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To brand affinity and beyond.

It’s a warm June night in Edinburgh and the last thing I feel like doing is watching ET. It’s the 70th Edinburgh Festival and although we’re itching to see a film, I just assumed it would be something newer… Something I’d not watched a million times with my daughter.

As I take my seat, I can’t help thinking that the next 114 minutes are going to drag like a forgotten dog tied to a pick-up truck. What I haven’t factored into the equation is that this is no normal screening.

Firstly, the film is being shown at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre – the venue for its UK premiere in 1982. Secondly, John Williams’ iconic score is being performed live by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and as they tune up, I have to admit there’s a flutter of excitement somewhere in the pit of my stomach (although, this may have had something to do with the prospect of a proper interval and small tubs of overpriced ice cream).

The lights go down, the orchestra strikes up and it isn’t long before I have an epiphany. For the first time, I’m not simply watching the film – I’m experiencing it; and long after the end credits have finished rolling, I get to thinking how the most memorable brands, like this one-off screening, go above and beyond to immerse consumers in a fun and unforgettable experience.

It’s all about the experience

Take the Premier League for example, the richest football league in the world with an estimated 1.2 billion fans. It has extremely sophisticated and innovative social and digital media platforms through which they can engage fans, so why do they still undertake overseas tours during the off-season? What do these excursions achieve that technology can’t?

Besides being financially lucrative, these tours allow fans to engage with teams on a more physical level than would otherwise be possible through social and digital content. Clubs know that by immersing them in a fun and unforgettable experience, fans will form a deeper connection with their team and become supporters for life. At Tribe, we’re always striving to help brands engage with their customers in exciting and innovative ways – our recent video project for MHR is tangible proof of this.

Leaving that Edinburgh theatre, having been truly immersed in a cinematic experience like never before, I certainly felt a new affinity for the pint-sized, testicle-faced, space-invader. And while it probably won’t make me a fan for life, it has made me think about hiring a local string quartet to see if they can sort out my irrational aversion to Titanic.

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