Upon browsing the instant streaming library on Netflix the other night I found a film that I thought served as a nice little snapshot of the benefits of experiential marketing. The Joneses is about a “family” that is hired by a marketing agency to infiltrate the local country clubs, high end salons and popular high school clicks to covertly sell products ranging from sports cars to lipstick. They are the family everyone on the block wants to be, and they become the aspirational influencers that every brand wants to target. This plotline is used to push a message of overconsumption and deficit spending problems in our country but I chose to focus on the positives.
While this tactic is extreme and likely impractical, it does have a very simple and brilliant lesson embedded within. Face to face, word of mouth marketing will always be more effective than broad stroke advertising. While we usually aren’t directly selling a product as much as we are creating an experience, there is no doubt that letting a consumer swing your new driver or taste your line of high end frozen foods will always sell more than a static, often ignored advertising message. Empowering those consumers to share the message of your brand for you will always be more effective than what the brands says about itself.
So if you’re ever desperate enough to dedicate 90 minutes to this film, I beg you to ignore the primary message and think about the success the family has by giving the products a personality and a face.