Millennials are an unprecedented crowd. Traditional marketing tactics such as commercials, radio and newspaper ads don’t have the same advertising effects as they did on previous generations. Unlike their predecessors, millennials are especially great at tuning out ads, a term coined as “ad fatigue”, which has made it challenging to target millenials with traditional marketing strategies. The challege has provoked some very creative innovations in the marketing world in the past few years, including one of the most successful tactics: Experiential Marketing.
Eight-year-old beverage company, Bai has seen phenomenal growth in both brand awareness and consumers who have tried their products in the past few years, thanks to a very proactive marketing strategy. Last year, Bai invested over $40 million in advertising and saw a 150% in growth annually. [Forbes] This year, Bai has emphasized experiential marketing as one of their primary advertising strategies, which has shown to be especially effective in marketing to millennials. Bai owns four Photoboxx printers that are used for city activations throughout New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago and they use Socialdrip to track analytics from events.
Bai brand ambassadors aka "street teams" chat up passerbys and encourage engagement by inviting them to check out the activation and grab free drinks. They set up full photodrop backgrounds with props and tons of Bai beverages to pose with. People snap a photo with their chosen Bai flavor and post to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #flavorlife or the specific city hashtag such as #DrinkBaiChi. Participant's photos are printed and branded with the Bai logo instantly with Photoboxx and are ready to take home. The hashtags used at the activations are curated with bright, colorful fruit-filled photos of smiling people holding Bai drinks. Bai has taken the brand activations to music festivals, marathons, charity events, wineries, conventions, and breweries each with their own perfectly curated backdrop and props that match the theme of the event.
The Socialdrip analytic results from the city activations are outstanding. From the 30+ Bai city activations that have taken place thus far, a total of 1,370 photos have been posted from various events around the four cities. So far, the event hashtags have seen over 1.6 million impressions as well as 1.3 million in reach and this number is expected to increase exponentially.
The experiential marketing activations have taken Bai from merely another flavored water company to a brand that promotes health, wellness and fun. Bai goes beyond selling their product by creating a very clear brand for the company; a brand that signifies having fun, being bold and being yourself. It's not just about the tasty fruit flavored drinks, it's about the purpose of the brand. I'd say we can all learn a little something from Bai and we can't wait to see what the future holds for this audacious company.