A big activation doesn’t take the what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas mantra. An activation needs to take a what happens here, goes everywhere approach.
That's where experienced by few, seen by many ideas come into play. These are, as the name implies, executions that only a handful of people will ever experience in person, but brands and those who experience everything first-hand can create content around to share it with the masses.
SXSW is wrapping up at this very moment, and it’s full of experiences that the vast majority of people will never be part of. But the best experiences are being talked about, and proactive brands are creating content around those experiences that can be distributed to wider audiences.
How do brands make something experienced by few seen by many? It’s not enough to simply have a great on-the-ground experience that people love. There have to be reasons and means to share throughout.
Create something to share.
First and foremost, the experience needs to be worth sharing. WestJet delivered gifts to its passengers. Sheraton let flight passengers scan their boarding passes at airports over the holidays. The longer their delay, the more Starwood points they rewarded. They turned a negative into a positive.
Sharing doesn’t just happen. It has to be remarkable enough for people witnessing it to want to share it with their social connections.
Keep it simple.
Don’t make things too complicated. People experiencing an activation need to be able to communicate what’s happening with a short video, quick pic or tweet. Don’t make things so complicated that they can’t tell their followers the story with a quick hit.
It’s not enough to give people an experience to share. It has to be clear and simple enough for them to share it.
Every brand is trying to get consumer attention. Making people stop and pay attention is a challenge. The weirder, most out of the box thinking is what gets the attention and the share of voice. Beautyrest invited SXSW attendees to lay down on its beds next to 149 strangers to be serenaded with live music performances. It’s a little weird. It’s a little different, and it’s definitely worth sharing.
Make the people part of the story.
Finally, make viewers of an experience part of the activation itself. They should feel like more than passive observers, but they should feel like they, in some way, made the experience what it is. People share reflections of themselves. Perhaps, they triggers something that makes the activation happen, or they receive an asset that is custom to them or they helped create. The point is, the people seeing a live experience should do more then see it. They should be part of it.