5 brands harnessing sensory marketing with in-person experiential

As consumers and the market continues its quest to recover from the pandemic and return to in-person engagement, brands are lining up to build their own immersive live experiences and activations. And the more sensory, the better.

From wellness month to encouraging product trials, sensory experiences are all about evoking a more holistic way of indulging in a brand story.

In this latest round-up, CMO dives into five examples of brands that have embraced the sensory and emotive as part of their latest experiential activations and what brand values and attributes are behind them.

Hendrick’s Gin and a journey most unusual

Hendrick’s Gin is opening its first-ever immersive performance experience in August designed to help consumers discover the gin’s taste and heritage.

The new theatrical experience has been crafted in partnership with theatrical collective, Broad Encounters, and takes over the Hotel Palisade in Sydney from 25-28 August. ‘A most unusual journey’ will take participants through an immersive performance designed to tap into all senses, from smell to touch, sight and sound. It does this by giving guests an interactive role in the performance as they move through six designed spaces, guided by characters such as scent seller, Mr Foggerty, aromachologist, Madame Ruby, ad underworld temptress, Siren.

Credit: Hendrick’s Gin

The experience introduces consumers to these worlds through song, art, dance, music and specially curated Hendrick’s Gin cocktails. The creative theme ties into key brand motifs such as being bold, unusual, innovative and audacious.

“This most peculiar of immersive experience allows us to bring the world of Hendrick’s Gin to life. We will lift the veil and invite the curious crowd to uncover the unusual origin story in a way that has never been done before,” Hendrick’s Gin marketing manager, Nathan James, said.

“The Hendrick’s Gin’s story perfectly embodies that adage ‘fortune favours the bold’, and in this new experience we invite audiences to fortify themselves with that same boldness and take a most unusual journey with us. Guests will be given the opportunity to sample our delectable cocktails as they unlock their senses and meet key characters that embody our story.”

A Journey Most Unusual tickets are available for $50, with all proceeds donated to Broad Encounters via Australian Cultural Fund.

The Body Shop encourages deep sleep

The Body Shop is also looking to drive sensory connection with consumers and is launching its first ‘Sleep Deep Experience’ in partnership with Australian sleep expert, Olivia Arezzolo, and designer hotel group, Ovolo.

The experience was prompted by research showing one-third of Australians only sleep up to six hours a night. This is despite billions being invested in sleep enhancements over the past two years. The State of Sleep survey, conducted by The Body Shop, also revealed 28 per cent of respondents don’t have a consistent sleep routine.

Credit: The Body Shop

The ‘Sleep Deep Experience’ centres around a stay at Ovolo Woolloomooloo, available from 11-14 August. Designed in collaboration with Olivia with the aim of improving sleep habits, it features The Body Shop’s new four-step sleep routine, which the European Sleep Center has endorsed as helping consumers to sleep better and wake more energised.

Other highlights include a one-to-one sleep consultation with Olivia, a sleep-inducing sound-bath meditation by Sydney-based Field of Sound and a sleep-enhancing dinner designed in partnership with Olivia and Ovolo’s chefs. In addition, the room will be optimised for sleep, with a lock box for electronics plus blue-light free bulbs to block blue rays and soft furnishings in calming blue hues.

“The European Sleep Centre has identified a link between a good quality night’s sleep and the benefits it has on our skin health. At The Body Shop, we know that prioritising your mind and body is a rebellious act of self-care, and a body and mind in balance can take on the world,” said The Body Shop APAC brand and activism director, Shannon Chrisp.  “The new Sleep Deep Experience is encouraging all Australians to think more about their sleep routine and take a moment for themselves.”

Ovolo has also partnered on ‘The Wellness Package’, a luxury room offer for guests aimed at helping them feel more relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated in celebration of wellness month. It’s available from 1-31 August at Ovolo Woolloomooloo (Sydney), Ovolo South Yarra (Melbourne), Ovolo The Valley (Brisbane) and Ovolo Nishi (Canberra), the Wellness Package includes an exclusive Body Shop ‘sleep deep’ pack, T2 sleep tea sachets and sleep tips.

Penfolds ventures beyond with in-person experience

Australian iconic wine brand, Penfolds, has created its inaugural pop-up ‘Venture beyond’ experience, combining music, film, food and drinks into an experiential activation in Sydney in August.

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