With the Olympics and the election season of 2012 in the rear-view mirror, where does Experiential Marketing go from here? Really, where do we go? 2012 provided a pretty obvious, easy-to-follow roadmap for the year: align with the annual sporting events (Super Bowl, March Madness and the World Series), get into the Olympic spirit, cheer for Democracy, and that’s a wrap.

Just so you know, I realize how understated and heedless that sounds. It’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the creativity behind the brand experience that Coca-Cola took to the Games, or the brilliance ofDunkin Donuts’ Campaign campaign. The real point is that in 2013, consumer attention will be far less concentrated between two large-scale events. The Olympics brought more than 500,000 spectators to London, and drew in more than 219 million viewers in the U.S. alone (the most watched event in TV history, in spite of or because of NBC’s controversial belief that time-delay for the sake of primetime > immediate gratification for the sake of, well, human nature). Rest assured, no event in 2013 will come close to commanding that sort of attention.

Which presents opportunity.

In 2013, you have the opportunity to write your own route, target your own markets and get more intimate with your consumers. With the open road ahead of you, perhaps this year you can visit that hyper-targeted festival that couldn’t tip the quantity-vs.-quality scales in 2012. Maybe with the cash you don’t have to spend on inflated, premium ad space this year, you can bring some love to those out-of-the-way affiliates you couldn’t get to last year.

Either way, it’s time to dust off that GPS and hit the road.

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