Team building meets experiential marketing

August 21, 2009 : General Team Building

James Thornton, Brand Manager for corporate event review site, discusses two high profile events that combine social media sources with powerful, motivational live events.

Which of these is the best example of experiential marketing: An open invite to meet and compete with a truly legendary sportsman or finding free money in your pocket?

Both happened this week and only one was an official event marketing drive. That is the latter, a move by broadband provider TalkTalk to employ reformed pick-pockets as ‘put-pockets’ – dropping £20 unnoticed into shoppers’ bags and pockets (presumably with the requisite branding attached).

Nice idea – although I’m not sure about reformed convicts, or anyone else for that matter, creeping up on me – but I prefer the first example.

This saw Tour De France star Lance Armstrong use Twitter to send an open invite to cyclists in Paisley, Scotland to join him for a wee cycle around town (he was staying there to see U2 at Glasgow venue Hampden Park apparently).

His Tweet said: “Hey Glasgow, Scotland! I’m coming your way tomorrow. Who wants to go for a bike ride?” His geography was slightly out – Armstrong was staying at Ashtree House Hotel, Paisley from where he set off that lunchtime.

When Lance Armstrong did something similar in Australia he got 12 people. This week, in the pouring rain he got more like 200. The feelgood factor created and free PR were immeasurable. The Twitter invite included a personal call to former champion cyclist and local Scot Graeme Obree, who ended up all over the BBC with huge enthusiasm.

How’s that for a team building event? Brilliant. Sure there was no insurance, God knows who might have been legally liable if anyone came a cropper, but the police got wind at 8.30am and ensured all went off safely.

Low-cost, high-impact live marketing at its best.

How do corporate and agency event planners transfer that into their live events? Well that’s down to you, but the fundamentals are clear to us at ReviewEvents – the Lance Armstrong show was free, attainable, money can’t buy, unique(ish), motivational, the list goes on.

Not a bad morning’s work eh?

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