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Inspirations of Experiential Marketing in the Russian Market



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Ads are already old hat. But what can one do to make people want to promote your brand themselves? Today, one of the best advertising tricks that can answer this question is experiential marketing.

The key goal of experiential marketing is to establish a close connection between a brand and a consumer, to involve the latter into a memorable and fascinating experience that he or she would like to share. A wish to share it in one’s social media accounts, to tell one’s friends and acquaintances, and to create viral content is what distinguishes experiential marketing from common BTL actions and events.

Experiential marketing is related to fast-paced advertising activities and makes the expenses more than worthwhile, and advancement of digital technologies can only contribute to that.

Key Features of Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing makes it possible to step away from the standard communication model in advertising when we try to tell something to a consumer and to proceed to a more interesting model—customer engagement.

What content are users ready to repost?

  • Make a customer a witness of something unusual.
  • Make him or her a star.
  • Make his or her dream come true (be it even a meeting with a star).
  • Trigger emotions: laughter, tears, excitement etc.
  • Create an unusual situation where people will behave the way humans behave, and you will catch their emotions.

Remember that in experiential marketing, a miracle happens after interaction with a brand.

Amarok Hero

In 2017, Volkswagen proposed Russian men to prove their masculinity and participate in a quest Amarok Hero. In Chelyabinsk, participants were to drive off-road tracks and demonstrate their driving skills in a complex environment. The contests in other cities also included off-road tests on the track and mobile machines.

As a result of Chelyabinsk drives, the professional jury decided on 6 winners from Russia who went to the International Spirit of Amarok off-road competition in Africa held August 14-18, 2017. In other cities, the participant who took the 1st place won a participation in an expedition by Volkswagen Amarok pickup trucks across Russia and near abroad countries. The participants who took the 2nd and the 3rd places received prizes from the collection of original accessories by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The goal of the advertising campaign was not only to increase the awareness of Volkswagen Amarok, but also to reserve the status of ‘the best male car’ for it.

As a result, the reach was 1.8 million users, hitting 100% target audience, with PR Value of 5.5 million, while the brand awareness grew by 130%. Only on Instagram, one can find 966 posts by hash tag #геройamarok (Rus. #amarokhero), most part of which is generated by users.

In 2018, organizers took a more optimum path—on May 3 an online stage of the project was launched where participants had to assemble a team, to register, and to answer puzzling questions. 100 participants from many cities of Russia who were shortlisted met on July 21 and 22 nearby Moscow for a final contest.

#хочутудагде (Rus. #wanttogowhere)

In April 2015, an integrated campaign #хочутудагде (March 16, 2015-March 16, 2016) demonstrating potentials of air carrier S7 Airlines to implement the wildest dreams was enriched with a special project that was unique for the Russian market. Using power of their brainwaves, visitors of a Moscow trade center led their planes where they would like to go and S7 would give tickets to those who could concentrate best.

As part of the #хочутудагде project, the company used a non-standard promotion method— Imagination machine. The company wanted to demonstrate that the power of imagination exists, it can be measured, and it affects reality.

The technology implemented in the Imagination machine is an installation with a plane model and a 2-meter globe, on which four projectors provide a 3D image of the planet surface. A special head set is synchronized with the globe, reading electric brain impulses and flying the virtual plane over the globe.

The top award in this experiment was air tickets to that point of the Earth which a participant chose. What is more, the action was not announced ahead in time in order not to make fuss over that. Tickets are a bonus, it is a proof that S7 Airlines can really bring a passenger anywhere in the world. The main idea was to show people what dreams may come.

#хочутудагде is a wonderful example of how, as part of a large-scale advertising campaign implemented with various communication channels—TV, OOH, radio, and Internet—a promotional event with immediate participation of target audience becomes an out-of-the-box occasion.

As a result, for the first campaign’s month the traffic in the website has already grown by more than one million visits, which affected sales a lot.

KFC Battle

This is one more large-scale project that has been making young and active citizens of Russia and CIS countries happy for 7 years already.

‘KFC BATTLE is a project for those who want to change their lives for better and is not afraid of making a first step into a successful future. During 7 seasons it has united more than 750,000 participants and guests from 8 countries. They all are young, active, ambitious, but, at the same time, totally different! We do not make any frameworks or stick any labels: absolutely everyone can apply for KFC BATTLE’, the official website of the project tells.

In fact, this project is a classic example of experiential marketing—project participants are supported by celebrities (therefore, organizers give an occasion to meet a star), while they also make their dreams come true, unlock their potential, and become ‘stars’ themselves.

Throughout the existence of the project, more than 750,000 people from 28 cities of 8 countries took part in it.

G-Drive 100 and talking cars

Good experiential marketing  ads do not need to be good and involve new technologies. An excellent example of such interaction with clients is a clip about G-Drive-100 in Gazprom Neft stations. The key idea of the advertising campaign is that G-Drive 100 fuel is so good that your car will fail to keep silence. Organizers hid a speaker in one of Moscow fuel stations, and cars ‘started talking’

One would think, what’s so unusual? Just look at emotions of car owners (even though the video is in Russian, we understand emotions in any language of the world)!

Nite Jogger Adidas

The Russian branch of Adidas Originals decided to use e-sports to promote their new model Nite Jogger.

To support the sale of Adidas Nite Jogger, the brand launched a campaign Nite Jogger Community, as part of which those who bought these new sneakers got a special identifier that let them enter the community and take part in secretive e-sports events.

In cooperation with Cobra Game House (a computer club and a coffee house), the brand conducted two events where those who got the identifier could play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with professional e-sportsmen— Denis Kostin aka seized and Mikhail Stolyarov aka dosia.


Every day millions of users look for a reason to write a cool post that will make them popular and get more likes, thus, the today’s objective of a business is to give them this reason. Surely, the value of experiential marketing is not only in brand feeling, but also in creation of a brand ambassador army, even for a very short time.

Feel free to download our Russian Digital Market Overview 2019 and learn more about online advertising in Russia.

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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva

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