The only way to experience emotive marketing

By Happy Creative

12 Jul 2016

Like many of us, Happy Creative PR & content manager Nick Hyde was amazed by the 'ghost soldiers' which appeared across Lancashire to commemorate 100 years since the start of the Somme, where Britain experienced its biggest ever loss of life on a single day on a battlefield.

Here, he speaks about the experiential marketing campaign where everyone engaged:

On July 1, millions of us took part in one the biggest live marketing campaigns ever seen in the UK – and most of us didn’t even know we had.

What we were looking at weren’t selling us anything, they weren’t driving us to a website or generating leads – they were simply engaging with us on a very personal level.

Brave “ghost soldiers”, dressed in World War One infantry uniform, congregated in hundreds of public spaces across the UK to watch 100 years on after they were all killed in Britain’s deadliest day on the battlefield of the Somme.

They had a simple message - #wearehere

But this wasn’t just street theatre dreamt up by the genius of Jeremy Deller and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, it was experiential marketing at its very best. It evoked memories, it was thought-provoking, it made people who saw this magnificent spectacle want to engage.

Why? Experiential marketing – or live, on-ground, participant marketing, whatever you want to call it – is nothing new, it’s been around for decades. Brands have been using all sorts of ways to engage with the consumer for years with varying degrees of success.

The #wearehere campaign wasn’t about success though, they weren’t selling anything. They simply wanted to let people know. And it worked on a level no-one could have imagined.

More than 143 million hits on social media, massive engagement in national theatre projects and awareness of what the Somme did to the national psyche was all the success it needed. It was the largest, most silent and most engaging flash-mob in history and it was a stroke of pure genius. It was also the simplest way of telling a nation they should never forget. It worked.

Here are some Happy tips as to why experiential marketing works:

Make them think

#wearehere worked because every one of those Tommies died on the first day of the Somme and it remains the biggest single loss of life on any day in British history. Every one of those 19,240 men carried a card with the name of the Tommie who fell which they handed to members of the public. You couldn’t help but be captivated by the sheer enormity of the numbers.

Emotional marketing

Big brands work on emotion. From Pampers donating from each pack of nappies to John Lewis’s big budget Christmas advertising, emotiveness sells. #wearehere didn’t have anything to sell but a message and it was delivered in such a way it brought a nation together like it did a century ago.

It surprises

Some live marketing shocks people, some makes people interact with brands and some evoke memories but they all have a common theme – they surprise. Social media went crazy for the ghost soldiers and all because in an age where nothing seems to surprise because of how we consume information, this just happened and it happened everywhere. From Blackpool Promenade to London Transport links #wearehere made people look twice.

It engages people

The sign of any successful marketing campaign is how people react to it. Although there was no physical engagement in #wearehere there was emotional, much in the same way as 14-18 NOW’s Light’s Out campaign in 2014 which urged people to switch off their lights to commemorate the start of World War One and making people feel how the UK felt a century ago. Engaging isn’t just about trying out new products, it’s about trying new experiences.

#wearehere brought experiential marketing to another level and worked in the way no-one could have imagined, raising the bar for marketing campaigns in the future. As we stared in amazement at the ghost soldiers of the Somme it also reminded us that you don’t need to shout to get your message heard and perhaps that’s the greatest lesson of all.

Latest news

1

Fulfilmentcrowd makes double senior hires Katie Shepherd L And Rachel Miller R

Fulfilmentcrowd makes double senior hires

19 Apr 2024

2

Forbes makes Manchester move Forbes Manchester

Forbes makes Manchester move

15 Apr 2024

3

Blackpool approves plans for pair of apartment complexes New South Promenade Apartments Visuals

Blackpool approves plans for pair of apartment complexes

12 Apr 2024

4

Distinguished engineer takes senior role at Lancaster University Rebecca Lingwood

Distinguished engineer takes senior role at Lancaster University

11 Apr 2024

5

International building supplies firm to open new plant in Preston New Kerakoll Group Premises Visuals

International building supplies firm to open new plant in Preston

11 Apr 2024

Hwc 2024 Email Signature 980x120
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Reach 50,000 members of the Lancashire business community

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Company profile
Social reach
Magazine coverage
Sign-up
Events
Health and Wellbeing Conference 2024
Hwc 2024 Social Media 1200px 1
Networking
23 Apr 2024

Health and Wellbeing Conference 2024

Crow Wood Hotel, Burnley , BB12 0RT

08:30 - 13:00

Help to Grow Management Course
HTG2.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
15 Apr 2024 - 17 Jul 2024

Help to Grow Management Course

Preston Campus , Preston , PR1 2HE

09:30 - 14:00

Business Networking in Preston- BNI Brunch
EVENT LISTING SIZING Brunch .png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Preston- BNI Brunch

Samlesbury Preston Hotel, Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0UL

09:30 - 11:00

The Pro Club
Untitled design (6).png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

The Pro Club

Fraser House, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ

09:30 - 12:30

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity
EVENT LISTING BNI Infinity.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:30 - 08:30

St Catherine’s Corporate Skydive
Corporate SkyDive.jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Fundraisers
21 Apr 2024

St Catherine’s Corporate Skydive

Black Knights Parachute Centre, Lancaster, LA2 0YD

12:00 - 16:30

HR Complete Training Programme: Equality and Diversity
Picture1.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
23 Apr 2024

HR Complete Training Programme: Equality and Diversity

Online (Zoom)

09:30 - 11:00

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
23 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Emergency First Aid at Work
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
23 Apr 2024

Emergency First Aid at Work

FGH Training, 3rd Floor, Storey House, White Cross Business Park, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ

09:00 - 16:00

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
23 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Your Business Bootcamp Bitesize: "Roger That… The Importance of Asking Twice"
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
24 Apr 2024 - 24 Apr 2024

Your Business Bootcamp Bitesize: "Roger That… The Importance of Asking Twice"

Online, Online, Online

08:00 - 09:30

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus
EVENT LISTING SIZING Zeus.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
24 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus

The Mill House, Corn Mill Yard, Accrington, BB5 5HX

06:45 - 08:30

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more Lbv115 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin