Braunstein’s 3 Rules of Experiential Advertising

Advertising is dead. Long live advertising. Especially when it’s experiential in nature and thus “forever agile” and “the last bastion of advertising.” This is according to award-winning creative and futurist Layne Braunstein, Chief Creative Officer at Fake Love, a New York Times company.

At a recent TEDxFultonStreet event in NYC, Braunstein outlines three essential premises for experiential practitioners in his aptly titled talk, “Experiential Marketing is the Future of Advertising.”

Active, Not Passive Engagement

This principle might seem simple on the surface but it’s one that often gets lost in the gulf between a mere event and an experience that truly engages. In this model of what Braunstein terms “environmental to human design,” a space is able to actively curate itself according to the interaction shared between it and the experience of the person within it.

As Braunstein astutely observes, “Experiential is not a medium but a belief — It’s a belief that when you walk into one of those experiences, you’ll get emotionally connected to that experience and your life will be forever changed. And that’s a big deal.”

It Has to Be Live

Experiences occur in real time — when is present and available to a meaningful moment in the midst of its unfolding, true and moving engagement can occur. Video may have killed the radio star but it’s no threat to lived experience, which experiential marketers have a mandate to create — otherwise, it’s just noise.


Our culture privileges sights and sounds, not least of which because they’re the most portable and transmittable via media. But at least three other senses need to be activated to tell a whole story. Your experience should speak to the complete person and the way to reach them is through their senses of touch, taste, and smell as well as equilibrium, thermoception, and the flow of time. Post-digital storytelling requires marketers to not only engage the mind but the body too, which leverages personal presence into total engagement.

As Braunstein sums up, “We are in an age of experience here and it’s here to stay.”

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