Experiences vs. Advertising: It’s got to be social-media-worthy


I’m increasingly seeing companies shift their focus and budgets away from traditional TV and print ads to experiences (pop ups, unique flagships, festivals, events). When successful, this not only brings the brand to life in a unique and authentic way, it also makes you want to share the experience with everyone you know through social media.

Here’s a rundown of some brands I’ve noticed going this route – some more successfully than others!

Samsung 837

This is one of the best brand experiences I’ve seen. In Manhattan’s meatpacking district, the new Samsung flagship was designed by noted architect Morris Adjmi. It’s fun, creative, tech-forward, great for social media (especially the giant selfie station, the instagram tunnel and all the live events they stage there).

Cadillac House

On the ground floor of Cadillac’s new corporate HQs on Hudson Street in downtown Manhattan. Clearly riffing on Soho House and Neuehouse, this car showroom never quite succeeds. There’s coffee and fashion and conference tables but it feels soulless. Instead of creating the kind of cool gathering spot outlined in the press materials, all you get is a hyped up car showroom!

Ford Escape NYC

I was intrigued to check this out but all 1000 slots filled up in 24 hours. In case you also missed it, here’s the details: Ford teamed up with Victor Blake, the famous puzzle whiz, to design the world’s first Escape the Room immersive driving experience. It was held June 23-26 at the 35K sq. ft. Moynihan Station in Midtown Manhattan. Zero buzz on this since the event so wondering how it played out – some of it sounded pretty contrived (Bushwick art party).

NFL and Cirque du Soleil to open an interactive experience in Times Square in 2017

It’ll be the first sports venture for Cirque du Soleil. “We see the NFL Times Square experience as an opportunity to leverage our creativity to bring to life another one of the world’s greatest brands and expand our capabilities beyond live productions,” Scott Zeiger, Cirque du Soleil Theatrical President and Managing Director told CNBC. The announcement comes at a time when traditional retailers and malls are working harder to create consumer experiences, fighting off competition from online shopping.

Hotel brands turn to storytelling and social media-ready experiences to differentiate themselves

In the age of social media, no better endorsement exists than guests taking photos of themselves at a property and posting them online. Anticipating what those social media moments might be is now as much a part of the design process as is selecting the right fabrics and fixtures.

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