agency and their brand representative will dare to bring a legitimately multicultural message into mainstream media. There’s even a chance that the splash will be made during the Super Bowl.


    • One or more Latino, Asian or African Americans will be appointed Chief Marketing Officer in Fortune 500 companies next year. I believe that CEO’s and institutional investors get it — they will see the same vision and want someone to lead their company to where the growth is.



    • Bicultural media will shift into the next gear as “experimental media” proves itself. Next year should see the fruits of companies like Univision/ABC’s Fusion, Nuvo and MTV Tr3s — hopefully with quantitative backing — that lead to further investment in that potentially high-growth space.



  • Immigration reform (if and when it passes) will spur additional acceptance and momentum within the multicultural/new mainstream marketing and business initiatives.


As 2014 takes shape, the question of “who is the mainstream consumer” will be asked more frequently. This New Mainstream consumer is one who increasingly embraces its heritage and chooses to indulge in multiple media within a multicultural context. Whether marketers embrace it or not — held back by legacy and risk aversion if they do not — American consumers will become increasingly diverse in 2014 and will recognize the evolving face of our nation.

The time has come for CMOs to do what chairmen and institutional investors want them to: go for the growth and erode their competitors’ market share — increasingly, that means trade legacy marketing tactics for in-culture targeting.


Cesar M. Melgoza

CEO and founder, Geoscape


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Off and On: What Consumers Do and Don’t Want in a Loyalty Program

Many businesses introduce loyalty programs in the hopes of attracting new customers and turning occasional customers into loyal brand advocates. Take a look at the loyalty program benefits that US consumers say motivate them more – or less – and compare this list against your own loyalty marketing strategy.

by: Elizabeth Kraus

Give ‘Em What they Want: Are Your Loyalty Program Benefits Getting the Job Done?

Nielsen study shows what loyalty program benefits are most effective in motivating consumers so that you can meet your business marketing and growth goals. How does your customer loyalty program measure up?

If you are considering a loyalty marketing program for your business or want your company’s loyalty program to do a better job in meeting customer-attraction and other marketing goals, you might want to check out a new global study by the consumer opinion experts at Nielsen. This new study details the types of benefits that work best in the US as well as other parts of the world.

Overwhelmingly, consumers indicated that discounted and free products are what they want most in a loyalty program. Here are the top five benefits listed by US consumers in the 2013 Nielsen loyalty study:

  • 75% – Discounted or free products
  • 42% – Free shipping
  • 25% – Exclusive products or events
  • 24% – Enhanced customer service
  • 12% – Special shopping hours

In the same study, consumers were also asked what factors would make them opt-out of a brand’s loyalty program. These were the top six responses:

  • 50% – Program too expensive
  • 43% – Not shopping enough with the brand to receive the benefits
  • 37% – Program is too complicated
  • 30% – Didn’t like the benefits offered
  • 27% – Too many program communications
  • 25% – Did not want to give out personal information

Increase the Effectiveness of Your Customer Loyalty Program

Do you know what you want your customer loyalty program to accomplish? If you want your loyalty program to help you increase profitability or margins, offering the discounts or freebies consumers said they want most in a brand loyalty program could actually hurt your bottom line.

Defining loyalty program goals is essential to identifying and providing the types of rewards that will help you meet your targets. The benefits that help you convert occasional customers to more frequent shoppers could be different than the type of benefits that will help you attract new customers in the first place.

Here are some potential goals that could help you design a more effective customer loyalty program; should loyalty rewards help you:

  • attract new clients
  • motivate clients to shop more often
  • cause existing customers to shop with you on a greater number of channels (online as well as in-store, at an affiliate site, etc.)
  • incentivize customers to spend more per visit
  • stimulate referrals

If you answered “all of the above” or identified more than one goal for your loyalty program, you may wish to consider launching more than one type of customer loyalty program; at a minimum, you may need to offer different rewards in order to trigger different types of behaviors.

For instance, offering a Buy-One-Get-One offer may help you with new customer attraction or referrals, but it goes against the other goals which lead to bigger margins or profits per customer. One size simply may not fit all when it comes to your customer loyalty program.

In addition, when designing (or re-tooling) your brand loyalty program, make sure that you try to avoid consumer loyalty program turn offs:

  • If there is a cost associated for loyalty program members, make sure that benefits outweigh costs or add a money back or partial refund guarantee
  • Consider increasing benefits accrued (if customer’s aren’t shopping often enough to get benefits from the program) or offer increased benefits at tiered levels to incentivize customers to shop often enough to realize member benefits
  • Let customers choose from a range of rewards
  • Survey members to see whether their benefit preferences are changing on a regular basis, such as annually at the time of renewal
  • Let customers choose channels and type of communication they want to receive and make it easy to opt out or change their preferences online
  • Don’t require loyalty program members to reveal information they don’t want to share, and reduce information requested to only what is most necessary to administer the program

A loyalty program can help you meet your marketing goals, grow your business and become more profitable, especially if you take a strategic approach. Tailor your loyalty program to reflect specific business goals and to reflect the preferences of your customers and you are far more likely to get the results that you desire.

loyalty program marketing ideas
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Brands Turn to Experiential Marketing to Reach Consumers



Perhaps door-to-door salesmen were the first experiential marketers, holding out brushes and vacuums for potential buyers to try on the spot. Today’s experiential marketing incorporates gigantic, attention-grabbing product displays, interactive billboards and participation contests, among other things. They are about marketing the brand and getting people talking.
EventNetUSA’s Joel Benson, president and CEO of the Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based experiential marketing firm, says when a consumer truly engages with a product or service, not only are they more likely to purchase it, they can also clearly articulate attributes or differentiators.

“This leads to word of mouth referrals which, more often than not, happen via social media,” Benson says. “We believe that word of mouth is the most efficient and credible marketing campaign because consumers make recommendations based on their personal experience.”

In fact, the majority of consumers (53%) say friends are most likely to influence them to buy new clothes, followed by relatives (21%) and magazines (20%), according to the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ Survey. Additionally, when they are looking for apparel ideas, 34% of consumers turn to people they see regularly as a source.

Experiential marketing depends on that circular kind of connection, with brands appealing to consumers, consumers talking to each other, and then circling back to the brand.

TideSmart Global’s Steve Woods, president and CEO of the Falmouth, ME-based experiential marketing company, says people are the one constant in an increasingly fragmented consumer universe.

“Despite leaps and bounds in technology, it’s never been more difficult to grab the attention of consumers,” Woods says, adding that consumers increasingly ignore the “we talk, you listen” messaging approach. On the other hand, live people and interactions can break through all the noise.

“Experiential marketing links consumers directly to the brand through a unique experience. Whether it’s a sampling campaign, a PR event or mobile marketing tour, experiential marketing is the perfect backdrop for brands seeking a deeper, more meaningful connection with consumers.”

The look and feel of cotton has been successfully promoted two years in a row at Cotton’s 24 Hour Runway Show in South Beach, Miami. This year’s show, in March, incorporated 1,440 different looks from numerous designers, showcasing cotton’s versatility as casual, work, nighttime, or active wear. The live-streamed event, which incorporated bloggers, contests andcelebrity appearances, was viewed by more than a half-million people online.

Cotton Incorporated recently conducted another experiential marketing campaign when it staged a “mannequin protest” during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The multi-day event was staged to draw attention to apparel that is substituting cotton with synthetics that feel like it. The mannequins, holding signs that read “Cotton or Nothing” and “Don’t Get Duped, Check the Labels” among others, “went on strike” against wearing the synthetic garments in display windows.

While the approach was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, 84% of all consumers actually prefer their apparel to be made of cotton and cotton blends, according to the Monitor. And nearly 8 of 10 consumers (79%) say cotton and cotton blends are the fibers best suited for today’s fashions. In fact, almost all consumers (96%) prefer it for their denim jeans, followed by their T-shirts(95%), socks (94%), underwear (90%), casual shirts (86%) and activewear (71%).

Not only did the Monitor find consumers think better quality garments are made from all natural fibers such as cotton (75%), it found more than half (52%) are willing to pay more for it.

So the mannequins “took to the streets” of Manhattan to highlight the Monitor finding that consumers are bothered when retailers and brands substitute synthetic fibers for cotton in their underwear and jeans 61%, followed by their tees 59%, socks 53%, sweatshirts 51%, and dress shirts 50%.

When stores use such dramatic techniques, it’s referred to as “retail theater,” Benson says.

“But in practice, it’s about creating something that drives interest, but still brings the message full circle to the brand. For clients, we continuously quote Confucius who said: ‘I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.’”

Since consumers have so many apparel shopping choices today, Benson says it’s important for retailers to give people an added reason to take notice. An experience can make the act of visiting a shop as rewarding as acquiring the product itself.

Woods says that as a tactic, experiential marketing allows a retailer or store to shape a brand in a way that is unlike any other marketing medium.

“There is the opportunity to connect consumers directly to a brand, whether through sampling, mobile marketing tours, grassroots events, a product launch or exclusive event,” Woods relates.

A recent TideSmart experience showed men how to take the guesswork out of shopping for Levi Strauss Signature jeans. A 53-foot, double slide-out vehicle that was set up alongside major NASCAR events housed the centerpiece of the experience, the Intellifit™ System. When a fully clothed person stepped into the scanning booth, the system executed a full body scan and generated a print out of recommended sizes and styles of Levi Strauss Signature apparel.

Says Woods, “Experiential marketing can increase awareness, build brand loyalty and significantly influence consumer-purchasing behavior.”


For more information;


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Hispanic Events: Gain Critical Mass through Large Scale Hispanic Events


Pitbull Takes the Stage at Calle Ocho in Miami

Large scale Hispanic events like Calle Ocho and Fiesta Broadway have been a mainstay for many marketers trying to reach the lucrative U.S. Hispanic market. The hope for brands participating in these large scale events is that they will create a brand connection with the 1 million + attendees which they can translate into sales. The reality – many brands get lost in the clutter of brands participating in the event and the planned activation of  a spinwheel, free samples and coupons does little to nothing to drive sales or create a lasting brand impression. Thus, brand managers are challenged to justify the ROI and often times the Hispanic program is deemed a failure.

We believe it is possible to gain critical mass through large scale Hispanic events. Here are three considerations to help drive a successful Hispanic event strategy.

1. Integrate Hispanic Event Efforts into Your Total Marketing Plan
Your consumers don’t live in a Hispanic-only world and neither should your event efforts. Leverage the marketing strength of your total brand efforts to enrich the consumer experience. For example, sponsoring the NBA this year? Did you know that Hispanics comprise sixteen percent of the league’s fan base? Knowing that, elevate your event experience! Create an “NBA experience” with a Hispanic twist – highlight Hispanic players and tell their stories or invite local Hispanic artists to use backboards as a canvas to create a one-of-a-kind gallery. Promote this Hispanic outreach through your total market media and social media channels.

2. Remember Content is King

It’s true that Hispanics were “the original” social network long before Facebook was invented. And with the advent of social media and the proliferation of smart phones among Hispanics, these tech savvy consumers are actively looking for those “shareworthy” moments. So give them something to talk about at your event experience! A banner becomes a step & repeat photo opportunity. Turn your brand iconography into larger-than-life art installations. And use relevant event and brand hashtags to encourage, track and participate in the conversation.

3. Nobody Likes a One Night Stand.

No matter how big and spectacular the event may be, one event does not make a Hispanic marketing plan. Look for opportunities to extend the conversation and/or event association long after the “circus has left town”. Create a database from your event attendees and schedule on-going communication with them. Thank them for visiting your event area, invite them to take a survey, surprise them with a tweet or better yet, a surprised product gift! Remind them what makes this event so amazing and how grateful you are to share in that experience with them. Better yet, invite them to your next event, be it a Hispanic targeted or total market effort!

There are some incredible large scale Hispanic events across the country that can be leveraged to meet your marketing goals – Calle Ocho in Miami, Fiesta Broadway in LA, Fiesta San Antonio, Fiesta del Sol in Chicago and the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York to name a few. Do your events have the right elements to create critical mass for your brands?



For more information:




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Experiential Marketing Trends 2014


Experiential marketing is about connecting consumers with brands through live face to face experiences, creating personal and relevant memories.  With consumers bombarded by traditional advertising and becoming more likely to listen to ‘non-stop music’ radio stations, watch ‘on demand’ TV and flick past print adverts, 2013 proved to be a blossoming year for experiential marketing.

For what used to be an afterthought, experiential marketing is swiftly becoming a key tactic in many advertising campaigns.  Budget’s increased by 7.6% in 2013 vs. economic growth of 1.6%, and it’s predicted to skyrocket even further in 2014.

To help you see the big picture, we’ve put together what to expect in 2014:

Trend #1: Big Data vs. Real Data

Experiential marketing is about real conversations and meaningful impressions you can count. On the surface, it looks like experiential produces smaller numbers, but experiential is about quality over quantity, and they’re authentic numbers.

Half a million people could read a newspaper, but does that mean half a million people read the advert inside? No. Traditional has a larger potential reach but experiential gives a realistic impression count based on direct engagements.

With that said, in 2014, these smaller numbers won’t cut it and there’ll likely be an emphasis on increasing them.

Can we achieve this by quickening quality engagements from 60 seconds to 30 seconds? Perhaps. Expectations in the experiential realm are rising and it’s our job as experiential marketers to face this challenge in the upcoming year.

Trend #2: Gen Y Will Continue to Demand Experiential

It’s estimated that Gen Y’s consumer spending will top over 100-billion dollars next year, and as a result, they are a huge target for brands. But they’re finicky. They’ve seen it all, they live in the moment and they’re far more impulsive than any other age group.

But this is good news for the experiential industry. A new stat says 78% of millennials are more inclined to become part of a brand if they have that face-to-face interaction.

This is where a greater emphasis on experiential as a primary (and necessary) marketing tactic comes into play. Gen Y demands it.

Trend #3: Increased Experiential Integration

In 2014 we will see more experiential and PR companies collaborating to create awareness—especially with the evolution of technology and social media. Experiential companies will longer be invited to the party, they are organizing the party.  The Magnum pop-up shop integrated these two strategies superbly in Bloor-Yorkville this summer.

Trend #4: Experiential Will Become a New Form of Market Research

Judging from our own experiences and the way the industry is progressing, we believe experiential marketing will become a new form of market research in 2014.

With the consumer right in front of your brand ambassadors, it’s easy to gather more information in the midst of engagement.  It’s live.  It’s quick. And it goes a long way towards further understanding consumer behavior.

For example, we worked with a company in October distributing promotional materials and talking about their services. Not only did we create meaningful relationships with their target market, but we also conducted a quick survey collating customer impressions of the brand.  Because of the one-on-one interaction, people were more than willing to answer.  It felt normal and natural, and it was easy to get honest information and feedback about both the brand and its programs.

One of the strongest reasons why we think this will be a key trend for 2014 is because leveraging brand ambassadors to collect data in the midst of an existing experiential campaign is a valuable add, and incredibly affordable in comparison to traditional research methods.

Experiential creates so many different opportunities for live market research and we expect to see this grow to a higher level next year.

Trend #5 Evolving Experiential Technology

At the beginning of 2012, we thought using brand ambassadors using iPads was a big deal. By 2013 it was routine.

We still love our iPads (of course!) but we’ve embraced other technological resources, like the use of green screens for fun photo shoots and videos, and social technology for campaign integration.

The increase in marketing function integration will rely on using the right technology. And as new technology evolves, exciting and innovative experiential opportunities will follow suit

Trend #6 Experiential Marketing Will Consolidate Its Identity

Moving into the New Year, it’s important to note that experiential will continue to grow into its own identity.  Forget all the trend words—Buzz marketing, engagement marketing, impact marketing—experiential marketing is the terminology marketing will adopt in 2014.

But this kind of consolidation only happens when experiential itself finally becomes recognized as the most effective and affordable tactic on a person-to-person level out there and this recognition is reflected in experiential’s share of marketing dollar allocation.

We already saw gains in 2013 with larger brands acknowledging that experiential stretches their marketing dollar and gets tangible (and relevant) results.

Original Post by Calum McGuigan

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