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Why is a brand activation so important?

We helped brands execute 42 successful brand activation events so far this year.

These events all started a simple brand activation idea.

You’re searching for epic brand activation ideas for events? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

We get it – you want to make a splash, and you want your event to stand out from the crowd.

But what does that mean, exactly?

With our photo booth rental, we execute custom brand activation from idea to fruition. That means we bring your end business goals in mind.

In this article, I’m going to show you some innovative brand activation ideas. If you want to jump to a section see the below contents:

brand activation set up at a cape town office

What is a brand activation?

Marketers love brand activations, but do you know what they are or how to define them more clearly?

Let’s take a look at definitions for brand activation, as well as examples of brand activation.

Why are marketers obsessed with innovative brand activations?
At its core, brand activation is about connecting a brand with your customers. Giving companies an opportunity to engage with people on an emotional level.

Long term goal of brand activation is to influence customers’ buying intentions.

If your company or event is in a competitive niche, you need to find clever experiences to build your brand.

What are brand activation activities?

Experiential marketing, product sampling and guerrilla marketing are all types of brand activation activities.

Brand activation activities are any events, programs and initiatives that you use to promote your brand. This can include any number of activities such as sponsorship deals, public relations campaigns, contests and giveaways.

One common type of brand activation is a product demonstration. This can be an effective way to showcase the features and benefits of a new product and create a connection with potential customers.

Product demonstrations can be conducted in-store, at trade shows, or even in public spaces.

Another popular type of brand activation is a contest or experiential event. This type of activity can generate excitement and encourage consumer participation.

Contests and experiences can be tailored to target specific demographics or interests, making them an effective way to reach consumers that may be difficult to reach through other means.

school girls laughing in photo booth

What are examples of brand activations?

Brand activations take many forms, but all aim to engage the senses with memorable experiences.

  • A pop-up shop
  • Launching a series of local events at hotspots in your city
  • Creating a photo activation: Photo or video booth
  • Partnering with influencers to host an event
  • Engaging video walls
  • Live wall art like graffiti
  • Interactive art installations
  • Tech-centric activations: Virtual reality) and AR (artificial reality) experiences
  • Food trucks
  • Rooftop parties
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Interactive retail experience
  • Promote a product giveaway
  • Create a virtual reality experience

Why bother with brand activation events?

In a world where consumers are bombarded with up to 10,000 ads every day, it can be hard to cut through the noise. That’s where brand activation events come in.

Here’s why you should consider brand activation events for your next marketing campaign:

1. Serve as a reminder that your business exists #BrandAwareness
2. Create a memorable experience for customers.
3. Lead to increased sales conversions.
4. Great way to reach new audiences.
5. Create an emotional brand connection.
6. Cost-effective marketing tool.
7. They can be highly cost-effective.

Pro tip
Have a clear call to action at the end of the event so that guests can take the next step in their relationship with your brand.

Print logo matches bottle at brand activation

Why Most Brand Activation Event Ideas Don’t Work?

Most brand activation event ideas don’t work because they’re not authentic.

If you’re going to spend money on brand activations, you want it to be worth your while. You want it to be something that is true to who you are, and that will resonate with your audience. But if you don’t start off with authenticity, then it’s just not going to work.

The best way to ensure that brand activation is effective is to know yourself and your audience. Once you understand where your brand fits in the world, what makes it unique and valuable, and who its target market is, then you can begin brainstorming ideas that align with those values.

When we talk about authenticity here at [company name], we mean aligning your brand with its values—with who you truly are—so that when people see or experience your brand activation idea (whether online or in-person), they feel as though they’re connecting with YOU as much as they’re connecting with the product or service being advertised.

One of these challenges is the pressure of demonstrating value for money and the growing importance of the student experience.

As part of improving the open day and brand experience, Gold Otter Media activated an Instagram printer, green screen photo booth and amasing selfie cookies throughout the day….

Kwanele Butana – CPUT Open Day
brand activation group photo
Selfie Cookies are an impactful brand activation idea
students waiting for their cookies
Selfie Cookies are displayed for guests to find

Types of brand activation events

Mall activations

Customers have already budgeted adequate time to browse in the mall, which makes it easier for businesses to show off new products and attract attention.

South Africans visiting malls has increased by 14.6% compared to the previous April.

In-store activations

Use in-store activations to celebrate the holidays, or seasonal changes like spring and fall. Choose a theme that fits with your brand’s personality.

On-ground activation ideas

Setting up activations at busy locations such as shopping malls, train stations or airports to promote your products or services.

Here are some innovative brand activation ideas to help you.

How to Maximise Your brand Activation?

This is the best time for your brand to attract new individuals. With Genz heavily influenced by event experiences, an experiential brand activation idea is crucial.

Creating an event that is memorable, effective and unique is a priority for all brand activations.

A good way to maximize the effectiveness is to create an experience for attendees that will make them more likely to remember their time with the brand in a positive way.

Our products offer a great way to encourage snapping and sharing photos, thus creating powerful connections among everyone and leveraging the brand’s social following.

6 Innovative Brand activation ideas for brands 

It’s important to create engaging experiences, there are some things you can do to make sure your brand activation is effective. If you’re struggling to come up with creative solutions, we have some ideas for how to create a successful brand activation.

Use these ideas individually or in combination to create a memorable event.

The Human Side of Branding: Human Connection

Humans are social creatures and we know how important team building is in the workplace. I mean, when we’re happy, we want to share the feeling with others. When we’re unhappy, we can’t help put pass that on too!

The same goes for your brand.

Your customers are more likely to post about a bad experience than they are a good one, so you have to go out of your way to keep them extremely delighted.

Think about creating an environment where consumers can relax and engage with one another, it’s a great way to increase brand awareness and loyalty. If you want your brand to stick with customers long after the event is over, make sure it has an element ofhuman-to-human marketing in it!

attendees at brand activation gif photo booth

Photo Booths: The Fastest Growing Marketing Tool

Photo booths are changing the face of social media. You must stop thinking of photo booths as glorified photographers, but rather as powerful marketing tools.

For example with our latest AI Photo Booth experience we transform people into fun, AI-generated characters, creating dynamic, interactive content. For example, during a product launch, guests can instantly become branded avatars, generating buzz and shareable moments. Our custom activations, designed with your business goals in mind, provide unique and memorable photo experiences that elevate your marketing efforts.

The best brand activation companies often use our photo booths to delight attendees at brand activations.

They help your attendees create unique social media video content and capture (POPI compliant) survey data.

Read this if you’re wondering if photo booths are worth it.

Photo booths have evolved to become social media content machines. They’re a lot of fun to use but provide a strong connection with your event guests.

For instance, our photo booth captures studio-quality photos and videos that guests can download onto their phones and share on TikTok and Instagram.

Have guests complete a form or survey and capture their contact information if they want to be included in future marketing efforts (ie. email list)

With the selfie craze in full swing, it’s no wonder that photo booths are becoming one of the most popular marketing tools around.

They’re a great way to get people interacting with your brand, and they can be used for everything from product launches to corporate events.

a man in a pilot's uniform created with ai photo booth
AI Photo Booth Experience for a brand activation idea about fast speed internet

Provide a Statement Backdrop

If you’re looking for an additional way to get people to take and share photos social media you need to impress people by providing a photo opportunity with a unique backdrop.

You can make a photo corner or photo booth backdrop out of just about anything, but instead of spending money on materials, you can use items around your house. To save even more time and hassle, you can use the same backdrop for multiple activations or events. Here’s 3 unique backdrop ideas:

  • Floral walls
  • Neon LED wall (It’s relatively cheap these days)
  • Faux grass backdrop
person holding a selfie cookie

Use Experiential Products

One experiential event that stands out to me is a campus activation event held at a Cape Town University. This was one of my first experiences working with a university team that had never used experiential products before, and it was great to see how open they were to new ideas.

The main entertainment was our edible photo booth. Its food and photo booth technology combined to offer an unusual experiential marketing experience of selfies cookies.

Guests could take selfies and we live printed those onto cookies. The combination of these two elements created an unforgettable brand experience for everyone who attended.

What makes this brand activation so remarkable for me is not only its uniqueness but also its emotional connection between people and the brand.

By creating an experience that people would want to share on social media or write about in their blogs, we were able to create brand awareness.

360 camera booth spinning

360 Camera Booth

Another great brand activation idea would be a 360 photo booth. Attendants would be encouraged to engage in groups on the 360 camera booth and take photos of each other.

360 camera booth creates epic instantly shareable videos which is great for promoting brands and content online after the event. Sounds like the perfect way to remember an experience.

Host An Instagram Contest

Hashtag printing is a great way for brands and event managers to create awareness around their brand or event. It allows them to reach thousands of people on social media organically, driving brand engagement.

Attendees get unlimited free branded prints just by including the event hashtag on social media, therefore marketing the event or brand online.

Hashtag Printing is a new trend that is taking off in the events industry and it’s an exciting new way for brands to get more exposure and make their events memorable.

As well as creating awareness and increasing attendance at events, hashtag printing also creates another opportunity for businesses; if you’re looking to sell branded merchandise, this can be done through custom hashtags.

Hashtag printing is not as effective if your attendees are influencers or celebrities, though. These people tend to curate their feeds carefully.

Brand Activation Idea

Case Study: CPUT University Open Day

We recently worked on a campaign for the Cape Peninsula University of Cape Town (CPUT) Open Day. The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness and traffic to their open day and to promote their university.

32,000 Reached

400 Selfie Cookies

180 GIFs Shared

With our experiential products, we printed 400 selfie cookies. Our hashtag printed reached over 32,000 unique users on social media by printing over 245 Instagram posts. Our GIF booth had over 180 guests sharing their photo booth prints and videos online. 

Gold Otter Media had so much fun at the thousands of attendees who turned out for the university open day at CPUT, Bellville Campus. Gold Otter Media facilitated the brand activations conceptualizing.

More than ever before, universities are looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors, by offering a genuinely unique brand experience through personal interaction with prospective students.

Student-generated social content is free and easy and it offers plenty of additional benefits, such as:

  • Increased brand awareness through brand activation photo booths, edible photo booth and simple roaming selfie frames
  • Provides powerful student-created content for schools and universities for free
  • Organically reach everyone online sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
  • Builds awareness of the institution among students, staff and parents
  • It increases traffic to the school’s site or social media channels
  • Boosts morale

Our products offer a great way to encourage students to snap and share photos, thus creating powerful connections among the students and leveraging student social following.

With our experiential products, we printed 400 selfie cookies. Our hashtag printed reached over 32,000 unique users on social media by printing over 245 Instagram posts. Our Gif Booth has over 180 photo booth videos captured and shared online. 

Conclusion: Coming up with an Epic Brand activation idea

Your goal should be to leave a lasting impression on the attendees. To do that, maximised brand engagement and keep thousands of attendees entertained and engaged constantly.

Give something back to your attendees, but it must serve as a fun souvenir that they can take home with them, making it more memorable and increasing the chances that they will talk about it with their friends and family members.

If your promotion is awesome enough, they should have no problem sharing photos of it online as well, which will help spread the word even further.

Most brand activations are designed to reach a wide audience through mass media exposure, but some may also target specific groups with more targeted campaigns. Whatever the approach, the goal is always to generate excitement and build loyalty among consumers.

If you are looking for masters of photo marketing content creation for your next brand activation get in touch.

We’d be happy to help if you want us to handle your activation needs or we’d be delighted to see if one of our photo booth solutions might be right for your brand activation ideas.

If you are looking for an event activation company, we provide a full-service brand activation solution with a focus on campus activation ideas. Working with a range of clients from small businesses to large corporations.

Our team of dedicated professionals will work closely with you to deliver high-quality content for all your brand activation needs.

for every guest

Ensure a flawless, upscale experience with our professional photo booth service

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