Using Your Senses: 5 Experiential Marketing Campaigns Using All 5 Senses

Imagine if you could allow consumers to experience your products with all five senses. What a lasting impression it would make in their minds! Here are five examples of amazing experiential marketing campaigns allow consumers to smell, hear, touch, taste and see information about a company’s products, services or brand culture.

Eat your brain

There’s nothing that impresses a zombie more than being presented with a bunch of tasty brains. So what can a company do when they need to impress a bunch of zombie enthusiasts? Give them a taste of a brain… their own brain, that is.

To promote their new television show “iZombie,” CW and BuzzFeed showed up at SXSW in 2015 with technology that allowed consumers to taste their brain. Each participant donned an Emotiv headset, which scanned their brain waves and used a 3D printer to create a customized piece of candy for them. As Adweek explains, “[I]f your brain was mostly alert with beta waves, you got to take home a sweet tasting treat. Those that had more sluggish delta waves munched down on a chicken-flavored delight.”

Consumers got to taste and smell the candy, feel the headset on their head, hear scientists describe how the technology works, and watch the machine as it recorded and printed an edible version of their brain. It stands to reason they also learned a lot about the upcoming television show – and had the premier date firmly etched in their minds.

Get the VIP treatment at the Bates Motel (which is not necessarily a good thing)

SXSW was the place for highly sensory experiential marketing activations in 2015. A&E was nearby to promote “Bates Motel,” a television show that’s a prequel to the movie “Psycho.” They built a replica of the Bates Motel right outside one of SXSW’s main venues. People could explore the sights in the hotel with their eyes and hands, hear promos for the new television show, and enter for the chance to stay at the hotel for the duration of the festival.

The contest winners got the best sensory experience. During their overnight stay they had plenty of time to feel things like the hot water in the shower (if they dared… one of the “benefits” of winning was a “Psycho”-style surprise in the bathroom). They had access to a minibar stocked with spirits from sponsor Tito’s Vodka and brownies from a local bakery. We’re willing to bet the hotel’s maids (provided by Handy, an online service where people can get home cleaning and repair services) used some strong-smelling cleaners to cover up any nefarious odors that might have been present.

Have your cake and eat it too

British author Carole Matthews gave fans of her romance novels a truly unforgettable experience to celebrate the release of her book “The Cake Shop in the Garden.” She partnered with several companies to build a garden made entirely out of confections. The garden was defined by a giant wall constructed from 15 different kinds of cake (it took a London bakery 450 hours to make them). The pieces were attached to each other with Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread. The garden had frosting flowers and butterflies, a bird bath made of sweet treats, edible ivy and chocolate cookie crumbs for “soil.”

Besides taking in the spectacle, visitors could eat cookies from the border of the wall and smell the entire divine creation. It stands to reason that they heard plenty of “oohs,” “ahhs” and happy eating noises while they picked up copies of Matthews’ new book.

Taste the rainbow

Ribena is a European company that makes a line of popular beverages. To promote their sweet drinks, they sponsored a Crazy Golf Roadshow and brought a highly sensory miniature golf course to 14 cities around the United Kingdom.

Players could take in colorful sights on the three-hole golf course, including a forest of blackcurrant plants, a rainbow bridge anchored by strawberries and a mango maze. A corresponding fruity scent was sprayed at each hole, and players could drink Ribena beverages throughout the course. Although articles such as this one don’t describe any sounds at the activation, we imagine off-beat pop, hyper techno or maybe even children’s songs about rainbows and colors playing in the background.

Find adventure in the Swiss Alps

Most of the time people will look at you weird if you started talking to a billboard. In this case, it’s a really smart idea. The tourism agency for the Graubanden region of Switzerland (most famous for being home to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos) placed an interactive billboard in a Zurich train station. Once a day, the static billboard comes alive and a man in the Swiss Alps starts talking to consumers. He gives one lucky passerby free tickets to visit him at his home in Graubanden.

The tickets are printed right next to the billboard so consumers can grab their tickets and hop the next train. They have a totally immersive experience that includes seeing beautiful scenery, smelling the fresh air, petting the man’s animals, hearing the silence of the countryside and eating a meal with him. The whole experience is recorded and played for other train station visitors later in the day – giving those consumers a taste of what they can experience if they decide to visit Graubanden.

Do you need help thinking about how to provide more sensory experiences for consumers during your experiential marketing activations? Let Factory 360 help. We have plenty of great ideas for events that engage consumers’ eyes, noses, ears, hands and taste buds. We can also help your brand meet its other experiential marketing goals, including expanding social reach and doing a better job of tracking analytics. Contact us now to find out more about wide range of services.