The new decade is here and brand experience trends are evolving faster than you can say “the best brand experiences of the decade”. To look into the future, we must learn from the past. So here are the 10 best brand experiences of the decade based on the quality and ability to blow our team away!
10. TNT Push to add drama.
In 2012, American TV channel TNT’s tagline “we know drama” was actualised in the streets of Belgium. TNT decided rather than telling a story, they would give a story to tell by curating “a very fast sequence of dramatic and crazy events occurring in front of their eyes, all referring to the series on TNT. At the end a big cloth unfolds saying ‘Your Daily Dose of Drama. From 10/04 on Telenet’”. The video capturing the sequence has received over 60 million views on YouTube.
9. Shanghai Happy New Year
Realistically this shouldn’t count because it would’ve happened in the first minutes of 2020. However, according to BBC, the drone display seen globally was recorded on December 28. The display saw 2,000 drones take to the sky to perform an incredible light performance which in all practicality, make for a fantastic fireworks alternative.
There are other factors to consider moving into the future if this is to become an ongoing tradition such as wind conditions and making the show suitable to display live. Potentially a big win for Shanghai tourism depending on what is in the pipeline for 12 months time.
8. Museum of Ice Cream
The Museum of Ice Cream launched in 2017 and it completely redesigned the ice cream experience. No longer were people to expect walking into an ice cream parlour where you sample several different flavours before walking away with a cone or cup. No… ice cream now tastes like an immersive series or art installations that play on nostalgia, mess, and all things ‘grammable.
MOIC started as a pop-up concept but due to its success, it now has permanent locations in NYC and San Francisco, along with their ice cream featuring in select Target and Safeway stores across the US. A world of experience inspired by a singular product.
7. Coca-Cola No Sugar Sampling Campaign
In 2017 Coca-Cola executed its biggest sampling campaign that saw 2 million samples distributed across Australia. Not only was the scale massive but the way the campaign was delivered was most impressive.
The approach was traditional in hand sampling enhanced with innovative digital interactions including an interactive billboard in the middle of Pitt St Mall where if you yelled ‘yes!’ at it, it would dispense a 250ml sugar free coke.
6. Airbnb Float a House on the Thames
When it comes to iconic brand experiences, Airbnb can always be found amongst the ‘best of’ but their activation from 2015 really takes the cake. Following the Deregulation Act that allowed Londoners to rent out their home for up to a quarter of a year, Airbnb sent a floating house down the Thames.
Airbnb even offered a group of friends the chance to even spend the night in the house while it docked, with a private dinner prepared by Robert Ortiz, head chef at Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant, Lima in London. Talk about the ultimate experience.
5. 29ROOMS by Refinery29
Refinery29’s 29Rooms in 2017 was quite a pivotal moment that influenced many brands to stand up with a voice of activism. 29Rooms is a collection of multi-sensory installations, performances, and workshops, presented with a new way to connect visitors with creativity, culture, and community. The project is created in collaboration with brands and creatives.
2017 made the third iteration and was ultimately a reaction to the political climate of the time. 29Rooms has attracted 20,000 visitors from 47 states and 24 countries, making the franchise to be the brand’s most expansive offline activation.
4. ScUber x Tourism Queensland
Uber and Tourism Queensland partnered to launch the first of its kind; a rideshare submarine. The campaign was designed to increase visitation to the great barrier reef by enhancing public perception of the world wonder. Activated by a competition to win a ride in the submarine, the experience gave riders a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity “with an unfiltered view of an extraordinary underwater world, rich and diverse in marine life”. The ScUber became a catalyst for global conversation.
3. BrewDog Bar on the Edge
‘Bar on the Edge’ was an activation by BrewDog that derived from political response to Donald Trump's policies on climate change and immigration. Although, not always well-received, the internationally recognised craft brewery is known to take a novel approach to purpose marketing and this experience reinforced the brand’s position.
Bar on the Edge was exactly that, a bar on the edge of the USA and Mexico, crossing the border of the two countries. The radical approach planted the message ‘Make Beer, Not Walls’ and reached over 120 million people worldwide.
2. Nike Strike Night
Strike Night was an experience launched by Nike where 6 elite soccer players went head to head in a battle scored by a world-first, fully interactive LED goal. The event saw 400 pitch side with a further 2.7 million watching the live Facebook stream.
The monster campaign generated a combined social media reach of over 700 million, plus global newspaper and TV coverage.
1. Red Bull Stratos
Red Bull has always been a resource for inspiration when it comes to the world of experience. In 2012, Red Bull sent a man to new heights, breaking five records and reaching the highest untethered height from outside a vehicle… in the stratosphere. Obviously, not a company that does things in halves.
Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere after ascending in a helium balloon and became the first person to break the speed of sound in freefall. The experiment took years of research.
Red Bull Stratos caught the eyes of millions, and has been able to provide valuable scientific data with the experience.
Pokémon GO is realistically a product with a unique customer experience however it would be naive of us to not acknowledge the role Pokemon GO played in gamifying the world of experience. Not only did it become the fastest to earn $100 million and most-downloaded in its first month of release but the game has influenced the use and progression of AR over the last four years.
Museum of Old and New Art
MONA is quite unique in many aspects. Founded in 2011 by David Walsh, MONA was birthed from millions of gambling dollars and a genuine love for art. The process used foresight and creativity to enhance visitors experience with the use of technology, and personalisation. With the use of an app and headphones, visitors could immerse themselves in audible or written chosen amounts of information.
Starbucks Flagship Roastery NYC
In 2018, Starbucks opened an impressive 23,000 square foot, immersive coffee roastery in New York City’s meatpacking district. The offerings were elaborate, building service beyond artisan coffee. For the first time in American, customers were able to experience the Arriviamo Bar, “a cocktail bar in the roastery featuring a curated menu of coffee and tea cocktails”.
Starbucks new hub took the coffee experience to the next level by building an immersive ecosystem based on all elements surrounding coffee. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO even claims “there is nothing else like it in the world”.