Sales & Marketing

6 amazing experimental marketing stunts that made consumers want more

4 min read

08 September 2014

The premise of experimental marketing is to surprise someone and stir genuine positive emotions within people. It's been theorised that this method is far more likely to connect such emotions with your brand than a Facebook campaign will.

We all know about the Red Bull Stratos jump from space to movie Syfall’s 007 ‘race to the platform’, but what other companies have perfected the art of experimental marketing?

IKEA

This stunt proves that it pays to listen. 

It all started with a Facebook fan group called ‘I wanna have a sleepover in Ikea’. When almost 100,000 people had joined the group, IKEA started to pay attention. So, they decided to give them what they wanted.

The store gave 100 people the chance to actually spend a night in one of their Essex branches, with a very strict pajame-only dress code. They were fed chocolate cake and IKEA meatballs, had massages and manicures, and had a reality-TV celebrity read them a bed time story.

Adidas

A pop-up shop in East London may sound like nothing new, nor the fact that the famous brand had paired up with an athlete – Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, in fact. But there’s a twist to this otherwise natural marketing campaign tale.

For one, Rose made an appearance. Indeed, he was part of the attraction, and his signature was up for grabs. The catch was that said signature was on a pair of adidas shoes on a shelf 10 feet in the air. 

Fans lined up for the ‘D Rose Jump Store’, and tried to make the jump in order to get the shoes for free.

Mini

Ever wished you could ride on top of a car? Not sure how may would, but Mini made it happen. 

Together, three minis took the streets of Toronto pretending to be… roller coasters? Decked out with carts on top of their roofs, they strapped in volunteers and ventured forth.

The video explains it better.

TNT

Without a doubt, humans are curious beings. At its core, we just happen to be drawn to things we find interesting. This doesn’t change with age and it’s probably one of the reasons why innovation happens at a constantly fast-moving pace.

Tv station TNT took this theory to the extreme. In 2012, they shook things up in a small and peaceful square in Belgium. 

A platform was placed in the middle, with a sign reading ‘push to add drama’ hovering over a suspicious red button. And deliver drama they did! To coincide with their “Your daily dose of drama” strapline, is the button was pushed then the streets were filled with ambulances, brawls and scantly clad females on motorbikes.

Coke

Coke is known for both its marketing and its promise of bringing people together. This promise was realised through their ‘Small World Machines’. 

This time, the company attempted to break down the walls between India and Pakistan through the use of a vending machine. 

Coke placed touch-screen interfaces in two busy shopping centres, one in each country. This encouraged people to trace shapes and dance together. They would then be rewarded with a free can of Coke.

Smart Car

Smart Car bought the classic game Pong to life with a giant outdoor marketing stunt. 

At an auto show in Frankfurt, the company set up a giant game of Pong where players watched their movements on a huge screen. To top it all off, they used Smart Car’s as remotes. That’s right, you used an actual car to play the game.

The point of the campaign was to show potential customers how quickly the car could break and accelerate.