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It’s worth being locked up! Escape Rooms: the new playground for marketers

One might think that being locked up is a thing of nightmares, because now it is the new thing. Major fashion industry events such as the South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference, the escape room it’s the attraction that gets everyone talking. And it’s not just the participants, because this newfound love for the immersive experience is also opening a door to innovative marketing opportunities.

Exactly what it is year escape room? You can ask. Imagine this: you are in a closed room. You have some random clues and you have no idea how to get out. You might think that this is just another plot of one of the saw film franchises, but in fact they are the ingredients of a escape room experience. This ‘madness’ involves a party of up to 12 players, depending on where you book, who have to use mental and physical agility to unlock door after door, moving frantically from room to room to uncover cryptic clues. The capture? You have only 60 minutes to free yourself.

Granted, this isn’t a new concept, but after years of VR parading as the cool big brother in the world of immersive experiences, escape rooms have been confidently working their way up the experiential ranks to take the title. of legitimately ‘wow’. Not surprisingly, marketers have tracked this down and are now finding innovative ways to maximize experience exposure. The ‘tied’ style of marketing agreement seems to be the dominant formula for this.

Famous examples to date include Disney hosting a pop-up escape experience linked with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Austin Texas escape game (America’s most popular escape experience) is being absorbed by FOX in time for the launch of a new series of Prison Break, and HBO mounting a multiroom installation with the theme game of thrones veepY Silicon Valley. Intelligent.

Although this style of marketing is also nothing new in itself, what makes it successful is that the products fit perfectly with the experience, and we know that consumers, more than ever, are forced to spend their money on “doing” in instead of traditional methods. advertising methods, that is, simply ‘observe’.

This trend can be linked to the world of video games and electronic sports. Marketers launched games and then introduced “real world” experiences: events, competitions, and interactions that complemented the game and made it tangible. This is where smart partnerships and collaborations come into play. The perfect partnership founded here would be a mutually beneficial business relationship where the escape room company and the intellectual property (or copyright) owners work together to gain maximum exposure and expand the customer base, which will cause a “win: win” agreement.

Escape 60 in Brazil pulled off a blinding example of this in 2015 when they linked up with Ubisoft, the creators of the fantasy giant. assassin’s Creed, to get ahead of the game and create an escape room orchestrated around the launch of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. America’s Escape Game, Marriott Vacations Worldwide and Vistana Signature Experiences have also collaborated to bridge the worlds of hospitality and entertainment, now a growing trend. Alex Reece, CEO of America’s Escape Game, commented in an interview at the time (October 2016): “We see a very bright future in the addition of escape rooms powered by America’s Escape Game at multiple Vistana locations in the coming months.” and years. There is no doubt that this powerful alliance will bring the explosive escape room experience to many enthusiasts around the world.”

Fast-forward to 2017, and that same love of immersion drives many of the elaborate marketing activations we see in escape rooms today. “I think the immersion allows it to be more personal and personalized,” Joanna Scholl, HBO’s vice president of marketing, was quoted as saying in an interview at this year’s SXSW conference. When she was asked about HBO: The Escape she commented, “Each person feels that they themselves are part of that experience, and it leaves them with a much more memorable note.”

Ryan Coan, founder of the Creative Riff agency, the experiential marketers who were the creators of the Prison Break The escape room takeover also commented at the same event: “Experiential marketing is special because it’s a commitment. It’s something that fans are picking out to do. Fans are so obsessed with this content, they’re so in love with these characters and their stories, that letting them get into that story and feel like they’re a part of it, even for a moment, is really special. experience.”

Design and innovation are at the forefront of this clever marketing trend as each room can have a different theme or difficulty level where the clues will also be related to the theme of each room. The quality of the room has to be excellent and the immersion factor in the foreground. The more participants feel that they are ‘part of that space’, the more lasting impact the experience will have. This means competition is fierce and marketers need to be smarter than ever to find the perfect hook. That said, it doesn’t seem like this method of marketing is slowing down, so keep an eye out for the next immersive escape room experience jumping off a screen near you soon!

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