The message of this marketing campaign was simple — it’s OK to draw on the furniture! In fact, visitors to the AFR booth at the Experiential Marketing Summit in Denver, Colorado, were encouraged to embrace their inner child and get creative on a table redesigned as a coloring book.
It all began when Mandy Diaz, AFR’s Account Executive in Florida, received an adult coloring book as a gift from a client. Knowing that color was a big part of AFR’s marketing efforts this year, she shared the idea with Tricia Schmitt, AFR’s Chief Branding Officer.
Coloring books for adults have been growing in popularity. Researchers and art therapists cite the calming effects of adult coloring books. Johanna Basford, a Scottish illustrator who came out with “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book” in 2013, has sold 16 million copies to date worldwide, making her one of the leaders in the field. She has since published Enchanted Forest and Lost Ocean with publisher, Laurence King Books in the UK.
So clearly AFR was onto something when it put pen to paper, or rather, crayon to table. Jose Ramirez, Marketing Manager, put the plan into action. “We wanted to create this type of experience at the Experiential Summit and pull it through all aspects of our involvement there from our sponsorship to our booth,” Ramirez said.
Color Your Events
It began with the name of the campaign, #ColorYourEvents. The creative process continued with a visit to the decal company that brands AFR’s tables with logos. The most important aspect of the decal would be ensuring that the pens didn’t bleed on the material. After several tests concluded they wouldn’t, a large decal of a furniture vignette line drawing was created to fit the Aspen dining table and the booth was designed around it.
At the show, #ColorYourEvents began well before the tradeshow even opened, at the General Session which AFR was sponsoring. Ramirez wanted to create a unique seating arrangement using the company’s colorful tangerine sofas. To work the name of the campaign in, he placed Aspen pub and dining tables between the sofas fitted with branded decals that entreated attendees to “color your event” at AFR’s booth. It worked perfectly.
Over the course of the show attendees drew on their creativity and on the table, completing more than half of it by show’s end. Although everyone stayed between the lines with their coloring pens, this marketing campaign met its objective — that AFR thinks outside the lines when it comes to design and the client experience.
Bob Russo from VDA Productions
Marks Wells from Hello! Destination Management