We want to be live again, but what’s the right way to do this during a global pandemic?

Mel Wakely - September 2020

What do people want from their brand entertainment/experience in a world that’s been so changed from a global pandemic?

On 1st September, I travelled into central London on the tube. It was the first time I had used any form of public transport since February. The West End is a shadow of its former self. Walking around at 8.30 pm was as quiet as a post-clubbing exit at 4 am (shock emoji face!)

The public’s mood for in real life (IRL) entertainment and events is now low-key, passive and outdoors or at home. From the conversations we hear on our social platforms, to the type of briefs that Scene2 is now working on, there is a key trend: People want to be entertained but it must be 100% risk-free and social distancing measures must be firmly in place.

We have seen a huge rise in the popularity of digital events. Our favs this summer being Shangri-La’s Lost Horizons, Swamp Motel’s Plymouth Point and Burning Man’s #Mutiverse. The live-streaming trend has spread like super speed wifi in the last 6 months, with people from all industries using their own platforms to broadcast to a virtual, and sometimes hybrid (a mix of live and online) audiences. But although this is an excellent substitute – with fantastic data touch-points to mine – online doesn’t beat the human connection from IRL events.

As regulations surrounding group gatherings are gently being relaxed and with that people are wanting that human connection again – what can brands do now that will resonate with their customers without alienating any due to anxiety of the virus?

Here’s a round up of some events that can be enjoyed now, covid-safe…

Group Bubbles

This idea is an effective way to run events now, by grouping people from the same household or bubble at live events, events can happen! Virgin arena, the new venue by Virgin in Newcastle, shows how live concerts can happen safely now. Crowd barrier has been used to create ‘pens’ to safely keep people 2m apart whilst still being able to enjoy the music within their bubble.

At Home Experiences

Over the summer, Jägermeister toured the UK with musical mobile bars that supported on-trade locations and visited people’s back gardens.

The “Jägermeister ice-cold convoy” was made up of three customised vehicles fitted with sound systems.

Be really creative

It’s easy to get bogged down now in all the rules but there’s still scope to be really creative. Two brilliant examples from the Summer are:

Stella Artois street mural at The Truman Brewery to celebrate the launch of pubs reopening. Produced by Produce UK for ad agency Mother. This was a creative response from a major beer brand. The mural incorporated social distancing circles to encourage social distancing in a very creative and on -rand way.

Scene2 also loved the Kings Cross lollipops that appeared, seemingly overnight, decorating the steps leading to the Regent’s Canal area near to Granary Square. The brightly coloured giant lollies again encouraged social distancing in a very creative way. The Lollipop Lounge was produced by Kit and Caboodle.

Embrace Tech

There were two stand-out examples of using tech to safely enable experiential marketing over the summer.

Sketch Events worked with Saatchi & Saatchi on a campaign for the launch of Oral-B’s brand new iO toothbrush. They devised an idea using a fleet of drones and robots to deliver the product to media and influencers across the country for them to try for themselves and review.

Also, beer company, Heineken launched a new beer in Sydney, Australia with the world’s first zero contact bar. Manned by robots, this bar dispensed free samples of Heineken’s new Zer0.0 alcohol-free beer.

Immersive Events

Ticketed, immersive events have been made covid-safe though timed entries and ensuring that groups attending are in the same bubble or family group. Some to check out are:

The Great Gatsby

One Town Records

Crystal Maze Live

A note on hygiene

We have already published a guide on how to be COVID-safe now – see the article here. These are the things people expect to see now as part of the experience:

  • Contact Tracing
  • Sanitising stations
  • Disposable & Recyclable one-use items (menus maps, guides etc) or even better is budget allows, do an app

Let’s Get Back to Live!

We hope this blog has sparked your creativity in terms of what kind of activity is doable now. If you’ve got a project idea that you want to discuss, we always offer free consultancy on all creative feasibility.

Collaborate with us early & save money! We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you want to find out more about Scene2…Get in touch

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