BMW's Ultimate Driving Experience Returns for Another Tour

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BMW's Ultimate Driving Experience Returns for Another Tour


The need for speed is something every driver understands, and so is the desire to drive a luxury car. Imagine having both urges fulfilled at the same time, and you have the appeal of the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience.

After a year-long break, the Ultimate Driving Experience is back and making the rounds. It features activities for everyone from experienced racers to beginning drivers, instruction from BMW's staff of professional drivers, and of course, the chance to drive plenty of fast BMW cars.

Unlike many experiential marketing events, these activities aren't all available for free or even a token price. It costs $750 to attend the M Car Control Clinic, which provides students with a full eight hours of driving M-Series cars, instruction and practice at performing high-speed skids, and the chance to maneuver through slalom courses. Other activities include a two-hour closed-course driving program featuring the BMW 5 Series. These programs both come with automatic entry into a driving competition.

Twelve winners will be selected for the finals of the driving competition. They will win a trip to BMW Performance Center West in Thermal, CA to complete the driving competition.

Teen drivers aren't left out of the loop. They'll get to take a driver's education program that features basics like adapting driving methods for different weather conditions, avoiding accidents, and braking. This traveling program is based on the driver training program offered at the Thermal CA location, but what makes this program truly different is that participants will be learning to drive in BMW 2 Series and 3 Series cars. That certainly beats the basic workhorses most driver's ed programs use!

The goal of these programs is to prove to attendees that BMW's tagline, "the Ultimate Driving Machine," is not just marketing hyperbole. After experiencing the speed and maneuverability of BMWs under the no-limits conditions of a closed course, drivers should be quite convinced that this brand isn't about driving around slowly in land yachts. Instead, it is just as much about having fun as it is about attention to the finer details.

Six cities will be visited during this year's tour of the Ultimate Driving Experience. It began its trek at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and will finish back home in Thermal, CA. With such a range of activities to choose from, attendees will always be sure to have a fun and unforgettable experience.

One of the keys to success with a touring experiential marketing program is to choose the right cities and venues for your stops. If your tour will be coming to Florida, consider Miami's Soho Studios. Our venue has up to 70,000 square feet of indoor space and two outdoor pavilions. These can be configured to meet your needs whether you need all of the space or just part of it. We can also handle the design, set-up, and peripheral needs of your event. To learn more or book space for your Miami stop, just contact us.

How High Brew Samples its Coffee with Style

How High Brew Gets Consumers to Sample its Coffee in Style


Not every brew is a type of beer. For High Brew, it's all about coffee – and adventure. The company recently sent a refurbished 1952 GMC bus on a nationwide tour to reach millennials with its cold-brew coffee, old-fashioned great taste, and to reinforce its branding. Since this branding is all about travel and adventure, the company figured that sending a big Coach bus, once a favorite of tour operators, would create an image that was a perfect fit.

The High Brew Tour is expected to cover a total of over 16,000 miles, with plenty of stops in key places. At each stop, it sets up a sampling bar inside the bus complete with stools so that those who come over can enjoy tasting their coffees in comfort. When the bus is on the road, the bar folds into what was once the luggage compartment. This makes it easy to set it up and take it down, and the innovative system adds to the attention-getting qualities of the stops.

Unlike many branded experiential marketing efforts, High Brew has chosen to keep things simple and fairly low key. The bus itself isn't completely plastered with its imagery, and inside, the only experience besides the coffee is a station for sending out postcards so attendees can share the news. These postcards include coupons to buy one and get one free.

One of the reasons for the choice of communication medium is that the company is hoping those who partake will tell older people about the brand. Assuming it works, it will get the message across the generations without losing the "cool factor" that helps to sell High Brew to younger people.

The bus will be stopping at some obvious places, such as key retail accounts, but it will also hit areas where it can associate the brand with those on the go. These areas include college towns and city areas that have plenty of professionals. Once the bus leaves, field marketing personnel will continue promotional efforts.

This is just the latest news from the experiential marketing world. Companies all over the world are using new and innovative ways to draw regular people into their brand experiences. A successful campaign doesn't just entertain people; it cements the brand image and gets those who partake to interact with, taste, or otherwise get personal with the products being promoted. This icebreaker can be enough to earn repeat customers for years, and sometimes, for life.

You don't need a bus to set up an experiential marketing event for your company. All you need is a great venue in a thriving city, an innovative idea, a target market, and a solid goal for your brand's image. Here at Soho Studios in Miami, we can provide the venue and the city. Our 70,000 square feet of indoor space can be configured to your needs, and we also have two outdoor pavilions. We can also help with the rest of your needs. Our full-service package includes design, sound, and other support services for your event. Just give us a call to learn more and to get started on producing a memorable experience for your current and potential customers.

Why Strongbow Teamed up to Become More Sustainable

Why Strongbow Teamed up to Become More Sustainable


Recently, Strongbow wanted to come up with an experiential marketing effort that would get people in NYC to interact with its alcoholic cider brand. What better way to get people interested in a major city than to create a nature experience? This is what Strongbow did with its surprising and innovative floating fruit orchard from April to May 2017 within its broader Nature Remix campaign.

Strongbow's Experiential Campaign

The brand experience featured a garden and orchard on a barge that floated on the Hudson River, stopping at various piers to connect with area residents and tourists. When the barge was stopped, people were able to pick their own apples and other produce. In the process, they would learn a thing or two about the nature they were interacting with, which was planted in a sustainable way, and about the Strongbow cider, which is free of artificial flavors and colors. And of course, participants got to try a few of Strongbow’s ciders, which is what the event was designed to promote. This floating orchard was the North American campaign for the brand, which also carried out campaigns throughout the globe as part of the Nature Remix program. 

This event was a great idea to introduce people to Strongbow ciders and to provide a connection to nature that is lacking in such a large city. Even when the barge was on the move from stop to stop, it had the potential to build excitement when people would spot it and wonder what it is. The brand also created excitement through press releases, a YouTube campaign video showing work on the barge, a media cocktail party and various social media efforts. And the brand also began a program to send coasters with seeds in them to nationwide customers who can use them for their cider and then to start their own gardens. Strongbow found ways to share its natural roots and to promote the positive message of caring about the environment.

Takeaways From Strongbow’s Floating Orchard

If your brand is interested in creating an experiential event, you can gain some takeaways from Strongbow. Even if your brand has nothing to do with food or nature, there are some universal points here.

Strongbow didn’t have the know-how to create a garden on a barge, so the brand partnered with Swale, a New York City food forest on a barge. Swale helped it figure out the practical side of a floating orchard so the marketing team could focus on its specialty. In return, Strongbow’s sponsorship is helping support the Swale initiative for the rest of the year. Strongbow also gained marketing insight from PR agency Current Marketing. 

Further, Strongbow really stuck to the mission of experiential marketing by creating an event that directly tied into its product. Orchards are used to create the cider, so it gave people a chance to experience an orchard. You could try the same method by creating an event that connects to your product in some way, whether it shares a piece of the creation process like Strongbow did, ties into a culture surrounding your product or makes some other connection.

How Perrier Lunch Break Maintains its Popularity Into 2017

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How Perrier Lunch Break Maintains its Popularity Into 2017


The Perrier Lunch Break returned in 2017 after having a very successful run the year before. In it, dance parties are hosted by Perrier that feature quirky characters and hot air balloons. The unusual decorating scheme gives the events a fantastical, fun atmosphere that is instantly recognizable. Another unusual choice Perrier has made is to hold them during or near the lunch hours instead of the traditional times for dancing and partying.

Perrier has made these and other choices to highlight its product as being unusual compared to the alternatives. It ties in perfectly with its branding as Perrier Extraordinaire and will surely make attendees think of the sparkling water when they host parties of their own.

This event wasn't originally sponsored by Perrier, but instead, started out under the umbrella of vodka company Absolut. The company set up events at several popular nightclubs, which were glad to host it and bring in customers during what had been their off-hours.

The maiin reason for the event's growth is the change in the experience brought on by Perrier's sponsorship. This company took it from being a sparse event that simply mentioned a brand of vodka to a full-on engineered experience. As word of the change spread, more and more people attended in expectation of actually having a fun time. Now, some clubs host over 400 people when they hold Lunch Break events.

Notably, Perrier doesn't directly control all aspects of the events it sponsors. Instead, club owners are given plenty of latitude in terms of design, which musical acts are hired, and more. This allows each club to customize the experience to meet the tastes of their audiences, while Perrier provides just enough guidance to ensure that certain branding objectives are met.

During the events, it is typical for DJs play the latest trendy music while people enjoy a drink or two and have a dance. Then, when the event is over, each attendee is given a take-out bag of lunch to eat. Long lines can be expected at nightclubs that have had these events before, proving their popularity.

Perrier Lunch Break dancing events take place in major cities around the United States. New York city sometimes hosts multiple parties, and cities like Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago also get their share. Other big, trendsetting metropoles are also included.

While Perrier isn't explicitly promoting the idea of social media sharing through the use of incentives, it is typical for people to go ahead and share anyway. This year's kickoff event in New York, for example, was so exciting that it gained 20 million social media views just from natural postings.

There's no need to have a giant marketing budget to sponsor a big, exciting party or other experiential marketing event. All you need to get started is a fun idea and a venue. In Miami, consider Soho Studios for your event location. We have up to 70,000 square feet of indoor space available, and we can provide all the help you need to design, configure, and outfit that area for your extravaganza. Our location also has two outdoor pavilions, so you can also party under the sun or stars.

Why SPAM® Jumped on the Tour Train

Why SPAM® Jumped on the Tour Train


Tiny houses and marketing tours have both been making waves recently, and the SPAM brand has jumped onto the trend with its Tiny House of Sizzle tour. This tour features a towed tiny house, painted in SPAM's iconic blue and yellow colors, that is traveling across the country serving SPAM recipes to those who enter. These recipes are cooked right inside the house in the Tiny SPAM Kitchen that makes up its heart. This will show those who have managed to miss out on the smells and sounds of sizzling SPAM how great it is just waiting for it to come out of the pan. Of course, the finisher for the experience will be the meal that gets served at the end, so no one will have to leave hungry.

The recipes used in the Tiny House of Sizzle will be chosen to highlight the product's versatility. Many have been developed by local chefs and influencers to tie in on food trends across the nation. Even so, those who want their SPAM in a traditional form won't be out of luck: SPAM sliders and other such favorites are on the menu.

SPAM has chosen this form of marketing not only to be trendy, but to engage all of the patrons' five main senses. There will be smells, sounds, sights, the feel of the food, and of course, the taste of the dishes all waiting to be enjoyed. The company is sure that after all of this, no one will forget the experience or the brand that provided it.

This tour won't just help the SPAM brand. The brand has partnered with Convoy of Hope, a hunger-fighting charity, to help raise funds for food. Each person who texts SIZZLE to 50555 will cause SPAM to donate $5 to Convoy of Hope. The brand will also match people's own donations dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $25,000.

A total of 12 cities, some of which have already been visited, are on the schedule for the Tiny House of Sizzle Tour. Many of the appearances are connected to food and other festivals, so they will be part of a larger fun experience. This will allow the company to catch people while they're already excited and having a good time, which will further cement the association between SPAM and positive feelings.  

While tours are fun to do, they aren't in the plans of every company. Experiential marketing also works when it takes place at a stationary venue in one or more popular cities. This allows more people to attend your event and it lets you avoid the expense of driving all over the country with a specially-designed vehicle.

For a great venue in Miami, try Soho Studios. We can provide up to 70,000 square feet of configurable, customizable space for your extravaganza. If you'd rather have your event outdoors, one or both of our two outdoor pavilion areas will provide just what you need. We also have a variety of service packages to take care of any details you don't want to have to handle on your own. For more information, just give us a call.

When Music and Rum Collide

When Music and Rum Collide


Bacardi has never been one to sit on its laurels when it comes to marketing, and this year is no exception. Now, it has partnered with EDM trio Major Lazer to put on a series of dance parties with an island theme. The events will feature Major Lazer's DJ, Jillionaire, who has been designated the "Minister of Rum." Since both Bacardi and Major Lazer have Caribbean roots, this theme is an excellent tie-in for them.

While the parties, which go under the title "Sound of Rum," will all have the same general theme, the specific presentations will vary between events. This ensures that everyone will experience something unique and the concept will remain fresh throughout the campaign.

Attendees at all of the shows can count on one thing being present, and that's new music from Major Lazer. The group has written at least one song, written just for the series of dances. It is named after the party series: "The Sound of Rum." Other new releases will also be played.

Major Lazer isn't the only partner releasing something new to commemorate the events. Bacardi is putting out a limited edition rum bottle with branding for both the event and the band. This is sure to be a hit with collectors.

Unlike many such corporate marketing events, the Sound of Rum parties aren't taking place as parts of larger festivals. Instead, they are stand-alone dance parties that occupy large swaths of their own space. For example, its debut party – named Spirit Up – took place on a private Miami beach. Bacardi created an entire temporary village surrounding the actual party, and within, people from various Caribbean islands served up food from their homelands as mixologists whipped up drinks. Meanwhile, Major Lazer set up giant speakers that ensured that everyone heard the music throughout the area.

This series of parties doesn't just cover the United States. It kicked off in Berlin, at the annual Bacardi Legacy Cocktail competition. From there, it is traveling around the world to bring rum, music, and a Caribbean atmosphere to several other countries.

Of course, a modern experiential marketing event isn't complete without the inclusion of social media. The two partners produced videos to share, started a program to donate studio time to aspiring Caribbean artists every time Major Lazer's "Front of the Line" track, and are counting on attendees sharing pictures and stories of their experience at the party. The follow-on effects of social sharing are typically the main source of marketing power behind such events. Through them, the experience – and the marketing message – travel far beyond the group of physical attendees.

There's no need to have Bacardi's $50 million marketing budget to put on an unforgettable event of your own. All you need is a fun event idea that ties into your branding, an atmosphere that encourages social sharing, and the right venue to hold your extravaganza. If you'll be holding your event in Miami, Florida, try having it at Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of interior space and two outdoor pavilions that are great for parties or any other type of experiential marketing show you can imagine.

How Rick and Morty are Taking on the Road

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How Rick and Morty are Taking on the Road


While the "marketing" aspect of experiential marketing almost necessarily involves trying to sell a product, service, or idea to new people, it isn't always the only goal. Sometimes, events are held to reward current loyal fans – or as it may be put, "spread the love" to these people. This is the case with Adult Swim's Rickmobile, which is a traveling pop-up retail shop making stops in several cities and towns this summer. Adult Swim is making a point of hitting cities that are often overlooked by marketers, such as Cleveland, Santa Fe, and San Antonio as well as some of the more predictable places.

The Rickmobile is patterned after the character Rick in the series Rick and Morty, complete with a painted Styrofoam-and-fiberglass Rick on one end. From the side, the vehicle opens to display plenty of Rick and Morty merchandise. This gives fans a chance to stock up, and the eye-catching nature of the vehicle ensures that even people who have never seen the show will be curious enough to come and find out what the display is about.

In keeping with the fun and youthful nature of the show, the Rickmobile's stops have been chosen for their similarly fun nature. Comic shops and conventions and arcades are on the list. For older fans, the Rickmobile will stop at taverns, bars, and other such "social spaces." By combining the event types while sticking to ones that are associated with fun, the show will be able to reach people of all ages without diluting its messaging.

According to Adult Swim's Jim Babcock, its vice president of consumer marketing, the intent was to create moments akin to seeing the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile for the first time. He characterized it as "unforgettable," and the Rickmobile is going for the same effect. Adult Swim also wants the scene to be hilarious, and it posed its giant Rick so it would surely get a laugh. Rick is on his hands and knees as seen from the side, and stares slightly downward from the back of the truck. Those following it on the freeway therefore get to look right at the mad professor's giant eyes as he stares down through their windshields. It's sure to give anyone who ends up behind the vehicle plenty to talk about with everyone they know.

Since this tour is already in progress, preliminary results are coming in. By the time it made 12 stops, it registered 5,000 transactions and got 15,000 people to engage with the Rickmobile. It also caused people to tweet about it 15,000 times and post about it on Instagram 7,500 times. This caused messages about it to be seen over 10 million times. Such a resounding success is sure to bring more viewers to the Rick and Morty show!

You don't need to custom-make an expensive truck or tour across the country to reach people with your experiential marketing event. For a less-extravagant option, try renting a venue in a big city. Here in Miami, try Soho Studios. We can configure up to 70,000 feet of indoor space to suit your needs or provide one or both of our outdoor pavilions for events out in the open.

How Brighten Up Your Summer Events With These Theme Ideas and Tips

How Brighten Up Your Summer Events With These Theme Ideas and Tips

Renting a venue is just the first step to making your summer corporate event a success. You need to bring in the bright, exciting feel of summer so that your guests are glad to have chosen your presentation over other possible activities. Here are some ideas that should give you inspiration for planning your expo:

First, a Caveat: Make Sure the Theme Resonates with Your Brand

If your theme is summery, but doesn't tie into your brand's image, you'll miss a powerful marketing opportunity. Be sure to keep your event on-point as well as fun. This way, your guests will firmly connect your brand with the experience rather than thinking of it as a generic sponsor.

Roses and Wine

The aforementioned roses and wine theme was done to great success by Kim Crawford Wines, which wanted announce its new rose wine in grand style. It filled its area with roses and even had a bar made of live rose bushes. The roses were very summery, and they tied in perfectly with the launch of the new rose wine. On top of that, there were enough roses that just looking at the event area made an indelible impression – and connection with the advertised product.

A Rocking Summer Night

This type of theme is great for many companies that cater to younger audiences, but it's perfect for companies associated with making rock music. What better way to show off instruments, amps, stage lighting rigs, and other musical equipment than to have people come and experience the sounds and sights of professionals using the products? Hold the party outdoors under strung-up lights for that summer feel.

Have a Barbecue Party

Everyone loves to eat, and barbecuing is a quintessentially summer activity. This makes a barbecue a perfect event for any company that wants to be seen as fun and exciting while avoiding faddish trendiness. For maximum impact, make the event large enough for a huge number of guests and cook the food over one or more showy firepits.

Always Make Sure Everyone is Comfortable

The level of comfort expected will depend on your audience and the type of event you're holding, but it's always important to avoid the chance of outright misery. For outdoor events, one great way to do this is to offer branded umbrellas. If the event is on the upper-class end, provide them as part of the package. Otherwise, set up kiosks and sell them at reasonable prices. Be sure to keep the cost within the "impulse buy" range – the more people buy them, the more your brand and event name will be seen later on!

Other ways to ensure comfort include providing cushioned seating, decent plates and utensils, and easy-to-navigate pathways between tables or exhibits. If your event uses disposable serveware, be sure to have plenty of trash cans and recycle bins set up so people can conveniently offload them once they're done with their food and drinks.

For a spacious event space in sunny Miami, consider Soho Studios. We have both indoor and outdoor areas that can be customized to match any theme you choose.

How Harley-Davidson Took on the Town

How Harley-Davidson Took on the Town

In an effort to show millennials, who aren't as excited about riding bikes as other generations, that riding isn’t so complicated, Harley-Davidson tried a new way of reaching people.