The figures speak for themselves. According to marketing research company Precedence Research, the global immersive technology market is expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 22.5% between 2022 and 2030, shifting its value from US$21.7 billion to US$134.2 billion.
Why? Because consumers remember experiences that they participate in, and that invoke their senses. And they want more of it.
One of the driving forces behind this growth is experiential and immersive marketing — the process of creating novel experiences for consumers, and prioritising them over traditional marketing methods. These sorts of events demonstrate real value with a success rate of 38.3%, almost double that of
digital advertising. After participating in an event, 91% of consumers leave with positive feelings about a brand, and 85% are more likely to make a purchase.
Rather than a nice-to-have, immersive tech has become a critical component for marketing strategies. By creating memorable and moving experiences, brands are able to distinguish themselves from their competitors. And in making consumers feel invited, included and seen, they’re able to drive long-term brand loyalty.
Let’s take a look at a small selection of the brands that are setting the benchmark for immersive events and activations.
Stranger Things: The Experience
The Netflix hit show, Stranger Things, didn’t confine itself to people’s homes. Instead, an immersive experience has been created and hosted in cities across the US, the UK and Europe, with more cities lined up for the future. The experience involves a VR and special effects-enabled journey to Hawkins Lab, and the opportunity to interact with some of the show’s characters. A pop-up space also allows visitors to explore some of the show’s most iconic sets.
Netflix believes so wholeheartedly in immersive experiences, it has an entire division dedicated to it. Other live experiences on Bridgerton, Squid Game, Money Heist, Iron Chef and Chef’s Table have also been established. Launched in October 2022, Netflix at the Grove is a permanent retail experience at The Grove Shopping Centre in Los Angeles that offers immersive access to all of these
shows at once.
2. Google Home Mini Donut Shop
An oldie but a goodie. This one goes back a few years, but was so successful, it’s become a bit of an experiential marketing case study. Since the Google Home Mini looked so remarkably like a donut, the team created pop-up interactive spaces where people could put Google’s smart hub to the test.
They were invited to play with it, asking any question they chose, before being given a box that contained either a Google Home Mini or a donut. The two-week-long, 35-US city roadshow earned Google over 82,000 product trials, 82 million social impressions, and almost 500 million earned media impressions. Google also sold more than one Google Home every second for almost two months in the wake of the campaign. Although it started in the US, the roadshow ultimately went to four other international cities: London, Tokyo, Sydney and Toronto.
3. Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Experience
Remember when product launches simply involved a presentation on a stage, with nothing more innovative than a teleprompter? Neither do we — or at least, we wish we didn’t. The idea feels obsolete now, and a disservice to the advanced technology being promoted.
Recently, Samsung launched its Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Watch 5 and Buds2 Pro at the opening of the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Experience in London. This immersive technology adventure, as Samsung called it, invited visitors into a temporary space where they could deep dive into Samsung’s latest devices in over 10 experiential zones. In the Galaxy Creators’ Lounge, for example, they could snap selfies without opening a phone, while the Work and Play zone showcased the latest in productivity and multitasking tools.
4. Natura at Rock in Rio
Natura & Co, the largest cosmetics company in Brazil and the owner of The Body Shop and Avon, has created several immersive installations in partnership with Rock in Rio, one of the world’s biggest music festivals. These installations typically focus on appreciating and preserving the natural world, which is in line with Natura’s eco-friendly and sustainability ethos.
In 2019, Natura developed the Nave, a 15-minute installation at the Velodrome track in the Olympic Park that used art, music and technology to showcase an exquisite and sustainable world. The floors vibrated as nearby volcanoes erupted and ocean waves crashed, while visual projections shone on the walls. In 2022, this exhibition returned as the Natura Portal, an architectural and multisensory space that invited audiences into the Amazon rainforest through the use of stunning visuals, sound and scent.
5. Renault Electric Village
Research conducted by French car manufacturer Renault revealed that 93% of French people believed they couldn’t switch to an electric car. They needed more autonomy than an electric car provided, they said, there wasn’t enough infrastructure, or they lived too far from a big city.
To prove them wrong, Renault gave an all-electric Renault ZOE to every single one of the residents of one of the most isolated villages in France, the rural oasis of Appy, for three years. The intention was to show that if Appy’s residents could get by with an electric car, so could everyone else. The result?
Nothing changed for Appy and everything changed for Renault. Life went on as normal for its residents who loved their zippy, carbon-efficient vehicles, and Renault’s ZOE sales increased by 50%, taking the car to number one in Europe.
More importantly, however, Renault started a massive mindset shift among French drivers about the viability of electric cars.
The bottom line: Immersion matters
Brands all over the world are using immersive experiences to distinguish themselves from the rest. It’s a creatively challenging space but, when well executed, likely to benefit your consumers’ brand loyalty, your reputation and your bottom line.
At Polygon, our research has shown that 80% of event attendees say that 3D immersive sound far exceeds their expectations, and 88% would pay more for an event that featured it. Curious to find out how we can make your events a memorable, loyalty-driving, profitable sensation? Our state-of-the-art
soundstage is available to immerse your audiences in the most extraordinary sound, lighting and scent experience you’ve ever had. Chat to our team to find out more.