According to Elan Davidson, Technical Director at Moving Tactics Digital Impact, most of their clients want them to create an innovative, creative and memorable experience for their audience. It’s all about using the event, activation or stand as an opportunity to have people interact with your brand in a way that generates intrigue and talk value after the event itself.
Do not host an uninspiring product launch or corporate event as marketing teams have the ability to create any experience they can imagine with the help of interactive digital activations.
There are five interactive digital technologies that have been used successfully by well-known brands to make their events stand out from the crowd:
1. Project yourself
Using projections to set up a venue is a unique way to make sure the venue stuns and the guests are wowed the moment they arrive. An innovative and creative animated projection experience was employed by Adidas at their Block Party in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct. Edgy projections added visual stimulation to the party vibe via digital displays projected onto outdoor billboards.
For a Coca-Cola/SABCO gala launch event in Ethiopia, a portable projected hologram of Coca-Cola’s new plastic bottle was developed to spice up the event. And Distell’s Klipdrift stand at the Fine Brandy Festival used eye-catching projections that literally stopped consumers in their tracks.
2. Get physical
The key to a successful event is encouraging participation and a great way to do this is by getting the audience involved with the activation. Old Mutual, a title sponsor of the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, challenged those registering for the event to test their physical prowess by participating in a one-on-one pedal power challenge. Using an integrated GARMIN sensor and live speed display, it provided a visual spectacle that encouraged spectators and participants alike.
A similar physical challenge worked well for Under Armour, who wanted to encourage mall-goers to interact with their brand as part of a store launch event. Based on individual performances on Bicycle Dual and Power Punch activities, shoppers were rewarded with Under Armour discount vouchers.
3. It’s all in the touch
Having the ability to get your audience to physically interact with your product makes it memorable. Sunglass Hut let their guests experience fashion in a new, hands-on way in their VIP lounge. Fashionistas could try on the latest in sunglass trends, find their favourite sunglass look and learn more about the product using custom-made 40” touch screens. By placing their sunglasses on the recognition pad alongside the screen, a small radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag sleekly fitted onto it would prompt and play product specific information and demo videos on the screen.
Sunglass Hut also employed a customised replica Selfie Cam. The 42” touch display with built-in digital SLR camera allowed guests to take high-resolution images of themselves wearing the latest sunglass looks, which they could then share via social media. It was a fun concept and it proved to be very popular.
4. A new virtual reality
Personally experiencing a Virtual Reality (VR) activity isn’t something everyone gets to do, so when Discovery Networks hosted just such an event, it put a spin on the traditional red carpet entry. As guests arrived, each put on a VR headset with integrated stereo audio, and were then ushered through a silent, black-draped and unfurnished walkway. All the sights and sounds they experienced were created by the headset – in their virtual world, photographers’ flashes popped and journalists heckled them as they walked down a virtual red carpet in a fully immersive digital wonderland.
This might sound relatively simple but timing, scale and meticulous video editing is required to make the VR component 100% credible. We filmed the entire walking scene using a helmet camera that included six individual full-HD cameras. This is the latest technology on the market and is one of very few first-person VR filming rigs. Omni-directional microphones were also used to give consumers a fully immersive experience when walking with the VR headgear.
5. Selfies and social media
If no one knows about your event, it didn’t happen – so inspire social media shares. A successful interactive digital activation combines two winning elements: selfies and social media.
Absolut Vodka delivered on this at their MTV Africa Music Awards event where VIP guests were given the opportunity to star in their very own 30-second music video. Under the watchful eye of a professional director and cameraman, the guests were encouraged to express their best dance moves while they were recorded in HD video. The video booth and subsequent messaging process saw to it that each guest had their video clip sent to them and the shares went viral.