Great Experiential Marketing: Oxfam’s dinner at the park


Oxfam Novib surprised people sitting on a bench in Amsterdam with a fancy pop-up dinner complete with cellists and fire artists.


But the disappointment that was to follow had a profound message…

A lazy day spent at the park was transformed into an emotional rollercoaster for these Dutch park-goers, thanks to Oxfam Novib’s ‘Dinner at the Park’ marketing activation.


Much to their delight, when people sat down on a particular bench in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, they were instantly entertained by musicians and fire eaters and served a delicious, freshly-made meal by waiters.

However, before these lucky park-goers could devour their delicious meals, their dinner and the accompanying entertainment disappeared just as quickly as they appeared, driving home Oxfam’s message that a plate of food cannot be taken for granted in Third World countries.

Oxfam’s use of experiential marketing was an effective way to instil empathy in these people – by giving them a tangible experience, they could feel for themselves the disappointment of not having food (whilst on a significantly minor scale).  Evoking such emotions is something that your more traditional form of Out Of Home media would not have been able to do quite so effectively, and experiential was the ideal choice here.

Many charities are taking to experiential marketing to send powerful messages and evoke action-urging emotions in people. Did you see how WWF cooked a meal on the pavement to spread global warming message, or how about MasterCard and Stand Up To Cancer’s billboard dining experience? Or even our work with Save The Children where we created a giant paint-by-colours artworks at Color Run events this summer?

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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.