6 film and product-based experiential campaigns that you can seek inspiration from

By: Rukmini Chopra

Published On: February 13, 2018

Tell us if this rings a bell; you need to buy a shirt and are feeling lazy to step out of your house and go shopping. You choose an easier option- online shopping. You pick out a favourite from a plethora of options, make an online payment and go back to resting. Cut to, the product is delivered and you are majorly disappointed as it is nothing like you imagined it to be.

And now you are thinking, maybe you should have checked the quality of the shirt first hand.


Well, experiential marketing fundamentally works on this principle- giving consumers a first-hand experience of the products and services. This is done through hosting events, giving out free product samples, etc. 

According to statistics given by EMI and Mosaic this year, 74% of people who attended campaign events said that they had a more optimistic opinion about the brands and their products. According to Event Track, 70% of people who attend marketing events become regular customers and 98% of them were inclined to purchase the product post an event.

Experiential marketing strategies are growing in popularity amongst major companies as well as film-marketing teams.

Here’s a look at such creative campaigns for you to borrow a leaf out of, when starting a fundraiser: 

Film campaigns 

‘Pad’dling away to glory 

The promotion strategy adopted by the team of PadMan (2018) has been grabbing eyeballs. The film’s lead actor Akshay Kumar engaged his fellow industry members in the promotional campaign by nominating actors via Twitter and challenging them to post pictures with sanitary napkins. From Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, to Anushka Sharma, Varun Dhawan, several obliged and supported the cause of eradicating stigma on menstruation. The film’s female lead Sonam Kapoor on the other hand interacted with a few school girls and educated them on menstrual hygiene. She also distributed free sanitary pads. 

Cleaning up the act

This example includes Akshay Kumar yet again! In order to promote his film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, the actor built a toilet in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh and spread awareness regarding the need for more toilets in India, especially for women. He was also seen participating in the Swacch Bharat campaign along with co-star Bhumi Pednekar. The duo visited slums and educated citizens on waste management. 

The pursuit of ‘happy’ness 

King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan turned out to be a king of marketing as well, with his innovative strategy for the promotion of Happy New Year (2014). The actor along with co-star Deepika Padukone and the rest of the cast, entertained fans across the US and UK, by organizing a musical tour.  


Product campaigns

An A+ for OnePlus 

The Chinese smartphone producer launched its OnePlus 3 series in a unique way. The brand came up with PopUp stores in major cities across the world. The stores were established in various malls and streets that were frequented. The brand organized activities such as photowalks and even took the liberty to give exciting gifts and goodies to the attendees.


A trip to Mars

A mission to visit Mars is impossible by all means as of now. But National Geographic brought customers close to this dream with a virtual treat. In order to promote its new show MARS, the channel organized a virtual expedition to the planet for the wannabe Martians. Talk about living life like Matt Damon!

Breaking barriers through bubbles

Relations between India and Pakistan have always been tense. Popular cold drink brand Coca-Cola however came up with a unique campaign to bring the countries closer. 

The brand installed ‘Small World Machines’ in malls in Delhi and Lahore. Through these machines, citizens from both the countries could interact in real time via 3D touch screens. At the end of an interaction, customers were provided with a free can of Coca-Cola. 

Now how cool is that? 

We bet these campaigns have let your creative juices flow. Here are a few lessons that we have learnt from these marketing gimmicks. You can keep these in mind when running a fundraiser:

1. Know your target audience: It is important to know the kind of audience you want to engage in your campaign. For example, in case of Padman promotions, while Akshay engaged Bollywood actors, Sonam sought after school girls to promote menstrual hygiene. The Toilet-Ek Prem Katha team targeted slum dwellers and crew Happy New Year crew engaged the NRI audiences.  In case of One Plus and Coca Cola, customers from all walks of life were encouraged to participate in the campaign, as the agenda was to cater to varied audiences. 

If you are looking to start a medical fundraiser, your target audience is your family members and friends. Reach out to them for help. Your family members play a vital role in spreading awareness about your cause, that entails promoting your fundraiser on their personal social media pages, asking their friends and colleagues to get involved and do the same, reaching out to doctors and patients that they might personally know of, reaching out to hospitals, etc. 
Your friends can contribute in the same way, and reach out to more people including their own relatives. 

In case you are involved with an NGO, and are looking to start a fundraiser, your target audience should involve people that you are serving with the cause that you stand for. For example, if you work towards the welfare of animals, make it a point to visit animal hospitals and shelters, consult veterinary doctors and canine behaviourists etc and engage them in your campaign.

2. Creativity goes a long way: Customers will get engaged if you persuade them to support your cause in a creative way. Now you may not have funds like Shah Rukh Khan to organize fancy tours or organize virtual expeditions but even the smallest of gestures matter. You can come up with a skit to promote your cause, give out free cupcakes, come up with creative posters, etc. A promotion activity need not be over the top to grab attention.

The ALS ice bucket challenge managed to get the whole world’s attention in a matter of days. For those not in the know, this campaign was started in 2014, to raise funds and promote awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The campaign challenged citizens to pour a bucket of ice-cold water or ice cubes over their heads and nominate another friend or relative to do the same. The campaign went viral and succeeded in bringing together top celebrities such as Oprah and Taylor Swift. 

Visual and virtual aids can pump life into your campaign. You need not have a fancy device to bring in the creativity; the task can be as simple as giving your audience a live display of the cause you are raising funds for. A New Vision did the same in 2016 by starting a fundraiser on Impact Guru to offer free cataract operations to Indonesian women. One of the takeaways of the fundraiser was a visit to the operation theatre. Experiences bring the donors closer to your cause and your impact, thereby turning them into loyal donors.

3. Speed up your campaign within the first 10 days: It is vital for you to spread awareness and promote your cause aggressively within the first 10 days; it is your window of opportunity to engage the audience. As the days go by, a campaign’s popularity starts to fizzle out. So don’t delay and get to work right away!

4. Keep in mind your budget: While many companies have considerable budget to fund their campaigns, you and others might not be at liberty to do so. Hence keep in mind the budget and only then progress with the campaign. Remember it’s the little kind deeds that count; for example, you can reward your audience members with personalized handwritten notes or gifts, or create a social media popup to express your gratitude for their involvement, etc. 

So next time you plan to organize a fundraiser, keep these examples and tips in mind. Good luck!