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Top Experiential Trends for 2018


1. Consumer sentiment 

Consumer sentiment has been at its strongest in the last 16 months. Emotion drives connections between brands and their target markets. It’s vital for brands to treat their audience as people and not consumers by aiming to engage and amplify an active role within their lives. Audiences now actively choose brands to better themselves which is always fuelled through an emotional response.


2. Marketing spend is moving from traditional ATL activity to experiential and live event led execution

Tactile experiences are still on trend for the coming year. Create market penetration by implementing a hands-on brand experience in front of your audience that negates the unpredictable world of ATL. Consumers love to feel like they’re in control of what brands they choose to engage with and will always prefer to have a memorable real life experience. Create an impression that will last.


3. Taking the brand to the consumer 

The pop-up is still alive and well – a sure way to spark conversation. A simple concept that is fuelled in large by FOMO (fear of missing out). Undoubtably, there’s a novelty around a brand having its own shop, but the biggest draw is that these experiences have a short life span and therefore create a sense of urgency. 2017 was the year of the pop-up in Dublin, with brands scrambling for high-footfall city centre spaces; it’s a trend we expect to continue into 2018 and beyond.


4. Mass participation events

As a direct response to the digital age, people are now looking for meaning through human connection. Large scale events that require audience participation are extremely popular. In 2017, the Gate Theatre hosted a run of The Great Gatsby that encouraged audience participation to amplify the extravagant and indulgent experience. While this is relatively new to Ireland, Punchdrunk have been running events like this in the UK and US for years. Secret Cinema in London takes its audience into a totally immersive movie-going experience by having a full scale production that amplifies the movie itself. During the run of 28 Days Later, people were confined to hospital beds in a gigantic warehouse. However, participation events don’t have to be so full-on. Charity running events are a much simpler execution such as Darkness into Light, Rock N Roll Marathon or the Virgin Night Run.


5. Honesty, integrity, justice, equality and diversity are at forefront of conversation

Consider your brand to be forward thinking? Do you pride your company culture on it’s core moral values? With topics such as Brexit and Trump leading today’s news, it’s important that everyone knows where you stand. Consumers will be loyal to a brand whose values match their own.


6. Multisensory environments

Live experiences put brands in a unique position of being in the presence of their customers. All the senses are there for the taking, so it’s imperative that they are harnessed. While most campaigns will be executed with a focus on the visual dimension, a well thought out experiential campaign should consider how all senses can be considered. What does your brand smell like?


7. VR, AI, drones & new technology 

Digital is the new operating system of the world. Experiences that utilise technology have boundless potential for creative ideation. With VR and AI content easier than ever to create, we see 2018 being another year obsessed with these channels. The opening ceremony of this years Winter Olympics utilised a record breaking 1,218 drones which flew in perfect synchronisation to form shapes such as the olympics rings, a skier and a bird!


8. Personalisation is still very relevant

Our Lindt bunny activation is a perfect example of this. We couldn’t predict how popular this was going to be last year! Personalisation is a novelty that will never expire; ideal to mark an occasion and treat someone to something special that is wholly theirs. It returns this Easter to Dundrum Town Centre.

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