Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Marketecture, as the name suggests, was an attempt to bring together methods of marketing with our knowledge of space, as architecture students - a hybrid that would help us understand the role of space through physical as well as digital means in the world of marketing. Studying architecture for two and a half years has trained us on how spaces impart sensorial experiences, but this elective gave an exposure towards how a spatially driven experience could be used to represent products/brands etc. What stayed with me through the examples was the way the concept for a campaign was driven- being ambiguous in order to generate curiosity about a product in the mind of the viewer. For instance, one of the case studies was of “ForeverMark Diamonds” -their campaign revolved around the origin of their diamonds and it focused on the quarrying activities in the African wilderness and how the company relocated the elephants to a safer and similar natural habitat as they would have been impacted by the blasting of mines. This is a way to generate curiosity among the viewer and draw them to know more about the brand.
Stories create emotional connections between brands and their consumers.
Reflecting back on the course, it was quite interesting to look at the marketing campaigns of certain famous brands and how they have to keep up with the changing times and sentiments of race,sexuality, caste and politics across the world. At a time when we are surrounded by advertisements 24/7 be it on social media platforms, music streaming apps, newspapers, on television or even on billboards - there is a race to be noticeable to the general public and be in general more approachable via various forms of media and to leave an imprint on the mind of the viewer or listener.
Marketing would then have to take a leap of creativity and try to interact with the customer through space driven experiences. As creators, makers and innovators, across our varied professional engagements, an emotion is a key connection we look to create in the things we make.
The role of space in marketing is essential more so post the Covid-19 pandemic as people are venturing out of their homes in spaces of more public nature and wanting to be a part of new experiences.
According to the brief, a group of 5-6 people chose one brand that they studied and tried to come up with a new space oriented marketing strategy for it.
My group looked at “Rehwa Weavers Association” situated on the Maheshwar Fort that sells their handloom sarees on the Fort and via their website. Our approach was to make the brand more noticeable and available to the general public in order to bring awareness and appreciation for a practice of weaving that goes back hundreds of years.
Wooden Looms used to weave the Maheshwari cotton and silk sarees at Rehwa, Maheshwar Fort
The intervention for the same was an installation that for a visitor would mimic the experience of sitting on a wooden loom and weaving strands of silk threads, while an audio visual played the life and ecosystem of the people working at Rehwa. It would give the customer a simulatory experience rather than them being just a viewer in a shop. This installation would be introduced in stores that support regional crafts and textiles like FabIndia which would bring Rehwa to the global market.
Installation giving simulatory experience of sitting on a loom
This exercise helped to understand the thought process and research that brands generally go through to catch the attention of the viewer and draw them in. Some of the questions that we delved into were:
A space is no longer something that requires physical investment.
Are the tangible and intangible objects now valued the same?
Where does a built environment end and a virtual one begin?
We currently stand at a crossroad between the physical and the digital world, heightened more by an unprecedented climate. So, then how do we communicate stories without compromising on the emotional connect between the consumer and the content.