Liz Richardson is managing partner at behavioural communications agency HeyHuman.
Desert Island Ads
Like any true experiential marketer, I want my desert island to be teeming with interesting brand activations. I’m not going to settle for traditional, stale sampling campaigns, and any brand which shows up with a low-engagement ‘spray and pray’ approach will shortly find themselves banished to the sea.
Multisensory campaigns represent a huge commercial opportunity for brands, as they have been shown to increase purchase intent by a whopping 65 per cent. At HeyHuman we know through our work with neuro-marketing that if we can activate our senses, it’s a shortcut to emotion.
I’ve been paying close attention to the world of multi-sensory, and would be more than happy to continue my studies within the delightful confines of an island retreat. Here are some of the most interesting and engaging experiences which I would like to see replicated in my tropical paradise…
Campo Viejo – World’s largest multisensory experiment – 2014
Campo Viejo took multi-sensory to the streets in 2014 with what was then the world’s largest multi-sensory experiment. The brand wanted to see if the same wine tasted better in different lighting and invited people into the ‘colour lab’ to drink. The results were quite interesting, with green lighting making the wine taste sour, and red making it taste sweeter.
The reason I loved this multi-sensory event was not only the free wine (!) but its ability to make consumers feel like they were contributing to something. Very smart.
Hendricks Gin – Portals to the Peculiar – 2019
Hendrick’s summer campaign this year is simply brilliant. It is quirky and intriguing and I really enjoy the oddness of it. Guests are ushered into an unusual entrance (through a washing machine, or an ATM) and are immersed into the world of Hendrick’s – a hidden dimension filled with peculiar people who are all obsessed with gin.
The air is flavoured with cucumber and rose (the flavour of Hendrick’s gin) and the seating area is made up of billowing, fluffy material to emulate clouds. It’s a great example of multi-sensory done right, and it’s something guests will remember for a long time.
Red Cross – Refugee Camp – 2019
In order to raise awareness of the world’s largest refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, the Red Cross moved away from the conventional approach that charities take to create a multi-sensory experience in Westfields. It recreated a small section of the camp, which was free to enter, and took visitors across the globe to experience life as a refugee.
It will be interesting to see how charities implement experiential into their strategy in the coming years. I definitely think it’s something that can be capitalised upon. It’s always been important for charities to stimulate people’s feelings, and in a digital world, the multi-sensory angle can be useful when trying to make an impact. It’s a great way to get people to donate to your cause, especially when used as effectively as this.
Guinness Flavour Rooms – 2018
This is something I’m really proud of.
Last year, we created an immersive sensorial experience of the multi-dimensional character and flavour of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout through understanding sensory connections.
By using sight, sound, touch and taste to highlight the bittersweet, bold and rich character of Guinness, we were able to create a more immersive and memorable drinking experience. From different music styles, textures, scents and lighting, to infused foods that complement the beer, each room allowed the people to explore the drink in a unique way.
Flavour Rooms allowed us to position Guinness as a culturally-engaged brand by creating a series of ‘Only Guinness Can Do’ aspirational, scalable and extraordinary drinking experiences that drove re-appraisal of Guinness.
Hennessy – Le Grand Voyage – 2017
Hennessy wanted to tell the story of its drink. Through a series of multi-sensory art installations, the brand created an amazing walking tour that explored the process of farming, distilling and taste testing. The art aspect of this experience is what makes it stand out. From the misty distillery room to the illuminated tasting room, every section of the tour did something captivating.
Once again, an alcohol brand is getting people to appreciate the process behind creating its product and the expert level of craft that goes into it. Playing on the senses gets consumers in the ideal frame of mind to taste the drink, and they can position them to enjoy it.
Re Liz Richardson’s comments about Guinness: for around half a century, I have immersed my senses in the occasional pint or few, but must admit to not having attempted to explore the multi-dimensional character and flavour of Guinness. Instead, I concentrated on getting pissed…
I’m with Tom here. The purpose of drinking is to get pissed. That applies to Guinness, Campo Viejo, Hendrick’s and Hennessy. Other than that, I don’t understand a word Ms Richardson says. Although I must admit she does have a propensity for booze. Time for my breakfast beer.