Mobile Branded Activations
Miss Me Summer Tour marketing activation and De Wafelbakkers’ frozen pancake supermarket sampling tour are two examples of brand activations that used trailer/mobile formats. Equally, location, the use of simple graphics, and considering the function and size of the marketing vehicle are examples of the best practices for branded mobile activations. The next numbered sections include more details and analyses and analyses of mobile branded activations.
I. Brand Activations that Use Trailer/Mobile Formats
Five examples of brand activations that used trailer/mobile formats include Miss Me Summer tour marketing activation, De Wafelbakkers’ frozen pancake supermarket sampling tour, BarkTHINS: snacking elevated campaign, and Good Humor’s interactive ice cream truck.
Miss Me Summer Tour Marketing Activation
- Aiming to generate the most foot traffic, 'Miss Me Summer Tour marketing activation' aimed at reaching all American females, especially those in the south who prefer wearing denim jeans.
- The campaign engaged its audience using the development of activation concept & user flow elements, including encouraging users to enter the experience by stepping into the photo booth to have their picture taken. Next, the users' data, i.e., name, email, DOB, etc., are collected.
- Activities and the technology aboard the vehicle include on-site production capabilities, vehicle fabrication, and data collection, and analytical reporting.
- Overall, the campaign totaled over 22,000 experiential marketing activations that attracted over 150,000 attendees to the events, more than 100,000 individuals saw the experience on the road, and the activation covered a total of 5,000 miles across 13 states.
De Wafelbakkers’ Frozen Pancake Supermarket Sampling Tour
- On-the-street and supermarket product sampling of De Wafelbakkers' frozen pancake involved moving through farmer's markets, festivals, stadiums, and shopping districts to maximize impact and reach.
- The vehicle made special deliveries to the houses of some listed influencers, while activities on Twitter directed users where the vehicle would be making distributions next.
- Activities and technologies aboard the vehicle include a wrap print and installation, specialized cold storage, 3D rooftop installation, location planning, staffing, food product samples logistics, training, real-time reporting, and making customers happy.
- The branded mobile vehicle marketing activation engaged thousands of customers and generated "tens of thousands of social media impressions."
BarkTHINS: Snacking Elevated Campaign
- BarkTHINS started a nationwide branded vehicle tour to boost its "Snacking Elevated" campaign. Using a 'Snack Break' mobile vehicle, BarkTHINS explored the country, permitting customers to snack on chocolate samples.
- Activities and technologies aboard the vehicle included sitting back and relaxing while sampling chocolate, a well-designed interior with colorful fabrics, pillows, and graphics, tents with unique activities, stands, games, etc.
- BarkTHINS continued recruiting tour guides and scheduling a long route to ensure it delivered chocolate samples in all areas visited.
- Overall, the activation occurred across 69 events; generated over 2.4 million direct, out-of-home impressions; and distributed about 49,304 samples. The campaign also encouraged customers to shop BarkTHINS brands the next time they visit the grocery store.
Good Humor’s Interactive Ice Cream Truck
- Good Humor's interactive ice cream truck toured both the city of New York and Boston to bring Good Humor to the forefront of consumers' minds while redefining snacking.
- Technologies and activities aboard the cream truck include spreading the motto, "Share the New York," and "Share the Boston," introducing the brand to a new generation, and delivering tasty samples to consumers. The branded truck allowed Americans in New York and Boston cities to share their love for ice cream.
- Despite not disclosing in-depth details regarding the technologies aboard the truck, the campaign managed to activate in 38 events that reached over 58,000 consumers and resulted in a 21% increase in sales.
II. Recent Key Trends in Mobile Brand Activations
- Hyper-local events are among the key experiential marketing trends, whereby brands aiming to increase foot traffic reach consumers who are likely to interact with the brands in their local neighborhoods.
- Consumers no longer want a product; they want the products near them. The reason behind the new sentiment is that hyper-local activations are a fun way to engage the customers. A brand may not be ideal for the audience, but it can create positive and enjoyable experiences for the customers.
- Importantly, hyper-local events are increasingly becoming popular because they are cost-effective, demand less space, leave a smaller environmental footprint, and allow users to recycle and reuse materials and resources.
Roadshows "Pushed Aside"
- The regular roadshows are gradually fading off as more intriguing and unique mobile activations come up. Present activations are eradicating the idea of hosting a traditional event at a particular time and location.
- Modern marketers can meet consumers where they are and bring them unique excitements and activities of their experiential activation to them.
- In this regard, brands interested in guerrilla-style experiential activities are switching to mobile trucks and branded vehicles with technologies, like augmented and virtual reality, to make these types of activations more immersive and entertaining.
It's Not Personal. It's Hyper-Personal
- Hyper-personal ensures that individuals can get a tailored experience at their locations, i.e., even the loneliest place can attract strangers.
- Unfortunately, most attendees navigate through events solo and can feel a little disconnected from the brand, its messaging, as well as other attendees. Therefore, personalization is essential in ensuring that the audience feels comfortable and a part of the activation.
- On that note, for marketers to make the experiences more personalized, they can acknowledge returning customers, plan “orientations” for new customers, have enough staff to manage activities throughout the space, and serve up suggested content that aligns with the consumers' data collected using various technologies, like wearables.
III. Best Practices for Branded Mobile Activations
Consider Function and Size of Vehicle
- The first thing to do before starting vehicle branded activations is to consider what the function of the vehicle would be and the required size for that function.
- If the activation involves food, some considerations to put in place include refrigeration, kitchen appliances, and chef space. If it is for a podcast studio, things like acoustics and connectivity must be there.
- Likewise, once marketers establish the function of the vehicle, the next aspect to consider is size, which depends on the road for the tour, storage size needs, the permitted spaces for the activations, etc.
Use Simple Graphics
- For vehicle branded activations, it is advised to keep the graphics simple and focus more on the most critical messaging to get out there, i.e., business name, what it does, and contact information.
- Since these vehicles are not going to be stationary, the branding needs to be clear and concise because the audience has a few seconds to read and digest the information.
- Importantly, it is good to create a wrap consistent with branding. For example, using similar colors, fonts, logos, etc., can help consumers recognize the brand and company easily.
Location, Location, Location!
- Location is a critical element in marketing. Marketers need to go where their customers are, find out strategic points of interest, attend events, fairs, festivals, conventions, identify competitor locations, etc.
- The idea is to secure permits for restricted locations like schools and ticketed events. Experts recommend including some guerrilla experiential marketing between sanctioned events and permitted sites.
- Therefore, even when going guerrilla experiential marketing, the locations must be prepared well and in advance to maximize the reach and impact of the vehicle marketing tour.
- A strong Instagram presence is a positive tip when activating using branded vehicles. Use Instagram to promote the vehicle's best visual content, show off the truck and brand ambassadors online, get up close with the core products, and share all relevant activities regarding the activation.
- Instagram continues to witness massive growth year-over-year; hence, the need to market on the platform. Moreover, experts assert that the platform continues to lead in brand-influencer activations.
- Another important reason to use Instagram is that it has a highly engaged audience with rich graphics and visual content. In 2018, the platform reached one billion active monthly users, presenting an excellent opportunity for marketers.
IV. Challenges That Brands Need to Tackle for Successful Audience Engagement
The lack of real-time actionable data, useful content, poor diversity and inclusion, and reliance on inefficient and manual operations are examples of the top challenges that brands need to solve to engage their audiences successfully.
Lack of Real-time, Actionable Data
- The lack of real-time, actionable data is a major hurdle in experiential marketing mobile tours. Despite growing investments in this segment, many marketers face limited visibility due to the lack of access to real-time insights and actionable data, or existing data is inaccurate.
- Brands know who attend their events but fail to record critical information regarding where they come from, if they may wish to be contacted by a salesperson, whether they want a quote, etc.
- In this regard, the lack of data and visibility hinders the ability of marketers to prove their ROI (return on investment). Further, most marketers also point out issues of "data accuracy, lost data and leads, and critical security gaps" regarding consumer data management.
Lack of Useful Content
- Useful content is another significant hurdle in mobile vehicle brand activations. Poor content results in poor events that are forgettable, and attendees will not return.
- Among the best value-adds of mobile branded activation events is the chance to educate the audience to increase learning and grow knowledge, which is all achieved through high-quality content.
- According to research, customers are more likely to let go of many ancillary production elements if the branded content is superb; however, the opposite is rarely the case. Thus, even if the execution is excellent, still the content remains vital to the brand and consumers alike.
Diversity and Inclusion
- Diversity and inclusion, which is paramount to successful activations, remains a hurdle for marketers to create favorable environments and relevant content that resonates with all attendee demographics.
- Thus, recent events are varying their speaker lineups with different individuals to appeal to all attendee demographics. Moreover, these variations generate good content, spark new ideas, and extend the reach of brands.
- Overall, today's brands are also increasingly becoming more sensitive about the environment they create to make sure all attendee demographics feel comfortable and welcome.
Inefficient and Manual Operations
- Most mobile vehicle branded activations continue to utilize manual processes like paper and pen that result in long lead times (two weeks).
- The reliance on manual operations hinders the ability of marketers to send timely personalized messages, and communications to improve conversion rates.
- These manual processes create friction along the customer journey due to the interaction of both digitized and manual processes for the various operations at activation kiosks.
To uncover findings regarding mobile branded activations, including examples of brand activations that use trailer/mobile formats to target children or teenagers, key trends in mobile brand activations, best practices for branded mobile activations, and the challenges brands need to resolve to increase engagement, your research team explored different marketing reports, surveys, articles, and blogs published by trustworthy experiential marketing & branding agencies. For the information presented above, we relied on publications by Syndctd, Allterrain, Becore, EMC Outdoor, Campaign Live, Agency EA, Mobile Cuisine, Dio USA, and Limelight Platform, which focus on experiential marketing among other marketing lines.
Some activation examples provided did not specify that they target children and teens only, but all attendee demographics. However, we focused on activations with items loved by children, including ice cream, snacks, apparel, etc. to provide examples more reflective of children and teens. We also focused more on recent reports with specific information about mobile branded activations. During the research, we found out that mobile branded activations use different marketing jargon, especially experiential marketing, vehicle tours, mobile vehicle marketing, etc.
In this regard, we had to research more to understand the marketing jargon specific to mobile branded activations, which refer to the same idea. While information specific to mobile branded activations appeared limited, we had to scan through articles focusing on experiential marketing in general, to identify the information that is specific to mobile branded activations. Overall, the analyses presented above provide an in-depth examination of mobile branded activations case studies, key trends & best practices for mobile branded activations, and challenges undermining engagement in mobile branded activations.