Bridging the Age Gap Between Toddlers and Millennials through Experiential Marketing

AUTHOR: Derse  /  July 28, 2016

CATEGORY: IndustryStrategy

It’s easy enough to make a visually-striking campaign, but creating a campaign that focuses on participation is an entirely new level. Participation is a key component many companies are incorporating in customer experiences—it’s a driving force behind engagement in not only one product, but an entire brand of services. It’s also a way to both market to and interact with a wide age-range.

It’s difficult for any campaign to use a message that will impact both a 13-year old and 30-year old, but using participation—whether you are targeting a single demographic or multiple demographics—can be the key to activating the level of engagement you need.

Take a look at the toddler to young children age segment. There’s a two-step process to engagement in the purchasing process:

1. Your product needs to attract the attention of a child between two and nine-years-old.
2. It then needs to transcend the initial engagement to show its educational and nutritional value to the parents actually purchasing the product. Marketing tactics can get lost in the shuffle between these two variant age groups, but getting kids actively involved can up the chances of their parents buying a product.

Weetabix is one company that crosses the barrier between engaging both kids and adults. Their Weetabuddies campaign has been majorly successful by encouraging children to make faces on their Weetabix with fruit, which simultaneously got them excited about a nutritious breakfast. Promoting this concept along with brand-developed Weetabuddy characters across channels—TV, social media and even parenting blogs—Weetabix captured the buying power of children along with their parents.


The same concept can be applied when marketing directly to buyers like millennials and older generations. With a more intentional process to purchasing than playing with food, products need to get consumers to value their vision and align with goals. TOMS, a multi-million dollar company, does an amazing job of creating a purpose for consumers to back. The company essentially donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair bought. The company’s culture of philanthropy has encouraged consumer interaction through shared stories and photos—further aligning TOMS mission with theirs.

These are just a couple of examples of ways to actively engage with consumers. Although participation may be the common denominator between successful marketing campaigns, it can take many forms to organically be part of your next marketing initiative or event. At Derse, we consider experiential opt-ins for every exhibit we design, event we plan and environment we build that not only actively involve your target audience but fit naturally into your brand’s mission and aesthetic.

We believe—and have experienced firsthand—that audience participation leads to high engagement from consumers of any age, gender, profession or industry. We worked with ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in creating a specialty playroom for four boys—ages three, five, seven and nine. Experiential marketing components included:

– Hand scanners that activate the room with a subsonic rumble to reveal personalized superhero identities and costumes
– Centrally located command console internally lit for four personal computers and added storage space
– High-tech and innovative environmental surveillance video: 1. For the children (i.e. the superheroes): monitor the exterior of their home 2. For the parents: allow them to view into the room, using their in-home monitoring system Superhero Headquarters
– Shelving displays holding Marvel-donated superhero props and action figures

Extreme Makeover SideExtreme Makeover





We believe—and have experienced firsthand—that audience participation leads to high engagement from consumers of any age, gender, profession or industry.

The Proof Behind the Impact of Experiential Marketing
The Chicken-And-Egg Situation of Virtual Reality
Forbes Lists Seven Reasons Why You Should be Implementing Experiential Marketing

  • ABC
  • brand engagement
  • Extreme Makeover
  • Participation
  • TOMS
  • Weetabix



BIO:Derse is a complete face-to-face marketing agency and exhibit builder with more than 450 employees and six full-service divisions. Ranked as a Top 10 Experiential/Event Marketing Agency by Advertising Age and B2B Top Shop by Chief Marketer, Derse brings a smarter wins approach to exhibits, events and environments for client programs in more than 50 countries.