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November 20, 2007


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Nice to see another blog contributing to the dialogue about Experiential Marketing! I'm hopeful you will also join The Experiential Marketing Forum (EMF)an international group of over 4,000 registered members, since it would be great to share info and ideas with its members. is a reference place for all things experiential. Looking forward to reading the Ex Files, and hope you'll come to us for experts and ideas as well. We'd love you to contribute to the forum and have places to upload articles etc. Happy Thanksgiving!


"Actually, I'd like you to tell me."


It's going to be interesting to watch that discussion unfold here in the weeks and months ahead. Because "experiential marketing" is in danger of becoming yet another shallow buzzword like, oh, "viral marketing."

(My ongoing pet peeve is the blatant misuse of "viral marketing" -- I've actually seen a high-profile, big-ticket agency that ought to know better define an ad on a blog as "viral" -- bleccch!)

Wikipedia defines "experiential marketing" thusly: "Experiential marketing attempts to connect consumers with brands in personally relevant and memorable ways. As a marketing methodology, it aims to move beyond the traditional 'features and benefits' marketing."

Well, that's not a bad starting place. But what's personally relevant to me may not be personally relevant to you, yet we both may be interested in purchasing Widget X.

Therein lies one of the challenges for the experiential marketer: How to make Widget X relevant to people of varying perspectives.

And, of course, there's the whole authenticity thing ... but I'll shush for now, as this comment has already gone on too long.

Welcome to the conversation, Ex Files -- the truth is out there ... I look forward to all of us discovering it together.


Sounds good, how about an EXpose on the whole "IFW" marketing thing going on online. You know the "get a free iphone" stuff that 'really works!' Just blabbering here but I will come back to see what else you go into marketing wise. i need all the info i can get!

Kiki L.

I have noticed billboards which simply say "ALVIN!!!!!!!!!" and a December date.
I am assuming that these are promoting the upcoming new version of the Alvin and the Chipmunks' movie.
I wonder if anyone who is not of a certain age or taste gets it.....


I'm looking forward to seeing what people have noticed. I'm also wondering if most advertisers seem to want people to be aware that the advertising is there at all anymore, even tho it's definately being put in place.

Case in point:

Something that you might not have been aware of is that both of the "Big Two" superhero comics companies, one of whom is owned by Time/Warner/AOL have started using actual advertising as a graphic element *INSIDE* the panels of the comics that they're publishing. Now, instead of, say, Superman flying by a faceless billboard, courtesy of the magic of digital editing and coloring, he can, and has, flown by a billboard advertising a Warners movie or DVD set. Marvel has had both the Nike swipe and the USAF logos "spun" in this way as well - and both of those companies advertise with full page advertisements in the comics as per usual. It used to be enough to have facing pages carrying advertising *outside* of a story, but now there is actual PRODUCT PLACEMENT inside them.

In any case, I look forward to see some of the OTHER means of guerilla marketing that I might be missing. Also, living in that OTHER English-speaking North American country, I might be able to share some of what I see up here that you all don't.

Looking forward to the conversation,


Grottu Orloff

This blog is the best blog I have ever read in my whole life! HOORAY!


One of the things I haven't seen yet this season -- and it really should have arrived already -- is the "buy your loved one a Lexus for Christmas" campaign. You know, the ones where someone spends a year's salary on a freaking LUXURY CAR as a GIFT. Then attaches a huge bow to it. The lucky recipient opens a jewelry box that has a key in it, or looks out the window to see a car festooned with ribbons. "Oh, Honey!" (emotional holiday-type background music)

I even remember seeing printed instructions on how to attach the bow to the car. I'm guessing that these bows aren't free, either, which means not only do the Lexus dealerships make money on the autos -- they also make money on the ribbons. What's next? Giant tags?

The Lexus-as-gift campaign, I think, may have spearheaded the whole "Christmas means car shopping" mindset. Certainly, it went from "buy a Lexus" to "Hot Christmas Sales!" at all the different dealerships, many of which also have gift bows attached to the cars in their lots.

I'd like to believe that, given the current financial and political climate, this reprehensible "tradition" has been shelved. But something tells me it hasn't. It certainly ought to be abandoned.


LOL, Sluggo.. I just saw a commercial the other night for a promotion where you get 2 cars (I am pretty sure it was a Mastercard Priceless ad) and the husband opens the door and gives his wife a brown paper bag to hyperventilate in. Does that count re: reprehensible tradition?


Ahh Becky, so now you actually have to write...more!
I look forward to battling and occasionally agreeing with you. What is your favorite song right....NOW!


Oh, easy one, Sam! It's this:

Tho I hear Tom Jones does a pretty rockin' version too. Thanks for writing the brilliant Top of Mind column for Brandweek's guerrilla issue. Looking forward to sparring with you. :)


Barbara asked, regarding the Mastercard commercial with the hyperventilating wife: "Does that count re: reprehensible tradition?"


It is now "O Holy Car" season, our televisions are shiny and bright with holiday ads -- but I truly was surprised to see that Santa is no longer making toys. No, he is now building Mercedes sedans in the back room of his workshop. For the truly good little girls and boys.

Really! He is! I saw it on TV!

I guess that means the rest of us will be getting coal for Christmas. Again.


Hey Becky....interesting info.

Kelly Kuvo

In response to Anni wondering if kids will understand the current ALVIN!!!!!! billboard campaign... I just wish it were more complicated for them to figure out.

Today I actually saw somebody on the bus wearing a Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy DON"T PANIC! logo patch on their denim jacket and it reminded me of when I was a kid and saw the logo worn by a lot of "dead head" types of people who lived in my Colorado town. I had no idea what it meant to DON'T PANIC! or what it was for a cartoon planet to be sticking it's tongue out at me... and yet it intrigued me... until I read the books and still didn't understand "panic" per se or what was supposed to be funny about a depressed robot! ;-) Ah! To be a kid again!

But I gotta hand it to that logo, it tore me away from the TV... to read a book!


David A

I'm anxious to see what unfolds here. I am doing a lot of work for start-ups, young co's without big budgets along with NPOs who are always looking for new ways to build a little street cred and attract new donors/customers.

On a observation point, I was watching Drake & Josh (okay, my kids were, really). And I couldn't believe that I saw a laptop that had a big pear on it instead of the apple logo. Can't believe Apple has n't been approach/or wasn't interested in that product placement considering the younger, impressionable audience the show serves?


yes, i have fell in love with this blog just as everybody else where are the Little Debbie cakes that you promised?

Derrick Bostrom

Good luck on your new endeavor! Please don't let us down. I expect a minimum of three lengthy posts a day.

Where my wife works, they are having a "contest" to encourage the staffers to blog. The prize is a thousand dollars! Unfortunately, my wife pooped out after two measly posts!

Meanwhile, I've be struggling to find the time to expand my own canon over at 43 Folders:

Mr. Hunting Scopes

Very professional mural it is amazing of the talent that a painting like that takes.

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