4 Brands Increasing Their Experiential Marketing Investments

April 24, 2024

More and more brands are beginning to understand that experiential marketing is extremely valuable. Recently, Valentina Culatti, who leads creative strategy and production for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Snap Inc., explained that this type of marketing is very effective because it lets people experience, connect, and learn in memorable ways. She says, “Events help improve a brand’s visibility and allow companies to present their products in engaging and immersive ways, which greatly increases brand awareness.” (You can find out more about why spending on event marketing is growing while other areas are slow on The Drum).

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Whether through sponsorships, new brand launches, or campaigns to get in front of younger consumers, these four brands are investing more time, agency resources, and dollars into experiential marketing opportunities. Keep reading to uncover what these brands are up to, who they’re working with, and where they’re allocating their spending resources:

1)  Spanx kicks off its first brand campaign

Spanx just launched “We live in Spanx,” its first-ever brand campaign that marks the brand’s first time utilizing OTT ads and promoting apparel instead of only shapewear.  The push is supported across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Hulu. The ads feature TikTok influencer Nadia Munno, British model Charli Howard, and Olympian Allyson Felix.  Additionally, Spanx promoted Caroline Whitton to CEO in February 2024 — Whitton joined the company in 2017 as chief growth & digital officer and was named president in September 2022.

Target demographic: Millennial women

Spanx will likely:

  • Continue experimenting with new marketing channels, including experiential marketing
  • Significantly increase ad spending
  • Seek agency assistance

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: Spanx spent roughly $1m on digital display ads YTD, down 33% from $1.5m spent in this channel during the same period of 2023.
  • YTD data: 165.8m impressions via Facebook (49%), Instagram (32%), desktop display (9%), YouTube (5%), TikTok (4%), Snapchat (1%), and Pinterest (1%).
  • 2022-2023 spend: Full-year spending doubled from $5.7m in 2022 to $11.8m in 2023.
  • Ad location: It placed 99% of these ads directly onto platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat. It placed 1% of these ads indirectly through Google AdX+AdSense onto sites such as boston.com, finance.yahoo.com, ew.com, people.com, and nytimes.com.

2)  Abercrombie & Fitch taps events agency, partners with McLaren Formula 1

Abercrombie & Fitch recently picked up Amplify LA as its event agency. The agency’s first project was a launch event touting A&F’s partnership with the McLaren Formula 1 team and the brand will collaborate with McLaren on licensed apparel, content, social media, and events.

Target demographic: Gen-Zers & millennials

Abercrombie & Fitch will likely:

  • Keep increasing digital spending
  • Ramp up event marketing efforts
  • Seek additional partnerships and sponsorships

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: A&F spent approximately $7.7m m on digital display ads YTD, a 57% increase from $4.9m spent in this channel during the same period of 2023.
  • YTD data: 965.3m impressions via Instagram (29%), TikTok (28%), Facebook (25%), YouTube (16%), and desktop display (1%).
  • 2022-2023 spend: Full-year spending skyrocketed from $28m in 2022 to $59.5m in 2023.
  • Ad location: It placed 99% of these ads directly onto Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and complex.com. It placed 1% of these ads indirectly through Google AdX+AdSense on sites such as parents.com, si.com, thespruce.com, goodhousekeeping.com, and slashdot.org.

Agency roster:

  • In-house: Creative
  • iProspect: Digital
  • PMG: Media buying and planning
  • 160over90: Social and PR AOR (Hollister)
  • Amplify LA: Events

3)  Beats by Dre partners with Major League Soccer

Beats by Dre is now the official consumer audio products partner of Major League Soccer (MLS). Beats will create custom headphones for Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, Inter Miami, LAFC, Nashville SC, NYCFC, St. Louis City SC, and Toronto FC in 2024.  Plus, MLS players will appear in Beats’ ad campaigns to help the brand reach male Gen-Zers.

Target demographic: Gen-Zers with a male skew

Beats will likely:

  • Keep moving ad dollars from TV to digital channels
  • Launch an ad campaign in collaboration with MLS
  • Seek additional sponsorship opportunities

Broadcast insights (TV ad creative spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: Beats has not allocated a significant budget toward national TV ads so far this year.
  • 2022-2023 spend: Full-year spend plummeted from $912.6k in 2022 to $112.8k om 2023.
  • 2023 ad programming: It placed ads during programming such as NBA All-Star Game, Epic.Awesome.Videos, Premier League Mornings, CMT Crossroads, and MTV World Stage. 

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: Beats spent about $23.2k on digital display ads YTD, up from $2.2k spent in this channel during the same period of 2023.
  • YTD data: 3.5m impressions via Instagram (78%), Facebook (15%), TikTok (4%), desktop display (1%), and mobile display (1%).
  • 2022-2023 spend: Full-year spending increased by 33% from $2.7m in 2022 to $3.6m in 2023.
  • Ad location: It placed 100% of these ads directly onto Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, wowhead.com, and nbadraft.net.

Agency roster:

  • BASIC/DEPT: Digital
  • Haworth Marketing & Media: Media buying and planning
  • Translation: Creative
  • Zambezi: Creative
  • PMG: Digital and programmatic

4)  Aperol increases spending as it works to raise awareness

Campari America has been ramping up spending for its Aperol brand as it works to improve awareness in the US. The brand also plans on utilizing music festivals, sporting events, and brand placement in TV shows after sponsoring the US Open and Coachella in 2023.

Target demographic: Millennials

Campari America will likely:

  • Keep increasing spending
  • Diversify digital ad placement
  • Seek additional sponsorship opportunities
  • Hire agency assistance

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: Aperol spent approximately $30k on digital display ads YTD, up from $900 spent in this channel during the same period of 2023.
  • YTD data: 4.6m impressions via Instagram (84%) and Facebook (16%).
  • 2022-2023 spend: Full-year spending doubled from $1.8m in 2022 to $3.6m in 2023.
  • Ad location: It placed 100% of these ads directly onto Instagram and Facebook.

Agency roster:

 

  • Berlin Cameron: Creative, digital, social, and experiential AOR
  • TPN: Creative AOR
  • Mindshare: Media AOR
  • Mono: Creative AOR
  • Deloitte Digital’s Heat: Digital and social AOR

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