The age of the superfan arrives, and brands of every category look for opportunities to indulge consumers. It becomes increasingly important for brands to capitalize on moments and lifestyle trends, and to move at the speed of culture. Smart devices keep on getting smarter, and the “scenic” qualities of events comes into focus as marketers recognize that consumers are carrying with them a suite of tools to capture and share quality content. As a result, the industry sees an uptick in Instagram museums.
Cadillac and Lincoln are among the first in a wave of automakers who create designated chill spaces form consumers. Neither showrooms nor retail environments, the luxurious venues offer immersive brand storytelling opportunities for automakers aiming to engage customers in a relaxed, low-pressure setting. Consumers every-where agree it beats fighting for a table at Starbucks.
Anyone with a smartphone becomes a live content producer as streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope go mainstream, earning attention from event marketers aiming to boost their social strategy and leverage events as content. (Who knew that in just a few years, streaming would literally become the industry’s lifeline.)
In a hyper-local-at-scale play, Netflix fans the flames surrounding the reboot of the cult classic “Gilmore Girls” by transforming more than 200 local coffee shops across the country into Luke’s Diner, the TV series’ fictional “hangout.” Participating shops are provided signage, branded coffee cup sleeves, flannel shirts and baseball caps for staff (a nod to Luke’s apparel in the series), as well as funds to supply free coffee from 7 a.m. to noon.
Escape Room experiences, originally created by entrepreneur Victor Blake, take a branded turn. Companies transform simple storylines into intricate puzzles that must be solved in order for participants to—you guessed it—escape the room. Ford levels up the trend with the first-ever drivable escape room, which highlights key technology inside the new Ford Escape.