John Vachalek July 9, 2012

Experiential Marketing Example: Microsoft Store Summer Camps

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Engaging people and working to build communities around your brand are some of the key elements as to what makes experiential marketing so effective.

Summer is the time for kids and camps, and Microsoft is capitalizing on this to create an amazing experience which utilizes all the elements necessary for a perfect experience marketing example.

During July and August, the Microsoft store is offering free camps to kids between the age of 8 to 10 years old.  These week-long camps go for two-hours a day and explore some really neat topics:

  • Digital Movie Madness – develop characters, write a story, animate it, add transitions, music, titles, edit credits and share this with friends and family
  • Digital Art Smarts – using digital photos kids will edit, adjust lighting and colors, transform photos into collages and build  an interactive world that they will share via blogging software.
  • Office Unleashed – writing short stories in Word, Excel budgeting, animated slide shows in PowerPoint and designing post cards in Publisher to send to friends.
  • Game Masters – design, program and produce your own video game and share this with friends.

During the camps the kids take part in a scavenger hunt.  Some of the activities of this event include:

  • Find a Windows Phone and open the calculator. Type “2011” tap “Bin” and write down the binary number you see.
  • Find the living room with Xbox 360 and Kinect. What motion gets connect to wake up and see you?
  • Find the computer that lets you video chat. What is the name of this program?

Each enrolled child receives a thumb drive, T-shirt and a 10% discount coupon good for in-store purchases.  A caregiver must stay present during the camps for children to attend.

What key elements make this a great experiential marketing example?

  • The Microsoft store is offering kids a fun, educational and engaging time.  This associates the Microsoft brand with moments of happiness in these people’s (the parents and the children) lives.  It builds positive engagement with the brand.
  • Microsoft is exposing the camp attendees to a wide range of their offerings and getting them to interact with these tools.
  • Microsoft is providing memorabilia as reminders of this engagement (T-shirts and thumb drives). This allows the experience to be more memorable and enduring. It also allows the kids to promote the brand every time these shirts are worn in public.
  • If Microsoft continues to offer these every year, these camps may become tradition for these families and begin to represent something fun that is associated with summer.
  • These camps may very well change some of these children’s lives and act as the spark for something amazing that they do later as a result. Talk about a great association with a brand!
  • Parents are exposed to the store and provided with a discount coupon.  This is a great sales opportunity.
  • All of these projects include some element of sharing.  The kids blog about their creations, send a post card, or tell people what they have done via other sharing tools.  This enables the child to share their positive association and the great, productive experience with friends and family across the country. This is a great brand building for Microsoft and more meaningful than ads that they might purchase.

For more information on these camps, just do a Google search for “Microsoft store summer camps.”

How to use this Information
Ask yourself what programs, community events or offerings you provide, to which people are able to build an association with moments of happiness in their lives. If you do not have anything like this, create an event with this goal in mind.

If you already have events like this, make sure that you are following key experience marketing steps:

  •   Provide associated memorabilia
  • Create / encourage sharing of the event with as many people as possible
  • Make sure it becomes something of a tradition for people and important in their lives

If you could use some help identifying the key experiences for your business, please give us a call at 303-300-2640. We would be happy to show you how our proven programs help business create more impactful experiences.

If your business creates a great experience that you would like to share, or if you what to comment on this post, please share your insights with our readers (via your comments below).

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