Philips are disproving that theory time and time again with inventive brand activations, creatively using technology to communicate their brand and get their audience involved. We are very lucky to have Guy Lomas, Head of Global Experience Marketing at Philips, joining us at Exceptional Experiences this December to discuss how we can adapt to change and deliver a personal experience for each individual.
What’s your favourite activation and why?
It’s a tough one – we’re continuously innovating and looking for new ways to engage with our target audience. Our setup at IFA 2019 was particularly memorable, where we created a 5,000sq metre living stage, with our Philips family welcoming visitors and helping them prepare for a house warming party. It was definitely my scariest moment because, right up to the opening, I wasn’t sure whether the audience would participate in such an immersive environment and, to my knowledge, it had never been done before at a tradeshow of this scale …. But everyone loved it and it was a real success!
Tell us about a time when an activation didn’t go as well as planned. What was the biggest learning you’d like to share?
Once we created an oversized wire/buzz challenge for people to race against each other to monitor the impact of stress on heart rate as well as speed. It was too last minute in its execution and the technology let us down, so we had to improvise with hand-held horns when people touched the wire. To be honest, it’s hilarious when you think about how basic it became but still how popular it was, but we certainly learned from it!
In your opinion, what is the key element for an activation to capture the imaginations of your audience?
It needs to be visually attractive for everyone and it needs to tell the story regardless of whether people are watching it or participating in it. This is where VR is difficult because it’s either very personal or limited to a small group of participants, meaning it’s hard to execute at scale and involve passers-by.
We’ll leave you with this …
Even for a serious industry, experience works. It should be personal and scalable and as Guy says, an activation needs to appeal at scale to have maximum impact. Use technology to amplify the experience, focus on making it visually appealing to onlookers and utilise social media to its maximum potential. There are a whole host of ways, but they need to be considered carefully to reflect your brand’s message and create measurable return.
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