The hot list: My 10 best experiential marketing campaigns


A pre-COVID brand-experiences trip down memory lane of my top 10 campaigns featured on our blog in recent years.

Some days I miss experiential marketing as we once knew it to be. Like many others in our industry, across the globe, we’ve been unable to do any live marketing as such, for quite some time now. Don’t get me wrong, we’re very much enjoying, as we always have, the virtual and digital campaigns keeping us busy over this crazy period of our lives. But here I’m talking about the real-world, face-to-face, human interaction type of experiential we all cut our teeth on yonks back. The shared experiences that stop people in their tracks, make them shriek with laughter, scream in fear or just be dumbstruck from delight. Magical brand experiences you just have to share.

I was scrolling through our award-winning (just had to throw that in there) blog the other day, and ended up taking a pre-COVID brand experiences trip down memory lane. We’ve shared some truly extraordinary examples of experiences from around the world since we first started posting 7 years ago. I enjoyed the time spent reading up again on old favourites, so I thought I’d take you on a little trip down memory lane too.

These campaigns are from brands in various sectors from countries spanning the globe. And while each campaign was different, the approach and strategies that were used often fit into at least one of the following five categories: 

  1. It was surprising or terrifying. Whether it’s an invisible walkway or a demon crawling out of a TV, if it was shocking, it got a lot of attention from our readers. Raw emotion is great clickbait.  
  2. It was clever and creative. A human claw machine? Why didn’t we think of that! A simple, well-executed idea is always a winner. And a great idea is a great idea, it does not need a heap of fuss to ‘bring it to life’.
  3. It served a need. Thirsty on a beach? Here’s a free can of Coke … with a catch. Don’t ever underestimate consumer need-states when marketing a brand.
  4. It used technology in a creative way. Face swapping? Projection mapping? The more high-tech, the better! There’s a world of ‘early adopters’ out there us marketers now need to satisfy.
  5. It was weird. We still don’t know what the KFC painting is about – but for some reason, we’re into it. 

So, without further ado, here’s my top 10 experiential marketing posts from the Because blog archives…

10. Paramount Pictures creates terrifying prank for Rings

Shoppers in New York City run for their lives as a haunting character from The Ring comes to life. We’ve shared this case study many times over at our global masterclasses, and it draws gasps from the audience each and every time. Check out the full write-up here.

9. Coca-Cola’s campaign excites dehydrated beachgoers

Sun seekers in Brazil were treated to free cans of Coke – after demolishing a giant ice block… In terms of refreshment it’s hard to beat an ice-cold Coke on a sunny day (even if you have to put a bit of muscle into getting it). Check out the full write-up here.

8. IKEA’s furnished climbing wall

France make the climb as IKEA launched their 30th store and celebrated by constructing a showroom styled climbing wall. A simple stunt to activate, but visually effective. Check out the full write-up here.


7. Netflix targets millennials with experiential ads

This experiential campaign from Netflix invites people to swap faces with characters from their favourite shows. Check out the full write-up here.

6. Lay’s human claw grabber machine

Lay’s (the crisp brand also known as Walkers in the UK) installed a pop-up claw crane machine in Japan, where people could actually climb inside and grab the goods themselves. Check out the full write-up here.

5. BMW’s experiential campaign uses impressive projection mapping

BMW uses ground-breaking projection mapping technology to target consumers in Munich, Seoul, Brussels and Paris to promote its 7-series model. Check out the full write-up here.

4. Orangina’s brand experience gets people shaking

Orangina’s brand experience tricks French locals into believing their drinks are stuck in a vending machine. Check out the full write-up here.

3. Rexona shocks shoppers with invisible walkway prank

Rexona creates an invisible walkway that gives unsuspecting shoppers in Sydney quite a scare. Check out the full write-up here.

2. KFC’s herbs and spices surprise lights up social media

KFC’s unexpected gift to one delighted Twitter fan in South Dakota is finger lickin’ good. Check out the full write-up here.

1. Seth Rogen shocks shoppers with cheeky Sausage Party prank

Drum roll please! Our post sees Seth Rogen’s NSFW experiential prank give NYC shoppers the fright of their lives. Check out the full write-up here.

Having judged many creative awards over time, its normally impressive ROI results that gets my attention. However, in these current times I guess we’re all just seeking a bit of light respite some days, and if a brand can make us smile or gasp aloud then IMO that’s especially good in the now.

Want to see even more great examples of popular experiential campaigns? Sign up for our next experiential & VR masterclass in a city near you!

Author bio


I'm an award-winning entrepreneur, a passionate business mentor, and I believe that great things can happen when we work together to help others.