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5 Times Retailers Made Their Advertising Experiential.


Retailers focused on getting closer to their customers are opting for more experiential marketing campaigns–and rightfully so.  The idea is, if you can immerse a customer in an experience or story, then the resulting engagement is more valuable and long-lasting because it evoked emotion.

Traditionally, retail advertising has been all about doorbuster sales and other pressure-based tactics. But in a digital world, where consuers are surrounded by advertising wherever they turn, turning ads into experiences is the way forward. Here are five standout examples of retailers doing exactly that.

1. Target At The Grammys

Target’s TV commercial that aired during the 59th Annual Grammy Awards show earlier this year wasn’t your typical ad. Rather than touting its products and thousands of stores across the country, the retailer opted to present a music video featuring singers Carly Rae Jepsen and Lil Yachty. Sure, branding appeared throughout, but anyone watching the Grammys clearly loves modern music, so the ad smartly treated them to such an experience. Bull’s-eye!

2. L.L. Bean’s “Be An Outsider”

Toward the end of September, L.L. Bean placed an ad in The New York Times that was invisible unless viewed in the sunlight. Cool, right? The effort was part of L.L. Bean’s “Be An Outsider” campaign, which celebrates all the wonderful things that can be done outside, while also reminding customers that L.L. Bean wants to be part of that. 

3. #WindowWonderland

For anyone who has ever visited New York City during the holiday season, a true highlight is seeing how the department stores decorate their the windows. Elaborate just skims the surface; it really is a sight to see. But what about the folks who can’t make it? Last year, retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, and Bergdorff Goodman teamed with Google to extend the experience to anyone with an internet connection. Now that’s what we call getting into the holiday spirit.

4. Topshop

Topshop used virtual reality in its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street to celebrate this year’s return of summer. The VR activation paired shoppers with an Oculus headset, taking them down an enclosed, looping water slide in immersive 360. Hot fun in the summertime!

5. Sephora On Tinder

Also making a splash for a superb mobile experience is Sephora. In an ad campaign earlier this year, Sephora ran shoppable ads on dating app Tinder, allowing consumers to swipe through products and shop within the ads themselves. Kudos and a big swipe-right to Sephora for that one.