Archive for the ‘Experience’ tag

Mahalo MKTG! Rewards Winner Rick Gonzalez’s Hawaiian Adventures

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Clockwise from top left: Rick and helicopter tour pilot Greg give the shaka sign, view from the helicopter, mile-long waterfall in Hilo, view from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Waikiki & dining on "loco moco",

Clockwise from top left: Rick and helicopter tour pilot Greg give the shaka sign, view from the helicopter, mile-long waterfall in Hilo, view from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Kona & dining on Hawaiian favorite “loco moco”.

The MKTG Rewards program is designed for MKTG employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid international or domestic experience. 2015’s winners were announced in June, and lucky recipients have spent the remainder of 2016 taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. 

Rick Gonzalez is MKTG New York’s Operations Manager and spends the majority of his workday actively running around the office ensuring that everything is running smoothly. So, it’s no surprise that when he was one of this year’s MKTG Rewards winners for a domestic trip anywhere in the US, he picked a ten day Hawaiian adventure where he would be doing anything but sitting around. While most travelers associate The Aloha State with beachbums and honeymooners, Rick avoided the cliches and made the most of historical experiences and venturing to the extreme depths –  land and sea – of the Island’s dynamically volatile geography. From mile-long waterfalls to fiery lava pits to underwater exploration, Rick soaked in these amazing vistas via helicopter, submarine, Camaro SS Convertible, or more traditionally, by foot! Rick curated his trip to blend cultural curiosity and luxe living, ending each day with a priceless sunset at the Hotel Renew in Waikiki and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Kona.

MKTG: What was the feeling when you were chosen as a MKTG Rewards winner?
RG: That was an unbelievable moment for me, I was in such disbelief. I am and will always be so grateful for the staff’s acknowledgement. That was a day I will never forget.

Why did you choose Hawaii?
RG: I have never been to Hawaii and it has always been the destination on the top of my bucket list. 
 
What parts of the island did you explore? 
RG: I explored a good portion of the Big Island – Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, a two hour helicopter tour, rode in a submarine and drove around the whole island. I ventured around Oahu and Honolulu, climbed the Diamond Head State Monument crater and had a day touring historical landmarks: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Bowfin Submarine and USS Missouri Battleship.

How do Hawaiian beaches compare to other beach destinations you have visited?
RG: The beaches in Hawaii are pristine with remarkably large waves and rich turquoise waters. It’s so easy to be swept away by the beauty of the water itself.
 
You are always in the know of popular cocktails and drink trends! Were there any interesting cocktails you tried that weren’t of the stereotypical “bright blue flaming booze in a pineapple” variety?
RG: Unfortunately no! I stuck to Big Wave Golden Ale and Hawaii’s signature cocktails: Mai Tai and Blue Hawaii. 
 
Did you try any local Hawaiian dishes/delicacies? 
RG: I tried…Poke (Raw Ahi tuna with seaweed and a variety of Japanese veggies. LOVED IT! ), loco moco (hamburger patties served with gravy & topped with two fried eggs), Spam musubi (cooked, seasoned Spam on a bed of sushi rice wrapped with seaweed) and Poi (mashed taro plant root).

What was the most surprising or unexpected moment from your trip?
RG: I was not prepared to see millions of stars shine so brilliantly in the sky as well as an active volcano with lava splashing and flowing! 
 
What was one moment of the trip you will never forget? 
RG: I will never forget the helicopter tour around the Island. I saw parts of the Island that were inaccessible unless you flew by plane or helicopter. Seeing lava flowing into the ocean creating new land right before my eyes was a special moment, too.  

 

–Contributed by Rick Gonzalez, MKTG NY and MKTG Global Communications team

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MKTG Atlanta Women’s Leadership Group Hosts Interactive Career Day

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birney

MKTG’s Women’s Leadership Group Atlanta chapter ended their year’s roster of events hosting an inspiring career day with 60 5th grade girls from local Birney Elementary School. MKTG Atlanta has been partnering with Birney for over seven years, conducting reading/math groups, sponsoring their field day and much more.  So, it made perfect sense to host young ladies from the school as part of a final 2016 Women’s Leadership initiative.

The session kicked off with a conversational multimedia presentation exploring MKTG’s work and providing an industry overview. A tour of the office followed, leading up to the day’s final destination- the warehouse. Five interactive stations were set up demonstrating how MKTG activates sponsorships on behalf of our clients. To get a small idea of the fun they had, the girls rotated to each of the following stations experiencing…

Photo ops! The students learned about photo ops while enjoying the Wyndham photo station with a green screen- which printed out their photo.

Prizes! The OtterBox Plinko board was tons of fun as the girls slid a dummy phone through the Plinko board to try to win a prize.

Design production! The girls created their own socks at our heat press station where they selected one of the three designs and watched one of our HQ ladies create their product.

Ring toss! Testing their tossing skills, we had three of the large Wells Fargo horses serve as a ring toss (with hula hoops).

Virtual Reality! This station was by far the most fun. The girls were able to put on a VR headset, plus hand controllers- bringing an office setting to life by trying tasks like making coffee, putting an ink cartridge in a printer, opening filing cabinets, etc.

After a yummy pizza lunch, the girls had tons of comments like “What subjects do you take in school to do this kind of job?”, “I didn’t know jobs like this even existed!” and the most important- “Thanks for a great day!” Returning to Birney with a swag bag full of event premiums from various programs, MKTG’s Women’s Leadership Group was proud to close 2016 sharing such a fun, enlightening experience supporting local youth.

–Contributed by MKTG Atlanta

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MKTG Rewards Winner Andrew Leubner: Hiking & Dining Around Lake Tahoe

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The MKTG Rewards program is designed for MKTG employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid international or domestic experience. 2015’s winners were announced in June, and lucky recipients have spent this summer taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Andrew Leubner is a Regional Director based in Scottsdale, AZ, and was the lucky winner of a domestic trip. Andrew and his wife decided to spend their 5th wedding anniversary making the most of Lake Tahoe’s beautiful vistas hiking- and dining their way throughout this unique terrain. Read on for Andrew’s recap….

Looking for a change of pace from our usual major city destinations, my wife and I thought it would be nice to relax and celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in the mountains, so we decided on Lake Tahoe. Our goal was to explore as much ground as possible and experience Tahoe from a local’s perspective.

On Thursday we made the quick drive from Reno Airport to Lake Tahoe. As we descended the peak of Mt. Rose, we drove into a snow flurry that followed us all the way down to Incline Village. We found our resort, toasted with a glass of champagne and got settled at The Hyatt Regency. It was the quintessential “luxury mountain lodge” experience. Excited to get as much hiking done as possible, we found a couple of short, close hikes to start with. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Diamond Peak and Stateline Lookout’s very different trails.

After a long day of hiking, we were ready for some good food. We discovered a favorite local spot, T’s Rotisserie, which we ended up revisiting throughout the trip. They serve up deliciously massive burritos stuffed with rotisserie chicken, tri-tip, rice, beans and everything in between. Sitting at the counter and watching the staff work their magic in close quarters only adds to the fun, laid-back vibe.

The next day we got up early and had breakfast at the lodge’s restaurant (which boasts amazing views of Mt. Rose). To our relief, the freak cold snap that followed us from Reno the day before was gone now and the weather was perfect. We decided on a scenic coastal hike to Secret Cove and then Chimney Beach. This was a definite highlight of the trip. There was so much to take in, from the crystal clear water that went on for miles, to the massive pines towering over us. There were blue jays, squirrels and chipmunks at every turn. It was like stepping into a fairytale….a fairytale that ended with a lot of naked strangers! It turns out that Secret Cove is a nude beach- and a very popular one at that! Suffice to say, our shore side lunch ended quickly.

While on the hike, we fashioned a pair of hiking sticks, smoothing them out on a granite boulder and left a pair at the trailhead for any future hikers that might have needed some extra stability. Once we made our way back, we drove to Crystal Bay on the California side of Lake Tahoe and stopped at Mellow Fellow Pub for some local-made elk sausage and pulled pork nachos. For dinner that night we chose a local tapas-style restaurant called Bite. We were quite impressed with the spinach and brown rice arancini and Indian spiced chickpea butter lettuce wraps.

On Saturday we drove to South Lake Tahoe, which is about 30 minutes from the North side, with stunning lake views along the way. We found ourselves in a bustling ski resort town with lots of touristy shops and a big gondola transporting visitors to the top of the mountain. Once we were full from a burger lunch we made the drive back to the much less touristy North side and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and walking around the resort’s beaches and parks. One of our favorite things about the Hyatt were the nightly massive fire pits throughout the grounds. We met so many interesting, friendly guests over campfire s’mores and nightcaps under the stars.

The following morning, we were eager to get out on the lake and quickly headed to Sand Harbor beach. We rented a tandem kayak and got paddling. This was for sure our favorite activity of the week, with breathtaking views from the middle of the lake. We kayaked away from home base for a good 90 minutes until the wind picked up and made it comically difficult for us to navigate. It doesn’t matter if you’re married five or 50 years- co-piloting a tandem kayak does not come any easier, or so I’m told!

Later that day we scoped out a local brewery called Alibi Ale Works. Any dog-friendly brewery is going to be at the top of our list, and after giving Abby (their resident pit bull) some well-deserved belly rubs, we were able to sample an assortment of their expansive beer selection in 4oz. offerings. Our favorite brew was the “Evil Jungle” Saison, followed by the “Dog Day IPA,” which donates a percentage of sales to their local Humane Society.

On the final day we said our goodbyes to the staff and the grounds, then made our way up the mountain for one last hike around Spooner Lake before driving back to Reno. It was such a great trip, we spent much of the last day discussing our plans to return. To MKTG and everyone who participated in the rewards voting- I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the opportunity to discover such an amazing new place. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this unforgettable experience.

 

–Contributed by Andrew Leubner, Regional Director, Scottsdale, AZ

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MKTG Hires Amy Kemp As SVP, Global Hospitality, Sport & Entertainment

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Amy Kemp joins MKTG

Amy Kemp joins MKTG

FROM EVENT MAGAZINE:

Posted on October 5, 2016 by Kim Benjamin

Global lifestyle marketing agency MKTG has recruited Amy Kemp to the role of SVP, global hospitality, sport and entertainment.

In this global role, reporting to Matt Manning, MKTG’s head of international development, Kemp will lead the agency’s rapidly expanding international hospitality business, splitting her time between MKTG’s London and New York offices.

Kemp brings more than 25 years’ experience in sport and entertainment, including more than 10 years running her own UK-based global business hospitality agency, Kempster, and technology provider, VIP Experience. Over the course of her career, she helped pioneer how brands like Castrol, McDonald’s, Capital One, T-Mobile and BP harnessed the world’s biggest sporting events.

Manning said: “Given MKTG’s rapidly-growing global footprint and position within the Dentsu Aegis Network as a leading sports consulting and marketing resource, expanding our existing hospitality offering along with our sister agency Team Epic, was a natural next step in our evolution. There is a tremendous opportunity in the space and combining Amy’s experience with Team Epic’s 25-year track record, as well as our global network, will ensure solid, creative, sustainable growth.”

Kemp added: “I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible global network. Having founded my own businesses, and worked for entrepreneurs for many years prior, I’m excited about creating and innovating within such a strong, multi-faceted organisation. It’s a privilege to join the team, to grow a business sector in which we’re already so active.”

MKTG rebranded from PsLive earlier this year, as a result of its merger with partnership and sponsorship marketing agency Dentsu Aegis Network Sports and Entertainment.

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

October 5th, 2016 at 4:01 pm

MKTG INC @ Cannes Lions 2015

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A team from MKTG INC recently traveled to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The festival is the annual mecca for the global marketing communications industry, with the most powerful brands, media outlets, agencies of all kinds (advertising, PR, experiential, digital, technology, data, social, mobile, creative, and many many others) – approximately 15,000 people, flocking to Cannes to network, to visit brand experiences, to close major deals, to learn, to meet a lot of people, and in many cases take home some hardware.

Sure, the setting is seriously glorious, but it is honestly a beast of a week. Think Sundance or CES…at the beach…in the South of France, in the summer. You are running, watching a panel on a rooftop in 85 degree heat, then running into a freezing cold conference room and back again, and grabbing food along the way, usually until sundown when things slow up a bit.

Luckily, my friend Julie Thompson, a 16-year Cannes Lions veteran, wrote this hugely insightful article for Adweek, that I used as gospel to make sure I made the most of my four days in Cannes. Even with Julie’s help, I still overbooked myself, but not complaining.

Between the client and press meetings at our home base, the Dentsu Aegis Beach House, panels, Q&As, creative showcases, press sit-downs, more panels from Adweek, Medialink, digiday, LinkedIn and visits to Google Beach, Facebook’s Hacker Square, and my favorite stop, The Girls Lounge, I averaged 22,000 steps a day according to my trusty companion, my FitBit.

Anyway, rather than yarn on, I figured I’d share with you some photos I snapped along the way:

 

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MKTG at the SportsBusiness Journal Roundtable

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sports_business_dailyEFF3419D761F4813A0894C420DD429DD.ashx Photo by: Nancy Pierce

—Matt Manning

Below is the result of a roundtable I participated in on June 21st from the mothership of all things #sportsbiz: The SportsBusiness Journal HQ in Charlotte, North Carolina. SBJ Editor-in-Chief Abe Madkour moderated a 90-minute discussion with seven marketers from across the US to discuss trends in event and experiential marketing, how social and digital have changed their approach, and the mistakes they still see brands and sports properties making. Below is the result of our talk. Hope you gain some insights!

Agency executives on the front lines debate how brands should take risk, create and capitalize on content, and why millennials “value experience more than they do a possession.”

With millennials top of mind among brands and sports properties, agencies are being tasked to create innovative strategies to reach this finicky demo through event and experiential marketing. That, combined with changing technology, has created challenges and opportunities for agencies that can get the formula right.

Read the full article here.

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EMS 2015 Takeaways

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EMS 15

The Good (But Not Surprising) News

Experiential is bigger than ever and only going to grow in importance. More and more brands are putting experiences at or near the center of their marketing mix. It’s increasingly a driving force, making up much of campaign content. One need look no further than this year’s Grand Ex winner – Bud Light and Mosaic’s Up for Whatever – to appreciate the sheer magnitude of this intensifying shift. Some data for 2015:

– 79% of brands plan to execute more experiential programs

– Budgets are expected to increase by more than 6%

Results. We all know that experiential marketing, done well, works. But there’s rising data to back this up which is partly why so many brands are turning to what we do.

– Over 75% of brands see better than a 2:1 ROI on their investment

– After an event, 74% of participants have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted

– 87% of respondents say a live event helps them understand products or services better than a TV spot

– Experiential drives consumers to purchase: 98% of people are more inclined to purchase as a result of attending an event

– 71% of participants tell a friend or family member about their experience

northface

Recurring Themes

In examining the vast array of work showcased and dissected at this year’s summit, there were a few marketer behaviors that generated breakthrough experiences:

– They were bold. A no-fear attitude. The thinking is big risk, big reward. Examples: Heineken and KY Jelly (yes, KY Jelly).

– They pulled at heartstrings. Direct quote: “If they’re crying, you’re doing your job.” Examples: Dove, P&G.

– They created user-triggered experiences. See bullet one – this can be dicey – but not knowing what you’re going to get can be the brilliance of it too. Examples: Visa, Old Navy.

– They used experiences to do what nothing else ever could. This sounds obvious but when you watch the floor drop away at a North Face store in South Korea, you’ll get my meaning. Examples: The North Face, Samsung

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3 Key Learnings from Digital Summit Atlanta 2015

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DS2

Digital Summit Atlanta, a gathering of some of the most forward thinkers in digital marketing, took place this week and I was proud to make it my 3rd time in attendance. Each year I have been able to discover new topics and discuss the next trends in digital marketing.

Overall, each year has followed its own theme as digital marketing as a whole evolves so quickly. In 2013, trends in how social media was changing for brands was explored in a lot of sessions. Last year it shifted to a major focus on content marketing and SEO. Now, at #DSUM15, the next stage in UX (User Experience) design seemed to be the key focus.

And with that, here are three key takeaways from the conference as it can relate to what we do in the experiential space…

1. Humanizing UX

Many of the sessions at Digital Summit really focused on UX as we were challenged to think of what was next in the field. For example, how do we run UX more lean and understand better, powered with ‘big data’, how to humanize someone’s digital experience. When we map out the consumer journey – remember that each user is an actual person with problems and needs.

When you look at bring a consumer through a brand experience for experiential this line of thinking makes a lot of sense, right? It is our expertise to bring brands to life in a way that they can interact with consumers as people and not anonymous IP addresses. However many activation designs we see in the field could do a better job from at the ideation stage to keep in mind that once launched, these are people with their own objectives who will walk through our ideas.

So when thinking through your consumer experience idea, map it out. Literally draw out each stage of the activation UX and use this tool to identify where the gaps are or more importantly, where it can be more streamlined.

2. Millennials are mobile-first…and are starting to earn a lot of money

When you hear the word “millennials” – how old of a person pops in your mind? Probably an early-20-something with new student debt maybe? Well consider that millennials are were born starting in 1980 and now are entering their mid-30s. Sure there is probably a healthy amount of debt still lingering – but this generation is now entering over a $Trillion in buying power and loves to spend.

So with all of this data we now have on the ‘Connected Generation’ – what have we learned about marketing to them? It’s a long answer but here are two quick tips from @annieg from StumbleUpon.

First, “6 is the new 60” – as in the 6” phone is more important than the 60” TV. Now that doesn’t mean the generation is consumer less video – in fact it’s more than ever. But reportedly 33% do not watch any broadcast TV.

Second, it seems obvious that millennials are connected to their mobile devices, sure, but how many experiences are being built mobile-first? When we consider social, if you stop to think why they are so effective with the connected generation it’s not just because they are social – but because the most popular experiences are mobile-first. Snapchat, Instagram, Vine…some of the most powerful platforms for the younger Millennials have excelled by being native to the 6” screen. So consider mobile-first experiences to connect and make an engagement that this group wants to use. After all, it is why the younger Millennials are now being known as Social Natives.

3. The Entrepreneur Wants to Solve a Problem

I heard a great line this year and it came during a keynote speaker Chris Brogan, whose content I highly recommend. To summarize:

Stop chasing innovation, which aims to just do something.

Be an entrepreneur, which aims to solve someone’s problem.

While this is absolutely a trap in creating the latest in digital experiences, it is also a trap in experiential marketing. Brands and agencies alike all want to innovate and create and truly great new things are activated in our space every year. But when coming up the ideas for the experience on the front end, don’t just try to chase an innovation for the sake of doing it. Instead, identify an audience’s problem and solve it. That is where the entrepreneurship mindset excels and where experiential marketing can truly make an in-person impact on someone.

If you are ever free in May, I highly recommend Digital Summit. This is only a small snipet of content from the 2-day conference. I still have to go through pages upon pages of notes but in the meantime, enjoy the learnings and feel free to find me @BradMEpstein if you want to go through my timeline where I shared some more real-time leanrings!

Bonus! PowerPoint is where data goes to die!

If you work with data (you should!) treat it as a living, breathing source. PowerPoint it becomes static and if 2015 taught me anything – is that static is kryptonite for the modern marketer. So learn new tools that keep you agile and keep your brand’s marketing velocity as fast as possible.

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Restaurant Patrons Hungry for Experiential

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Unknown

Ready for an elevated dining experience? Diners are looking for a satisfying meal, but they’re also looking for a unique experience. Restaurants are forced to be creative and have begun experimenting with adventurous forms of serving food to their patrons.

Roller Coaster Restaurants anyone? Probably not for everyone but Rogo’s Roller Coaster Restaurant in Abu Dhabi spans 14,000 square foot and offers 30 individual roller coaster tracks that loop, spiral and spin around diners to deliver the menu and food to tables. Since the restaurant has no servers, diners place their orders through tablets at their tables. When the food is ready, the kitchen puts it in a covered pot and shoots it down one of the tracks to your table. The tracks range from multi-spiral to double-loop, reaching speeds of up to 12mph.

Every aspect of the customer experience adds up to overall satisfaction. Creating memorable, entertaining aspects is at the heart of brand experience. Campaigns come and go, but in today’s world creating memories through experiences is what people care about, it’s what people talk about.

What good is your brand if it doesn’t evoke an experience?

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Obstacle Racers

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ToughMudderPhoto Credit: toughmudder.com

In recent years, numerous obstacle races have sprouted throughout the U.S. and have become increasingly popular among Gen Yers. People craving to move away from the ordinary find spontaneous and exciting outlets through Army-inspired activities like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and Warrior Dash. Unlike marathons, obstacle races are more convivial and bring a sense of camaraderie. New York Adventure Racing Association (NYARA) defines adventure racing as “…one of the few sports where completing a race is considered a victory. Adventure racing not only challenges the body, but the mind as well. Competitors must always travel together as a team, putting emphasis on teamwork rather than individual achievement.” Weekend obstacle races provide many young professionals the opportunity to unwind from the week’s worth of office stress and to fulfill their “live more” attitude.

However, participating in obstacle racing events can be costly. Costs come from registration fees for the event, performance gear, and course training. The brands that deliver performance, function and style resonate and succeed most with obstacle racers. GoLite is an example of a brand that has been successful in the obstacle racing area. It pioneered the “fast and light” revolution in apparel and equipment by offering products that are fueled for performance while maintaining minimal impact on the environment. Many participants don’t see cost as a barrier. Rather, they see obstacle race as an investment to their self-identity and an addition to their growing collection of experience badges.

Last November, I joined the band of adventurers and participated in Tough Mudder’s Tri-State event. It truly lived up to its claim of “probably the toughest event on the planet.” With the help of my friends and fellow Mudders, I was able to reach the top of a quarter pipe, jump into a dumpster filled with water and ice, and survive a field of live electric wires. 12 miles and many hours later, I’m fortunate to have completed this event with no injuries and to have bonded with my friends. From this, I learned that obstacle races are all about upping the ante on experiences and adding a zing to the weekend.

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Written by Alayne Luistro
Alayne Luistro

July 25th, 2012 at 5:15 pm