Experiential Marketing: The Perfect Holiday Tool


Time flies when you’re working hard. Before you know it, 11 months have flown by and 2020 is just around the corner. But if you think the end of the year is a good time to slow down, think again. For many South African businesses, it’s time to get tactical with seasonal marketing – and that means the perfect opportunity to to get an even larger audience’s eyes on your brand.


Ah, the festive season! People are in the mood of giving and spending much more than they usually do in other months of the year. In fact, a study from 2018 predicted that South Africans were set to spend over R200bn during this period. It’s why marketing during the festive season is so effective. So when is the best time? Well, peak time for marketing could be anytime from November (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), to December (Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and even stretch through to the first few weeks of January, past New Year’s Day. There’s nothing like a sale to see in the new year!

But if you’re thinking of jumping on the festive season bandwagon, it’s likely that a number of businesses are, too. That’s why experiential marketing in South Africa is the perfect tool for the holiday season because you can meet your audience where they are, and delight them with an unforgettable experience. It’s an opportunity to stand out from the rest of the seasonal marketing clutter, and deliver something truly valuable to your audience, while they’re in the mood for exciting experiences.

Is your business ready to take advantage of the spending season? Here are a few ways you can capitalise on this period with experiential marketing and brand activations.


It all starts with three words; location, location, location. With the right location in mind, an experiential event can be a great way to get your audience excited about your brand or get to know more about what you offer. Keep in mind which holiday you’d like to include, then host an event that includes entertainment, snacks or an immersive experience for your attendees. With the key point being location, make sure to host your event where you will get foot traffic from your ideal audience.

Go big or keep it small, whatever you do make sure it works for your brand and budget. What about an in-store visit from Santa, or hosting cooking classes on how to make a mouth-watering Christmas turkey? One of the benefits of experiential marketing is that it’s so versatile so if you take time to consider what’s best for your event and in-line with your brand, it’s hard to go wrong.

To get started, ask questions like; “What might my ideal target audience be doing over this season? Where might they be? And what would they enjoy and find value in?” These types of questions will ensure that you meet your audience at the right time and place to give them a memorable brand experience that fits in with their festive schedule. Once you know what you want to achieve, find people who can help you bring it to life. After all, choosing the right events management company can make all the difference.


Appealing to our human senses is just one of the benefits of experiential marketing, and what a powerful benefit it is! As a tactic, experiential marketing is all about creating recall and stimulating memory. And one of the best ways to stimulate memory is to make use of all 5 senses.

Our senses stimulate memory because they create emotions, which play a big part in the buying decision process. By creating emotional connections with all 5 senses, you influence your audience’s buying decisions with a heightened experience. Experiences, smell, taste and sound really can transport us back in time, making it great for brand recall and repeat purchases.

So, if it makes sense to do so, create a sensory campaign that could make use of technology such as virtual reality, great music or significant smells. In the festive season, lots of children are on holiday, so how about something tactile that keeps those little hands busy?


No, not sensory taste this time. Give your audience a little ‘taste’ of what your brand has to offer. We’re sure you know that people trust people over brands. It’s why they’re more likely to buy after hearing a referral from someone they trust. What’s persuasive about experiential marketing is that it gives your brand personality. It can literally bring it to life! This means your audience is much more likely to purchase during an experiential campaign, over and above the festive season. So when creating an experience for your audience to remember, you’re giving them a ‘taste’ of your brand’s personality which will create perceptions that stick. And what’s more, if you convince them then they’re likely to also become ambassadors for your brand.

One way to pull out all the stops and deliver an extra special experience is to hand out something physical that will help your audience remember it all year round. During, and towards the end of experiential marketing activations, you could give your audience something they can take home as memorabilia to encourage future purchases and brand recall. It’s a chance to help them fall in love with whatever it is your brand has to offer.


Whilst other businesses clutter newsfeeds and compete for attention online over the festive season in South Africa, experiential marketing will allow you to show up in the spaces where your audiences are to delight them with something that’ll leave a lasting impression.

Utilising experiential marketing during the festive season is also a great way to expand your reach and target audience. Have a niche audience? No problem! Now you have the opportunity to explore how a broader audience interacts with your brand. Plus, word of mouth is still a very powerful marketing tool, so if you can create an exceptional experience, it’ll likely make a great story to tell.


Like most good things, it takes a particular team of people to understand how to make something great. If you’re looking for experiential marketing services in South Africa, we know all about ways to maximise the holiday time to gain traction from larger audiences. Whether it’s launching a new product, creating sensory campaigns, event management or delivering a memorable experience, the Jawbone crew are here to help. Get in touch with us to find out about the services we offer.