How the financial industry is banking
on experiential marketing
It’s easy to assume that experiential marketing is for FMCG brands and FMCG brands alone. After all, just take a look at some of the extraordinary experiential campaigns from food and drinks brands. But you’d be wrong.
29th May 2019
By Ricky Knight / Managing Director
A case in point is the experiential marketing that the financial industry is using to connect with consumers and to sell its products and services. I think the use of experiential campaigns by these companies underlines not just the flexibility of this type of marketing in terms of the industries it can work for, but also how important it is to the modern marketing strategy book. If the financial industry is banking (successfully) on experiential then you know it must be a good investment. Here are three financial industry experiential campaigns that I think are worth sharing:
1. The Life-Stages Escape Room from Prudential
This is a really clever idea. Engaging consumers with financial services is far from easy, but Prudential found an ingenuous way of overcoming this barrier: with a stages-of-life themed escape-room game in Grand Central Station.
Each room represented a stage of life (living with parents, starting work, having a family and caring for an aged loved one) and participants had to escape these scenarios by understanding the financial situations linked to each one and solving related challenges. A clock counted up in years rather than down in seconds – the quicker the puzzles were completed, the earlier the participants could retire.
This was an experiential event that got people talking about saving, investing and workplace benefits (which is no mean feat), and raised awareness of Prudential’s financial services.
2. The Phone Charger Drop from Ally Bank
This was a simple but impactful experiential stunt. It inspired emotion, increased mindshare and generated engagement. And that’s far from straightforward when we’re talking a banking brand.
This online-only US bank flew a balloon drone in a shopping centre, delivering free phone chargers to shoppers. On one level, it connected people with the brand and its services, with the PR stunt tagline, ‘Ally Do It Right’, nicely reinforcing the brand’s ‘Seriously Anything’ campaign.
And on another level, regardless of immediate interest in the bank, the stunt created a connection with people whose phones were out or nearly out of battery by literally dropping a charger into their laps. This positive-emotion/memorable-event combination has a big impact in terms of shaping consumer behaviour.
3. American Express at the US Open Tennis
This is experiential marketing on another level. This is large-scale experiential-hospitality marketing at a blue-ribbon global sports event. And Amex does it very well, serving up connection-establishing experiences for potential and existing customers.
There was an American Express Fan Experience. This was open to all event ticketholders and the highlight was the Super Rally experience – augmented reality technology that allowed visitors to get lessons from and play against Venus Williams.
Then there was the American Express Card Member Club, which offered cardholders access to some complimentary rest and relaxation between games (and an escape from the heat), including comfy seats, food and drink, a hair salon, sunscreen and phone chargers.
Finally, there was the Centurion Suite aimed at Platinum and Centurion cardholders. As you’d expect, the Suite was all about exclusive hospitality, including private toilets (anyone who has been a major event will know just how welcome these are).
As these examples show, experiential is a highly adaptable and a highly effective form of marketing. Whatever the industry and whatever the budget, experiential can be a powerful sales tool. This is why more and more companies are making it an integral part of their marketing books.
Want to know what experiential marketing can do for your brand? Get in touch.