If you're interested in modern marketing, you'd be well-served to book a flight to New York and a hotel room for 2015 for the second weekend in October. That's usually the time of "The New Yorker" Festival and you won't find anywhere, I believe, a better example of content marketing, event marketing, affinity marketing, just plain marketing.
The Festival has been running for 15 years now--in Manhattan, not Brooklyn--and it seems to get better with each passing season. Thousands of New Yorker readers turn out. The events sell out in just seconds and each is preceded by a line down the block and affluent pseudo-intellectuals sharpening their elbows to get a seat up front.
In the past, my wife and I had attended a star-studded literary tribute to the exemplary New Yorker writer, Joseph Mitchell, an eating tour of lower Manhattan guided by Calvin Trillin and tugboat tour of New York Harbor--all the way up to the bowels of Perth Amboy.
This year we saw Jane Mayer, author of "The Dark Side" conduct a Skype interview with the on-the-lam whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Then we saw New Yorker humor editor David Remnick interview Larry David. The weekend concluded for us with a screening of Barry Levinson's new movie "The Humbling," followed by film-critic David Denby interviewing Levinson.
In all, the three-day weekend of the event is well-curated, well-produced and well-welled. What the New Yorker's really doing with the Festival is bringing their content (which is among the best in the world) to life. You're inside a living breathing magazine. You're not just reading content, you're immersed in it.
Too much of today's bullshit experiential or bullshit content marketing is bland or done on the cheap. To my mind it represents a permutation of David Ogilvy's warning "The Consumer isn't a moron, she's your wife."
No, most of the short films you see online, or on Agency Spy are badly-produced masturbatory displays. They aren't intelligent. They don't add value. They don't bring anything to life and make it real.
Like most things, if you're going to do it, do it right.
For me, experiential marketing doesn't get better than the New Yorker Festival. They don't, like Verizon or Time-Warner or Bank of America or MasterCard just plaster their logo everywhere and assault you with their bombast.
They actually consider their viewers and treat them with respect.
You should try it some time.