Integrating Experiential Marketing with Impressive Results
The more recognizable a brand, and the more positively consumers perceive the brand, the more likely they will purchase it when need that particular product. As an example, let’s use an exceptionally successful, very well-known, marketing campaign that has integrated an experiential marketing component with impressive results.
In the Jack Links “Messin’ With Sasquatch” ads, the beef jerky company originally appealed to men who enjoy slapstick comedy with the idea of guys playing practical jokes on their buddies. Over time, the ads have resonated in such a way that a cult-like following has developed. YouTubers now make homemade Sasquatch videos. People post social media messages to Sasquatch. The target market is 18-49 years old and was created by Carmichael Lynch to promote the company’s “Feed Your Wild Side” tag line.
Jack Links has successfully defused the perceptual screens of consumers by appealing to the funny bone of their target audience. They aren’t saying, “Try this beef jerky. It’s really good.” Rather, they’re saying, “Watch this funny monster outsmart your friends and clobber them on the head!” They’ve gone beyond the ordinary and managed to catch the attention of their audience in environments where the audience likes to hang out (e.g., ESPN, Comedy Central, and sporting events). At the beginning of each sketch they simply introduce the commercial by saying “Jack Links Beef Jerky Presents, ‘Messin’ With Sasquatch.’” At the end, they put a picture of a bag of beef jerky on the screen – nothing else – and an announcer says, “Jack Links Beef Jerky. Feed Your Wild Side.” There’s no pressure. No sales tactics. Just a funny skit that appeals to the audience, engages them, and is interesting enough to spark conversations and action.
So, where, exactly, does experiential marketing fit?
The Jack Links campaign is fully integrated into the company’s experiential marketing mix, including college sports, such as The Big Ten Conference and Comic-Con. These regular, experiential events foster ongoing positive association with the brand.
We often talk about event impressions as critical components to measure experiential marketing ROI. I have no idea what the ROI would be for “Messin’ with Sasquatch,” but it happens to be one of my favorite campaigns. I love how they went “all in” by incorporating experiential marketing into such a crazy, long-term, beloved meme.