Top Experiential Marketing Campaigns So Far in 2021

How do you engage with consumers when there are clear divisions in comfort levels? Come up with a marketing plan that covers everyone’s preferences through a carefully planned experiential marketing campaign. We’re happy to inspire you with some of the top experiential marketing campaigns so far in 2021.

#1 – DoorDash Free Trial Facebook Ad

During the pandemic, many restaurants throughout the nation faced closing their doors temporarily, permanently for some, or learning new ways to do business. Curbside pick-up and delivery became the two best options for restaurants to continue serving food, even if they couldn’t open their dining rooms. Knowing that many restaurants were not equipped to switch to home delivery quickly, DoorDash stepped up with a free trial offer to all restaurants.

Through the Facebook ad, restaurant owners could reach out and try DoorDash delivery services risk-free. There were no fees, no commitment, and no commissions. For two whole weeks, restaurants could see how well their business would do with home deliveries. It was free, so it drew a lot of attention and didn’t take much work to set up and get started.

Why It Works: People love freebies. When the times are already challenging, you don’t want to take a financial risk. That made the free trial appealing. The risk-free offer appealed to restaurant owners, and they were delighted to get to try the service, as long as there were drivers in that area. As DoorDash saw net sales increase by 198%, it’s not surprising to hear it worked.

#2 – Dove’s Self-Esteem Project

Let’s face it, in 2020, many people felt isolated, sad, and found their self-esteem plummeting. It was hard not to feel this way. If you were on social media at all, negativity was in abundance. Comments on any topic would soon turn into a bitter political battle with name-calling and insults. Even in stores, there was criticism towards people who followed guidelines and wore masks or didn’t opt to wear a mask. It seemed to become an open season on being mean.

Schools also found children dealing with bullying and cruelty in new ways. While some kids stayed home for virtual learning, other families opted to send their kids to school. Some kids thrived with online learning while others struggled. Some found themselves dealing with serious self-esteem issues in the process.

Recently, Dove came up with an interactive Self-Esteem Project where everyone could look for tools, start positive conversations, and stop all the negativity. The company got things rolling early on with the award-winning Project #ShowUs, where anyone could submit real photos that are untouched and gorgeous.

The Self-Esteem Project focused on helping your children develop body confidence and healthy self-esteem through online guides, videos, and downloadable kits. The company came up with the #NoDigitalDistortion Pledge asking today’s youth to pledge to take selfies that promote natural beauty over digital editing and focus on positive social media messages.

Why It Works: Dove tapped into something that concerns all ages. As anxiety, depression, and suicide rates increased, the beauty brand made it important to stop and talk about color, shape, size, and abilities being your unique traits and not something to be ashamed of. Everyone can relate to the message and is happy to get involved, especially when it’s so easy to do with all the resources Dove made available.

#3 – Lego’s Braille Bricks

Not every marketing campaign has to involve giving out something free. Lego proved this by creating Lego sets where the dots use the braille alphabet or numbers. These unique Lego kits are donated to schools with blind or visually impaired students. The bricks help students and their teachers learn braille thanks to the bricks and building plates.

Lego’s Braille Bricks come in a kit with a minimum of 300 Legos in six different colors and a variety of shapes. They have the raised braille dots and an image of the letter or number being represented by the braille. There are also three base plates, a brick separator, and a braille guide on the box.

Why it Works: People want to support companies that do more than their part to help others. While the general public cannot purchase the kits, it still spreads a strong message that Lego is socially aware and believes strongly in education at all ages. No matter how old you are or whether you have vision or not, the braille Lego kits get you involved in learning together.

#4 – T-Mobile’s Don’t Trust Your Love Life to Just Any Network Ad Campaign

Anyone who follows entertainment news knows of the unexpected romance between No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and country star Blake Shelton. No one would have guessed that it would end up leading to marriage. It was fun and unexpected seeing them go from competing as The Voice judges to a couple that was madly in love. T-Mobile had a brilliant ad earlier this year that appealed to its fans in more ways than one.

We’ve all had those moments when your cell service cuts out unexpectedly, and you miss bits and pieces of a conversation. That’s precisely what happens in T-Mobile’s ad featuring Blake, Gwen, and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. Gwen tells Adam she’s ready to enter the dating world and wants a cultured, sensitive man from another country. A strong, confident woman can’t threaten him. Adam only gets part of the message due to signal issues and hears she wants a man that’s country, uncultured, and threatened by a confident woman. He sets her up with Blake.

Why It Works: T-Mobile’s ad appeared everywhere. The Super Bowl ad ranked highly, and viewers could see it before your Hulu show streamed and on YouTube. The reach was tremendous, and it also captured something that people can relate to, a spotty network. After the ad debuted, internet searches for Stefani and Shelton skyrocketed to the #1 and #2 spots, leading to impressive engagement with the celebrities and T-Mobile’s ad being shared.

#5 – White Castle’s Slider Lover’s Point

By Valentine’s Day 2021, people were starting to feel the strain of the pandemic. Self-isolation had people feeling stir-crazy. White Castle’s Slider Lover’s Point campaign took place for Valentine’s Day. With many restaurants still closed for anything other than takeout meals, White Castle transformed 300 stores into old-fashioned carhops. Couples made reservations for a socially distant parking space through OpenTable and got to enjoy a meal out from the comfort and safety of their car.

Why It Works: White Castle took an approach that would gain interest while also focusing on a person’s need to feel safe through social distancing. Everyone wanted the chance to go out and share a romantic evening, but it was risky to do so in a restaurant if any restaurants were even open. People wanted to get out of the house instead of another dinner at home. Using #LoveCastle, diners could share their photos and experience on social media. By the end of the event, thousands of Instagram and Twitter posts and shares were using the hashtag.

Turn to the Pros

Coming up with a stellar marketing campaign isn’t the easiest, especially if you don’t have a large marketing team or budget. You may not have the experience needed to pull off a campaign and need a marketing expert’s help.

Let Factory 360 help you develop a fantastic experiential marketing campaign that meets your needs and budget. We’ll help you get the results you desire. Whether you’re interested in a sampling event or want to create an impressive PR stunt, our team makes it happen. Reach us by phone or email.