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How Brands are Experimenting with Experiential Stays

  • Rob Patterson

Experiential marketing has become an essential part of the marketing mix for brands looking to create one-on-one connections with consumers. After all, there’s no better way to get to know a brand than through a personal experience where consumers are given the opportunity to interact with products and services first-hand. Of course, experiential marketers understand that dwell time in the footprint is an important piece of the puzzle. From an intuitive level, the more time they spend with your brand, the more likely it is that a long-term bond will be forged.

Recently, we’ve seen brands of all shapes and sizes take the concept of dwell time to the extreme by creating livable experiences. That’s right; from hotels stays to apartment giveaways, brands of both endemic and non-endemic varieties are creating truly extended experiences to cater to their biggest fans. Here, we take a look at some of the ways this trend is taking hold in the world around us.

 

Booking.com x Addams Family

Over Halloween weekend in 2019, Booking.com collaborated with the makers of the Addams Family movie reboot by creating a replica of the family mansion. Located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, the mansion was available from October 29th to November 1st for consumers to book for one night only at a price of $101.10. Guests who were lucky enough to book one of the nights were given the chance to play with Wednesday’s beheaded dolls, water Morticia’s plants, and attend a screening of the new film.

 

Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser Hotel

At the 2019 D23 Expo in Anaheim, Disney announced plans for its Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel adjacent to Disney World in Orlando. While the opening date has not yet been announced, executives divulged some plans for the immersive stay. Guests will be invited to book two-day adventures that kick off in a launch pod after checking in at Disney World. Once onsite at the hotel, there’s a litany of activities for young Padawans in training. From lightsaber training sessions and helping with navigation at the Bridge to interacting with characters roaming throughout the ship, there’s something for every Star Wars fan that drops by.

 

taco-bell-hotel-10-2019

 

Taco Bell Hotel

In the category of “Things No One Asked For, But Everyone Loved,” Taco Bell hosted its own pop-up hotel in Palms Springs, California in August 2019. For guests who were able to book one of the 70 rooms over the hotel’s four-day foray – a difficult task in and of itself with invited media members and influencers occupying much of the space – the stay included food tastings, poolside concerts, Baja Blast concoctions (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and host of activities. Looking to get a Taco Bell logo buzzed right into the side of your fade haircut? Go right ahead. Likewise, manicurists were onsite to provide a variety of themed manicures to guests. To top it all off, the merchandise shop provided fans the opportunity to buy items ranging from Taco Bell shirts and bikinis to golf balls and yoga mats.

 

bk-whopper-home-PAGE-2019

 

Home of the Other Whopper

In late 2019, Burger King ran an advertisement in Belgium that opened with a shot of their new restaurant in Leuven and a banner calling it the “Home of the Whopper.” Shortly thereafter, the narrator asked whether there was another Whopper in Belgium. And, if so, where might they live? The shot then zooms out of the restaurant and zooms in on a flat located right above the Burger King. This flat is called the “Home of the Other Whopper,” and Burger King invited Belgian citizens with the surname Whopper to enter a sweepstakes to live in the heavily branded apartment for the entire year of 2020 – rent-free. Though no winner has been announced as of yet, Burger King did share that many Belgians offered to change their legal name in order to participate. Talk about brand love!

While pop-up hotels or semi-permanent apartments aren’t the answer for every brand, it’s clear that entertainment entities and fast-food brands with cult followings have found them to be effective ways to generate even more quality time with their biggest fans. Going forward, we can expect extended engagements to be a focal point for brands of all shapes and sizes — regardless of the manner in which they are achieved.

Is your brand looking to create a lasting impression with its biggest fans? Contact us today to learn how our suite of experiential-led services can help you build brand awareness, encourage product trial, and earn lifelong loyalists.

 

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