NEW YORK: Experiential marketing taps consumer passions in the true sense of the word and offers a possible way around the growing practice of ad blocking, a leading industry figure has suggested.

Lucien Boyer, global president and CEO of Havas Sports & Entertainment, described it as "the logic of immersion".

Whether it was football, movies or music, "[f]or those two hours you are away from your normal life. It's the moment you've been waiting for all week long, where you forget – it's that intense engagement," he told Ad Exchanger.

And through experiential marketing, brands could help fans get better access to those passions, perhaps by getting them backstage at a concert or telling them a previously unheard story.

"If you do it properly, it creates a long-lasting, sincere relationship with your target audience," he stated.

And a relationship like that could be vital to brands in a world cluttered by advertising.

"People aren't ready to be imposed upon by things that they are not interested in, which is why they are doing ad blocking," said Boyer. "Especially for the younger generation – they're not going to pay attention at all if you don't start with something they like."

But becoming a participant in people's conversations doesn't come easy. "You need to bring something to the game that is enhancing the experience of the fan," he explained.

The rewards for brands come in a number of ways including access to valuable data.

Boyer noted how many people were unhappy with the idea of brands searching through private data, "[b]ut when it comes to passions, they are very open  ... That's because when you are in your passion, you are yourself, and you're sincerer".

And if the data collected is meaningful it can provide a competitive edge, allowing brands to adapt the way they communicate services and products.

"This is a way to profile consumers," said Boyer. "And it's not about doing branded entertainment on the side. This should be in mainstream advertising."

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff