It’s time to blow your mind! After all experience counts…

What does it take to turn an experience into a lasting memory? The sheer realization that every experience counts! Some experiences are high profile, complex and broadcast live to millions. Others connect audiences as small as half a dozen. Whatever the magnitude it’s that very commitment to deliver each and every experience in the most impeccable manner that makes it live on in our memories.

Today when I look around I feel really happy to see that events are no longer just a checklist, or a larger than life set design. It’s a combination of all these elements put together that make an event into an experience. An impactful experience. To bring alive that WOW factor and let it shine like the sun in Finland. The shine should live on and outshine everything around.

Take for instance Red Bull. A brand that rarely follows the traditional routes for advertising and promotion. It amazes me as to how over the years Red Bull has continued to use the experiential domain as an integral part of their marketing strategy by coming up with unique concepts. Pretty much everything Red Bull does is based around creating an experience. Right from its Air Race, to its F1 team, to its extreme sports events. The brand is on a quest to constantly innovate and that’s a quality I deeply admire and hope to imbibe someday. Recently, Red Bull hosted the first kite surfing event in India – The Red Bull Quila Surf. Though kite surfing is a common water sport abroad, to see the way they introduced this property in India was pretty damn exciting. Tania, my daughter, being a water baby was really kicked about it, so she and I hopped onto a ferry and headed to Mandwa to catch the action live. To watch India’s best kite surfers come together under the skies of the sun-kissed beach at Mandwa, showcasing their unique kite-surfing techniques and circling the Murud-Janjira fort, displaying a brilliant performance. For me, Red Bull managed to create an experience that would probably remain with me for a long time. An enjoyable experience, which was a winner in every sense.  To take an untapped and niche sport and develop it into a unique property.

Red Bull Quila Surf 2Image courtesy: Dravasp Shroff

Nothing can beat the thrill that an out of the box campaign provides me. Experiences that inspire me to push the envelope and innovate even further. Like what Audi America did with its “Art of the Heist” campaign. This Innovative experiential campaign to promote and launch the all-new Audi A3 premium compact car blew me away. Like literally!  The campaign was crafted in the format of an evolving “new-fashioned thriller” which started with the “staged” theft of an A3 at the Audi Forum on Park Avenue in New York. Featuring live events, online puzzles and films, print and broadcast ads and guerrilla tactics, it saw over 500,000 participants involved over the course of four months in this mix of fiction and suspenseful reality in the form of its theft and retrieval plot. One of the main highlights of this campaign was its immaculate use of digital elements at every given point across so many platforms and the fact that it managed to pull such a vast audience into alternate reality gaming. For me, it was a living movie that kept the audience tuned in to many different engagement levels. It was an immersive 24-hour-a-day alternate reality experience that used the target market’s web-addicted tendencies to play out a mysterious story line over a comprehensive trans media campaign that included virtually every known available medium – – print ads, billboards, TV commercials, radio spots, websites, live events, emails, videos, wild postings, blogs, IRC chats, direct mail, voice transcripts, puzzles, photos and scanned-in documents. Aryan, my son, and I were so hooked onto this ‘Heist’ for those four months that by the time it was over he was very adamant and wanted a Red Audi A3 as well, being the die-hard car fanatic that he is. That says it all. Audi America managed to influence someone on the internet in another continent. It was some serious next level experiential stuff. The kind of stuff that left me wondering about the kick-ass potential brands are capable of, if only they tried as hard as Audi did!

Video courtesy: Syed Abdul Karim Tanveer

These last 25 years at Shobiz have seen us create similar outstanding experiences that have wowed our clients on so many different levels, but let’s talk about that on some other day. For now, I cannot even begin to stress how important it is for brands to establish a strong connect with their customers. Instill an everlasting brand identity in their minds. Making it an obsession. Leaving them awestruck. Simply by delivering an experience that is measurable, unforgettable and impactful.

An experience that simply cannot be defined in words!

Sameer Tobaccowala

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