"Adversperience is the convergence of advertising and experiential marketing—it is live, participatory advertising."
In Adversperience, Nicole Gallucci coins the term “adversperience”. She spends the book selling the reader on changing their views of advertising and branding to include promotional, experiential campaigns that live on beyond the event. She encourages post-event communication with consumers to develop long lasting brand loyalty. Gallucci explains what she means by “adversperience” and gives guidelines to putting a campaign together. She shares her thoughts on how media is changing, the noise that advertising must break through to reach the consumer, word of mouth advertising, research, and ROI. While it was a good skeletal structure, I did find myself asking, “How?” and wishing for more examples of good “adversperiences” that Gallucci’s team has put together.
The Big Idea
Dialogue and ROI
"[ROI] is something that traditional advertising cannot ensure. With an Adverperience we can keep talking with the consumer…we can further connect to them…And Adversperience is continuous. It is alive."
The point of creating an “adversperience” is to touch the senses and emotions of the consumer or the potential consumer. Gallucci reminds us over and over that the best experiences are multi-sensory. They tell the story of the brand or product while making “eye-contact with the consumer”. Partly due to the face-to-face interaction, Gallucci feels it is easier to see ROI from “adversperiences” than from traditional mass media marketing. You have the customer engaged in dialogue during the “adversperience” event so you can not only tell them what you are there to tell them, but you can read their reactions, ask additional questions, and encourage them to continue the conversation with you and others after they walk away from the event. Marketers should constantly collect information to build the product, brand, or experience.
Included in Gallucci’s seven “I’s” of ROI are Investment, Imagination, Innovation, Intensity, and Impact. Some are measurable and some are not, but human interaction and behavior are hard to measure on a quantifiable scale. She gives a five part outline for defining the ways that you can measure the ROI of your campaign.
Ride the Razor
"We created a ‘mechanical razor’—think mechanical bull but custom built to be a razor. Consumers were given the opportunity to ‘ride the razor’. Sounds goofy and/or painful but it worked."
Ride a razor!? Gallucci’s team made a giant razor that functioned like a mechanical bucking bull. They set it up at festivals and events to draw people in, to both ride and watch. Then they could give their pitch about a new line of disposable razors for their client. What a great concept to get young men to remember a disposable razor! Gallucci gives very few examples of her “adversperiences” in the book but this is truly a gem! I didn’t even experience it but just imagining it is unforgettable for spectators as well as participants. It’s this sort of innovative and imaginative thinking that Gallucci wants marketers to tap into for their clients, and for clients to let their marketers run with!
For the innovative thinking side of my brain to kick in, I need imaginative examples like this to kick-start my thinking. I’m currently working on a new social media campaign for work and “ride the razor” is an idea that I’ll keep on my white board as inspiration for thinking really big and way outside the box.
The more we change, the more we stay the same
"I think that while the means by which we engage with brands will change, how we absorb and engage will not."
While social media, online shopping, and internet marketing have taken over the consumer and advertising space from radio, print, and in some ways TV, Gallucci reminds us that human interaction is still important. Ultimately, emotions still drive consumers to choose their purchases and brand loyalties, even if the medium by which information is given to us or even the point of sale is changing. Gallucci’s “adversperience” encourages as much human interaction as marketers can create in person, after the sale (typically online in some way), and through word of mouth sharing by the consumers themselves.
It’s easy to get caught up in how fast technology moves and the new ways that marketers can reach their audience. The airwaves are also muddied with many more advertisements than ever before. This was a great reminder that no matter what creative ideas or technology you explore to get your message out to your constituents, it’s always going to be about the human on the other end of the transaction that has the purchasing power.
In Nicole Gallucci’s first book, she gives us a lot of great reminders about where advertising has been and how it’s growing and changing. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to advertising so there were some good tidbits. Notably, she uses a Wizard of Oz theme and very often talks to the reader as if she’s on stage giving a presentation. I was hoping for more examples from her of what were good “adversperience” campaigns. Since there were just a few from her, check out the book and then leave YOUR ideas for “adversperiences” in the comments below!