For brands that want to have a lasting impact, one thing is important to know: people remember experiences, not products.

Why it’s Important


Experiential marketing and branded entertainment immerse consumers into brands, forming positive associations and sometimes inspiring them to become brand influencers.

Through events and other branded entertainment, you give the consumer a tangible experience so that they will remember your brand. When they go to make a purchase in your category, they’ll remember that experience.

How you can implement it

The types of events and branded entertainment you host can range from strictly informative to wildly creative. Many brands set up booths at trade shows and other events to give consumers a more personal, in depth interaction with their brand.

image courtesy of Krista K. Catian, NAVFAC Pacific Public Affairs

image courtesy of Krista K. Catian, NAVFAC Pacific Public Affairs

photo courtesy of Nick Gray

photo courtesy of Nick Gray

Some brands try to reimagine the way consumers engage with their product by putting on interactive experiences.

Merrell’s virtual hike

It’s also important to leverage social media. Posting builds buzz and creates an online community to share the great experiences they had with your brand.





Follow Our Lead

We at CerconeBrown know just how important experiential marketing and branded entertainment can be. That’s why we frequently help hold pop up shops, mobile boutiques, and special events for our clients. Additionally, we host our House Programs multiple times a year, where influencers get mini vacations at locations across the country, allowing them the opportunity to engage with our clients’ products. We know that they may forget an ad, but they’re sure to remember an experience.

Sprawling southern plantations, historic cobblestone streets, a sun-soaked harbor-side – packed with southern charm, Charleston, South Carolina is nothing short of the perfect spot for an end-of-the-summer getaway.

Editors tour Charleston South Carolina where they tested new products

This is exactly the mini-vacation that 10 top tier editors enjoyed during the debut of Cercone Brown Company’s (CBC) Charleston Experience from September 15th-18th.


Staying in a house on Isle of Palms, just northeast of the city on the water, the participants spent the weekend indulging in relaxation at the beach, local fare from the city’s best restaurants, and unforgettable tourist attractions.


Brands like GMC, Kendall-Jackson, and Sanuk Footwear teamed up with hot spots in Charleston, including Middleton Place Restaurant, The Cocktail Club and Wild Dunes Resort and Husk for a series of experiences.


The Charleston Experience is part of the larger CBC House Programs – a 10-year-old mission developed by CBC. The goal is to provide editors from various national publications with the opportunity to experience brands and products as they’re meant to be enjoyed in memorable and unique settings.

Editors biking the beach in the Isle of Palms

While in Charleston, participants indulged in wine and cheese with Wyndham Rentals, true Southern hospitality from Explore Charleston, a beach day at Wild Dunes, a wine tasting with Jackson Family Wines and more.

During a tour of Middleton Place and Downtown Charleston, editors laced up their Sanuk shoes and later enjoyed a chilled glass of Kendall Jackson at the Saturday night Wine Pairing Dinner.

Kendall Jackson Wine for Jackson Family Dinner

We can’t believe another fun-filled CBC House program event has come and gone! Lucky for us, there will be many more to come. Don’t forget to use #CBCCharlestonExperience to check out pictures from the weekend.

As consumers continue to expect things at the click of a button, certain brands are capitalizing on the advantages of this and positioning themselves at the forefront of this trend.

Picture Courtesy of Pexels

Picture Courtesy of Pexels

Over the past few years, several services have emerged that allow consumers to get everything they need with one click – from groceries to wine to razors, anything can now be delivered to your doorstep.

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Beloved services like Postmates and GrubHub allow you to order food and other items without any human contact, while services like Trunk Club, Graze, and BirchBox go one step further and eliminate the need of you having to make any decision at all. Upon signing up for the service, the buyer takes a preferences test and then receives customized monthly deliveries of clothes, snacks, makeup, etc.

Brands like these have ushered in an Age of Convenience, where consumers get none of the hassle, but all of the gratification. According to a Shutl survey, 60% of millennials expect more from delivery services than they did two years ago.

Convenience is no longer a perk – it’s a necessity. And as more of these delivery services pop up, consumers’ expectations for their shopping experiences change and force companies to refresh their brand positioning accordingly.

This consumption transformation is just getting started. While only 8% of those surveyed by CivicScience use a convenience service now, 24% are planning on subscribing in the next year. The popularity of these services suggests that the future of shopping is all about having someone else do it for you.


It’s the time of year again when pool noodles and sunscreen are replaced with Halloween decorations and pumpkin-flavored everything.


Adding to the excitement and popping up right up in the heart of NYC is Grandin Road’s Halloween shop – a seasonal store within a store located in Macy’s Herald Square. This experiential retail shop is 1,400 square feet and features over 250 magical, mysterious, and enchantingly elegant products from the brand.

Shoppers can walk through each of the festively frightening rooms. Care to join Mr. and Mrs. Skeleton for dinner? How about an evening walk with your not-so-alive dog?



The pop-up Halloween experience at Macy’s Herald Square includes two fashion windows that showcase the dramatic décor to passersby and continues inside of the store with four sophisticated vignettes: “Frightfully Fun,” “Bewitching,” “Halloween Glam” and “Macabre and Mystical”.



Whether you are transforming your home into a haunted haven or hoping to add a few signature scare pieces to your living room, Grandin Road’s Halloween experiential marketing shop is sure to satisfy.


Enter if you dare…

The days when only stereotypical models starred in ad campaigns are long gone. Instead, many companies like Dove, Honey Maid, and Nike are now using people who redefine classic beauty and family archetypes.

Though each ad campaign is as different as it is powerful, one thing remains true in all: no one looks the same.

Dove breaks the beauty mold

Dove has been one of the trailblazers in the creation of ad campaigns that focus on real people with real bodies. Since 2006, they exposed the ways women are inaccurately portrayed through mediums like Photoshop.

The mission of this campaign was to tell women that you don’t have to be a size two model to use their products – something no one hates to hear.

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Honey Maid redefines traditional family

In 2014, Honey Maid released its “Wholesome” ad campaign, which featured interracial, gay and other non-stereotypical families enjoying their snacks.


And like with anything new, there hasn’t been widespread acceptance. Some have shared their negative opinions on social media. But, Honey Maid made lemons out of lemonade with this genius way of turning hate into love.

Nike proves gender is objective

Nike featured the USA’s first transgender Olympic athlete in their recent ad campaign. Chris Moiser, who is a duathlete, represents the first transgender athlete to ever be in a campaign of this magnitude.

Do we sense a change in the advertising tide? While we still have a long way to go to evenly represent people from all walks of life, it’s refreshing to see brands cultivate a new image and try to redefine the norm.

Moms everywhere struggle to get healthy food into their kids. We cook Jessica Seinfeld’s cakes baked with smash cauliflower and create clever names for celery/peanut butter/raisins combos. We make our fruit look like holiday stars and smily faces. Parents have looked to marketing to help them get their children to eat healthy food for as long as kids have refused to eat it. And, it works.

Creative Name Markets Celery

In a new study published by Pediatrics, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN Center) researchers demonstrate the influence that marketing can have on kids’ food choices. In this six-week study, researchers decorated salad bars with vinyl banners depicting fun fruit and vegetable characters in 10 elementary schools across the country. In addition to the banner, researchers also placed a TV screen within close proximity to the salad bar and played education videos of the same animated fruit and vegetables while the children chose their meals.   The study found that in schools where the banner was in place, 90% more children chose to eat salad than without the banner in place. In schools where the banner was in place and the video was running simultaneously, 239% more children chose to eat salad.


These results clearly demonstrate the powerful influence that marketing can have on kids’ food choices. So while big conglomerates are busy wooing our children with Tony the Tiger and the Trix Rabbit, care givers and educators have ammunition to fight back with their own benevolent broccoli and playful peppers, evening the playing field of how we shape our children’s perception of good, and fun, food.

To learn more about this study, see Cornell Food and Brand Lab’s video, An Upside of Marketing Food to Children.


As technology continues to evolve at a rapid rate, marketers must stay on top of what’s now, what’s next, and how it can be used to better position their brand. While we love a catchy billboard, we also want to pay attention to the pervasive acronyms recently added to marketing technology conversations.

AI = Artificial Intelligence (computers that can “think”)

Already, this technology is being utilized via programmatic advertising by a large number of brands.

ICYMI: Programmatic advertising is an automated media-buying tool that uses consumer data and real-time bidding to more effectively target potential buyers across channels. Such technology might seem out of reach, but there are a few platforms out there that SMB’s can use to get their foot in the door.


Photo via Marketing Land

Where is AI headed? Just check out this new movie trailer, created by IBM Watson advanced computer system, and let us know what you think.

VR = Virtual Reality (users enter a virtual world)

AR = Augmented Reality (virtual things enter the real world)

While it sounds like something that should be reserved for video gamers locked in their parents’ basements, virtual and augmented realities are making a stand in the advertising world. Looking back to the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference a few months ago, the one activation with a consistent line around the block was Samsung’s VR experience, where you could test out their new headset gear.


High interactivity is becoming essential for marketing, which is the major advantage to VR and AR. You can bet that automakers are ready to reel in millennials with virtual test drives, right from a smartphone or computer.


Whether these marketing technology trends become the new normal, or as obsolete as a telegram, you can bet we’ll keep an eye out for any new acronyms as they fall from the sky.