Obscenity, good art, ducks, elephants. It's often difficult to define things, but it's easy to say “I know it when I see it.”
The same goes for the “immersive” experiences that are part of the appeal of modern marketing. “Experiential” shops do everything from conferences and trade shows to holograms and light shows, and it can be difficult to define what “experiential” and “immersive” actually mean.
But we know proper immersion when we see it.Probably the most literally The only immersive activation we've seen so far is Adidas' “You Can Swim” sign, which allows you to actually be surrounded by water. Additionally, there are commercial and entertainment spaces that surround visitors with screen and sound, such as MSG Sphere in Las Vegas, 180 Strand in London, and Outernet.
Then there are digital immersives, like Moncler's “immersive” fashion show, and in-store immersives, like Lego's Brick Lab (which has achieved the impressive feat of charging an entrance fee to its stores). Second, his big, flashy, tech-driven PR plays may not be fully immersive per se, but like the viral Resident Evil billboards and AI-driven knock-offs of the same phenomenon, It seems to transport us to another reality.
Characteristics of immersion: A rough definition
While a definitive definition of immersive space may not be possible, we can begin to build a definition from a few common elements.
First, immersive experiences create the feeling of entering a world beyond our own. His director, Tom Birch, managing Pixel Artworks, says that immersion “takes you away from what you were thinking and takes you into another world.” Lisa Wrake, Jack Morton's Director of Content and Creative, explains this: input;What you're walking into…that's the destination. It could be the real world or it could be digital. ”
Second, if immersion means creating a new world, it places the creator in the role of God, influencing as many aspects of the experience as possible. Birch calls this “controlling the entire environment.”
Third, most immersive experiences include a participatory element. Jonathan McCallum, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, UK and Norway, George P. Johnson said: [about] What role do you play there? Immersive experiences allow for more participation…If someone doesn't participate, the experience doesn't really exist. ” This is what immersive marketing and immersive theater have in common. That is, some degree of interaction between exhibitors and spectators.
This means there is immersion, a sense of a new world, complete control for the creator, and interaction between the viewer and the experience. Importantly, this does not mean that technology needs to be involved. Theater fits this description. The same may be true of books to some extent. Charlotte Wilcox, head of strategy at Impero, says that when modern marketers talk about immersion, “your brain automatically goes in the direction of 'digital' and 'expensive,' especially when you think about technology. The same goes for the client's brain.” But I think it's really about expanding immersion, expanding the theater and the brand experience. [create]”
Increased respect, appreciation and inclusion
While technology may not be everything in this space, Lake says it has helped marketers realize long-held ambitions. For a long time, he said, “technology wasn't good enough to realize some of our concepts, but now it does…It's amazing what we can do.”
And that same technology has given audiences the impetus to embrace the kinds of experiences marketers want to show them. Immersive catwalk shows and rock concerts inspired both innovation and desire. Again he says that Wrake: “Audiences expect that. They want brands to speak to them in that space. They want to bring that kind of joy. That's what immersive marketing can do. It allows them to touch all the senses… it's a playground. It gives them a chance to become rock stars – they can collaborate with bands and fashion… something that they probably wouldn't get in other traditional areas. It enables the fusion of various creative fields that would otherwise be impossible.”
From an advertising business perspective, our committee says immersive and experiential are entering a stage of maturity. This is because we increasingly “treat it as a legitimate channel rather than a shiny new technology…it's not a fad, it's actually useful,” says Impero's Wilcox. say.
To continue to build this legitimacy, we need to continually do two things. One must continue to improve measurement and link immersive performance to business outcomes, and the other must continue to deepen the integration of expertise.
When it comes to measurement, the tools to measure immersive performance are expanding, and most of the news is good. There are high-tech measurements (footstep heatmaps, software that measures emotional responses on video), but there's also an old-fashioned method McCallum calls “threshold control” to at least understand who saw that activation. . Then there's the measurement of social fame and his PR and revenue impact through his listening. Birch says there is room for improvement in the latter. that connection with that experience in that One point in time influenced purchasing behavior 18 months later… There aren't many tried and tested tools in this space. ”
In terms of expertise, as the complexity of the technology grows, so does the set of skills required, and so do the potential pitfalls. “You're taking your time,” says Wrake. “You're working with customers for a long time, so you have more time to make mistakes.” “You have to work with people who understand the content, who understand the film, who understand the sound. There's a lot of factors at play.”
Newsletter recommended for you
Check out the most important news of the day, handpicked by our editorial team.
This week's ad
See last week's best ads all in one place.
once a month
Learn how to pitch to editors and get published in The Drum.
Another living question for providers of immersive marketing is how to market it. Experience options are often expensive. It can be difficult to get clients to spend money on big, bold and immersive plays. The answer, Lake says, is one of the oldest tricks in pitching books. “We present something bigger, grander, more expansive than we know they can do, but with several levels of backup.'' The key is to “get the core of the idea “It's about keeping it and taking away the technology and the screens and still having that initial core intact. You know you're probably not going to get something like that,” she says. 300 feet of LED screens, olfactory senses, holograms, and more. ”
McCallum has a different suggestion. Experience shops have traditionally sold work with fixed outcomes and prices. “Digital agencies, on the other hand, sell an iterative process and break it down into pieces. They take clients on a journey through the minimum viable product. They don't know what they're going to get at the end. Maybe, but the journey will be really fun. You'll get great things for your money along the way. They're selling the journey.” Minimal Execution While a possible product may not work empirically (“there is no minimum viable experience”), adopting that iterative process can be beneficial, McCallum says. .
Experiential thinking among marketers in their approach to technology, teams, and business models is growing rapidly, but there is still plenty of room for growth. For Birch, “It's certainly been a long journey, but it's not over yet.”
Panel moderated by Niki McMorrow. The full video of the session can be viewed below. drum tv.