..that is the question.
All week as I bombed through the train station on my way to work, I’ve been watching an activation by Sobe, the sugar free drinks brand. A few times I just stopped and watched, had a glance at the activation at work and it all became very interesting.
The first thing I noticed was that I had to stop, if only for a few seconds, just to understand what the activators were bellowing. They were shrieking statements such as ‘sugar free drink’ or worse, ‘free drink’. In other instances there was no message at all, just a sample without any brand value. This may all seem harsh, but I’m here to question whether a train station is a good activation point.
I am the first to admit that I’ve recommended and activated in train stations, so I’m not coming at you with a holier than thou approach, I’m just questioning the tactic (having seen it in action). When most experiential marketers boast about a quality interaction, they talk about the time to deliver a key message, they speak of ensuring it’s when the consumer is relaxed and able to take in the message. In train stations it’s the complete opposite.
In most cases people in train stations are in a panic-level rush to get to work or catch a train, not really an ideal experiential setting. So going forward, if someone asks whether you can perform an experiential activation in a train station, tell him or her that it is not possible. You can execute a mass sampling programme in train stations, but not a true experiential programme. It’s that simple.