Introspection is in. 3 Lessons Experiential Professionals Can Learn From Were Not Really Strangers Avant-Garde Marketing Strategy.
We’re Not Really Strangers, a seemingly simple red and white deck of cards has empowered thousands to foster meaningful connections with others. Koreen Odiney, founder of the company, and her team have spawned an imaginative marketing strategy that captures their 4 million Instagram and Tik Tok followers. Could this be the hot new experiential trend? Calling all creative professionals, start taking note!
WNRS’s unique selling proposition starts with meaning. The deck of cards is strategically designed to spark conversation about often avoided topics: mental health, heartbreak, self image, etc. In order to promote their product, WNRS advertises in prime city locations: the side of an abandoned building, the back of a delivery truck, and even the wall in a public bathroom. Glamorous, right? The goal of WNRS experiential advertising is to promote vulnerability. Their artwork is sprinkled in places that city-goers view on their daily commutes. Picture this: you are crossing the street to get a cup of coffee, and are seized by a large mural reading “you can miss them and still choose peace.” That’s right- now your morning routine is interrupted by flashbacks to your last relationship and you stop in your tracks for a second. Vulnerability isn’t something we often seek out – WNRS challenges this idea and creates vulnerability in everyday spaces- making it almost impossible not to “run into.” The activation’s locations also echo a theme of the card game itself: healing isn’t always beautiful.
This is why meaning matters in creative strategy. Pop-up experiences are exciting and eye-catching on their own, but when they are coupled with a powerful message: magic happens. City goers are both perplexed and infatuated with WNRS’ sidewalk messages. That’s why they hit social media to find who out is responsible for the anonymous artwork (hence their over four million followers on Tik Tok and Instagram). The brand has not only mastered the art of gaining followers but knows exactly how to drive engagement. On Instagram, WNRS’s comment section doubles as a virtual diary of sorts – housing thousands of individuals’ deepest thoughts and feelings. How do they do it? Simple. The WNRS account shares photos of their artwork while also inviting followers to voice their own thoughts. Because let’s face it, we all like being heard.
Experiential marketing is centered around the consumer experience. WNRS creates art that taps into the heart of witnesses, fostering feelings of vulnerability. I guess it is fair to say that meaning is what drives engagement (yes, write that down).
The card game’s marketing team has also mastered the art of consistency. The physical deck of cards, packaging, website, Instagram, Tik Tok, and art activations share a uniform font and color scheme that is now attached to the brand. Encountering a WNRS art piece is tantamount to finding hidden treasure – leading to thousands of reposts and original content pieces on social media.
WNRS also echoes a consistent voice: one of compassion and honesty that is present in the activations and all social media channels. This consistency has helped the company build trust with their community. City goers, shoppers, and social media users feel like they know the brand, leading to the vulnerable comment sections on their posts and a significant climb in product sales. WNRS commits to cultivating vulnerability by advocating for mental health awareness and strategically omitting its logo from art activations. The art is intended to foster connection, not leverage sales. Customers understand and appreciate the brand’s message and in turn, show support for their cause.
Companies are constantly looking to harness brand loyalty, that is why it is so important to engage with consumers on a personal level and create meaningful connections – whatever they may be. This is the heart of experiential marketing: creating love affairs between brands and consumers.
Beauty in Simplicity
Perhaps the most salient takeaway event professionals can learn from WNRS success is that there is beauty (and prosperity) in simplicity. Of course, we admire tricked-out activations, but even the creatives behind these big events know when it comes to design, less is more. Major league players like Nike, Chanel, Dior, and of course, WNRS rely on simple color schemes and direct messaging in their experiential campaigns to ensure clear communication and understanding. You should too.