If you're spending  advertising dollars on traditional TV commercials, chances are you're wasting your money.

Grabbing consumers' attention these days requires showing them something they've never seen before--a difficult advertising task to handle in-house. That's why companies are increasingly handing it to so-called "experiential" agencies.

Brooklyn-based  Fake Love is one such agency. Its mission? Design unique experiences--involving a brand and caught on video--that have a high chance of going viral. 

Some of the agency's most innovative projects involve strangers in public spaces who are attracted to the experiences out of curiosity and end up participating in one way or another.

One of the company's recent campaigns for Lexus produced a viral video generating 2.3 million unique online views and a 230 percent increase in dealership traffic, according to the luxury car company. Entitled "Trace Your Road," the experience put 10 finalists chosen from hundreds of applicants on Facebook into a Lexus IS Hybrid car with F1 race car driver Jarno Trulli. While sitting in the passenger seat, the finalists would chart a course for the car on a tablet, which Trulli would attempt to follow in real time.

To see the end result of the experience, check out the video below.

 

"People are actually taking time out of their day to these things without us shoving something down their throats with banner ads and the usual stuff," says Fake Love co-founder Layne Braunstein, a former freelance creative director who worked for companies including GE and Vice Media.

Founded in 2010, Fake Love has won multiple awards from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for producing marketing content that has gone viral. Some of the agency's other clients include Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Ralph Lauren. 

"It's getting more mainstream," Braunstein says, adding that when he started Fake Love, many brands didn't understand what experiential marketing was.

One of Fake Love's strategies for making its projects appeal to a large group of people is to mix retro concepts with elements of newness, Braunstein says. For the Lexus project, pairing a F1 race car driver with a tablet-based navigation system helped achieve this. And fortunately for Lexus, hiring Fake Love to create an experiential ad didn't require more money than a traditional commercial.

"It didn't take too much convincing," Braunstein says. "It was convincing them to take the money that they were going to spend on [a traditional] commercial, and then not do the commercial." 

Published on: Jan 20, 2016