Sponsored feature

Experiential Essays: Blackjack - A seat at the top table

Experiential's stature has been enhanced by the core content it offers campaigns.

The current state

Experiential is again showing growth, according to 2012 figures. Digital continues to lead the way, while others decline, and more projects are coming along but with very tight budgets and deadlines. We also often find that the media agencies tag an experiential brief onto a campaign plan with little belief in the need for it - last in, first out scenario.

What is helping is that experiential works well as part of an integrated campaign, either creating core content or providing amplification at key times or locations. Festivals, shopping centres and travel hubs can give good demographics to target specific audiences, but now that they have become so popular you need to create stand-out. Experiential offers this when combining great creative, planning and delivery.

How is it developing?

European reach for campaigns is growing. More of our campaigns are spread across the European market, so language and culture has to be considered, along with the associated logistics and regulations. This gives great opportunities to partner with other agencies, and share learnings and clients across the various territories. This is an area that is very exciting for us, with live campaigns already in place for 2012.

What would we change and how hard is it to persuade brands?

Clients and media agencies in particular still need more understanding of what experiential is and how it should be included in campaigns. They struggle to see the ROI or reach of experiential campaigns. If experiential agencies can convince them that the content can be used to generate free media content, then the value is seen from their perspective. The quality of interaction is also different, often generating a mass of social chatter - 10,000 experiential interactions can be worth 200,000 footfalls past an out-of-home poster site.

Our stand-out from competitors

Another benefit, as mentioned by Betfair, is how experiential creates advocates for brands - experiential is in a unique position to create this within their campaigns. To back this up we still believe that the key to delivering a great campaign is all about its hosts. Through our bespoke staffing database, we skill-match staff, generate profiles for our client and provide great training through our academy scheme. Our client will be part of the training to ensure that we consistently deliver the brand message and experience to the highest level. This final piece of the campaign delivery is our key stand-out: they are our own staff, who we have handpicked and trained all the way.

Our best moments

Just as experiential is becoming more about campaign integration, Blackjack has delivered a more diverse range of campaigns than ever before, alongside opening new offices, recruiting staff and adding £2m to our turnover. Work we have been involved in includes the TinTin movie launch through costume drop-ins at Heathrow, launching Fisher Price's first pop-up retail outlet and Mini re-entering the World Rally Championship.

Government and business

I think the Olympics will demonstrate how important experiential has become. When the case studies are available it will show how key it is to delivering the brand message and experience in a highly creative and memorable way. It needs a platform such as this to make people think about what has just happened. Often people don't realise that the campaign they have just witnessed is actually an experiential campaign. This can then be highlighted to government and industry, backed up by category spend and job creation through the various governing bodies that we belong to.

Ian Priestman is project director of Blackjack

BR20120612expessay

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message