By Georgie Woollams, Founder and Managing Director, Katch International
Launching a new brand can be a daunting task. With countless competitors vying for attention, how do you ensure that your brand stands out in the crowd? We believe that the key to a successful launch is experiential PR, PR3.0.
Having worked for over 15 years in the industry I have noticed that PR is moving away from traditional methods. It is no longer just about sending out a press release to launch a brand to the market or introduce a new concept, now it is so much more. Times have changed and now people want to feel a connection to the product or service they are buying, one that really speaks to their emotions.
Experiential PR is about creating an immersive experience for people that showcases the brand in a way that leaves them in awe and as advocates. It’s about building an emotional connection with the brand and developing a lasting relationship. The aim is to create feelings rather than just memories, as you might not always remember everything about the brand, but you will always remember how it made you feel.
We have always found that the bigger connection people have with an event or activation, the more likely they will be advocates for that brand. We always seek out the perfect matches when it comes to the brands we work with and ensure that their ethos’s are aligned to then tailor make unforgettable moments
Some of the notable experiential campaigns we have worked on recently include a brand launch for Lululemon at Rixos Premium Dubai, where two community driven products came together to put on a fantastic evening for all in attendance. It was a match made in heaven for these two brands and the event was a glowing success with sports people and influencers taking charge to create a truly memorable evening. Leaving the venue, people were beaming and had a really great experience, which has left lasting memories and a certain affinity to both Lululemon and Rixos Hotels for helping create them.
Another example is a media trip to La Table Krug by Y at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain where those in attendance not only got to enjoy a world class dining experience, but also had the opportunity to source their own ingredients. This was done to create a subliminal message in attendees’ mind and help them understand just how fresh the ingredients they would be eating were.
Campaigns like “The place to be at” for At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa, an Instashop promotion where users could win tickets to Live Nation’s Wireless Festival simply by purchasing groceries through the app, the introduction of the shake feature and running influencer bus tours with More Cravings by Marriott BonvoyTM, gifting influencers festival related merch including sunglasses and handheld fans for HYPE Festival at W Abu Dhabi, creating state-of-the-art gaming rooms in Rove Hotels are good examples of experiential PR.
Katch International also played its part in the launch of Atlantis The Royal. We recognised the significance of creating a memorable and unique experience for the media, one that would keep the brand at the top of their mind long after the launch event had ended. One of the standout features that seemed to really resonate with people was the Moët vending machine at the hotel property set up by the Atlantis team, that became a talking point around the world.
We worked closely with the client to understand their vision and values, and then curated this series of events that would showcase these qualities in the most compelling way possible. Over the course of a few days, guests were provided with access to exclusive experiences and behind-the-scenes tours of the property. From spa treatments and gourmet dining to exclusive concerts and product reveals, the itinerary left the media feeling truly immersed in the brand.
By immersing the media in the brand, an emotional connection was created that went beyond traditional PR tactics. The result was a highly successful launch that generated significant buzz for Atlantis The Royal, not just in the UAE, but the world over. The media became advocates for the brand, spreading the word to their audiences through word-of-mouth marketing. This was invaluable in establishing the brand as a leader in the hospitality industry.
Experiential PR is not just for luxury brands like Atlantis The Royal, Rixos Hotels, At.mosphere, W Hotels or huge event companies like Live Nation. It can be used by any brand looking to make a lasting impact in the market. Whether it’s a product launch or a store opening, experiential PR can help brands create an emotional connection with their audience that traditional advertising cannot.
We firmly believe that experiential PR is the future of brand launches. Creating immersive experiences that showcase a brand’s unique qualities can help clients stand out in the crowded marketplace and make a lasting impact. If you’re launching a new brand, consider using experiential PR – it could be the key to your success. PR3.0 is the way forward to get people to engage and create the user generated content that every brand craves.