26th August 2010
James Cameron's Avatar caused quite a stir when it was released last December. Thanks to its innovative use of technology, which was utilised to create the moon Pandora, the film became the highest grossing film ever.
When it came to the movie's DVD release, The Factory Live was tasked with creating an innovative setting for the event.
"It was very exciting; we were given the whole of the promotional site to work with in HMV on Oxford Street and told we could do what we wanted," noted Clive Robinson, the managing director of the promotional staffing and experiential marketing agency. "We turned it into Pandora."
"Over the course of six weeks, we built our own interpretation of the set of Pandora. We dressed the whole back of the store with florescent plant life, we printed our own flowers that lit up and we literally built by hand the glowy things that float around in the film."
The event, which was a "huge, huge success", also featured a question and answer session by Stephen Lang, who played Colonel Miles Quaritch in the film.
But, the Avatar event was just one of many exciting projects that The Factory Live has been working on over the last few months.
In fact, despite a slow start to the year, the company has been very busy since April and recently just finished an experiential marketing campaign for Powerade, which ran during the World Cup.
Currently, The Factory Live is working on a back to school campaign for Capri-Sun.
The focus of the campaign is to tell parents that Capri-Sun is made with "100 per cent pure juice as opposed to additives", Mr Robinson said, noting that there is a "big misconception" about the drink.
"When you offer a sample to parents, they go 'no, no, no, I don't like the additives in it'.
"But, when you actually stop and explain that this is one of the very few drinks out there that is made from 100 per cent pure juice with a bit of water in it and therefore doesn't damage kids teeth, the response is ridiculous; Capri-Suns have been flying off the shelves."
This is just one example of how successful experiential marketing can be, he said, adding that "the all-important little bit of interaction with consumers can turn around decision making when people buy products off the shelves".
As a promotional method, Mr Robinson believes that experiential marketing is "hugely important" because it can help change people's opinions about a product in an instant and encourages consumers to try something they normally wouldn't.
"It's a great way to communicate with consumers, allowing you to get immediate feedback," he said, noting that this is the key advantage of experiential marketing compared to TV or radio commercials.
"The Factory Live prides itself, not only on their promotional staff used on each job, but also on the detailed reports that we provide for all clients, based on consumer and store feedback, as well as photographs and occasional vox pops, so that clients are able to see how the their brands have been received," he said.
However, the current economic climate and the growth in the number of new experiential agencies popping up can make getting new clients difficult, he said, particularly as brands which have a negative run-in with a more inexperienced agency can be turned off the marketing mechanism in the future.
Even with these issues, companies are still going to turn to experiential marketing, he said.
"There is always going to be a huge demand for our industry because brands will always bringing out new products. I guess the emphasis is always on us to ensure that we always deliver a great and memorable piece of activity for our clients."