Why experiential events remain at the heart of PR communications

Taste it to believe it. At Wild Card and Wild West, the food and drink sector is our heartland and experiential events remain at the centre of our PR communications. But it’s about more than stunts, sampling and event management.

Using events in PR campaigns is nothing new. But the call for more authentic storytelling is ever strengthening. You need to do more than just tell a consumer about a product. Providing a context that invites them to experience a brand first hand, whilst being surrounded by its ethos, helps transfer brand messaging more powerfully. The consumer wants to align with like-minded brands – to identify that authentic connection.

Events help place brands at the centre of more meaningful experiences, creating a valuable consumer touch point. Time well spent is a key driver for social food and drink moments for millennials to the active retired (see this Grocer article) – and success is measured by how shareable that experience is. The consumer must feel a want to capture and share it – it needs to be compelling.

Experiential events in action

Kelly’s of Cornwall was returning to TV screens and had a UK grand flavour tour scheduled from 15th May. On 14th May, to mark this start to the Kelly’s summer campaign, we brought Cornwall to London in the form of a pop up on South Bank. The objective? Using the concept of the Cornish lifestyle and personality as a springboard, to highlight Kelly’s Cornish roots and premium taste – and celebrate Cornwall’s status as the ice cream capital of the UK.

Positioned as the new dessert trend for summer 2018, we created the world’s first ‘Cone-ish Pasty’ for consumers to taste – combining the best of Cornish cuisine, ice cream and pasties, several sweet concoctions were designed by chef James Strawbridge to the Kelly’s range of flavours. The pasties acted as a cone, with sweet fillings inside, topped with a scoop of ice cream.

The tactics? Passers-by were invited in for the first ever taste of a Cone-ish Pasty, surrounded by Cornwall on a hot May day. Media: What’s On diary date media targeted; sold in a London backdrop photocall of Cornwall; video assets shared via owned media; key journalists and influencers invited to taste the Cone-ish Pasties and meet James. Media that couldn’t attend were sent samples and ‘how to’ recipes. It also gave us an added media hook when talking about the new TV advert.

Campaign results were 25 media insertions including Heart FM, delicious, The Londonist and Cornwall Live, with an OTS of 9 million.

An experiential experience provides an integrated communications space, across digital, social and traditional. It provides a truer connectivity and consumers are craving meaningful engagement. Experiential has this ‘faculty to quickly create an emotional connection between brands and people’ (PR Week, XavierDaurian). And the key outcome is now more focused on making a closer bond between consumers and the brand.

If this blog was insightful and you would like to talk with us further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team below.

London office: richard.medley@wildcard.co.uk
Truro office: georgie.upton@wildwestcomms.co.uk
Bristol office: maddi.tiscoe@wildwestcomms.co.uk

Words: Maddi Tiscoe

Senior Account Director, Head of Wellness & Lifestyle at Wild West Comms