Inside the San Miguel Experience: why the brand is investing in immersive events

San Miguel launched its Rich List campaign earlier this year in a bid to celebrate individuals who have dedicated their lives to seeking our new experiences. Now the beer purveyor is turning to live events to help recruit applicants.

Building on the 2016 Rich List, this year's rankings will feature a host of carefully chosen trailblazers. In the meantime the company hosted a three-day event to let consumers get their own taste for exploration at London's 1 Marylebone Street.

Dubbed 'The San Miguel Experience' the extravaganza featured a variety of activities, including adventure planning workshops, patisserie lessons with world-renowned chef Willem Verlooy, talks from explorer and Channel 4 star Levison Wood and more.

The event also hosted the UK premiere of the immersive virtual reality simulator, Birdly, which lets individuals experience what it it like to actually fly over the cityscape of New York.

Dharmesh Rana, senior brand manager at San Miguel UK, told The Drum: "Experiential allows us to get a deeper engagement with our drinkers. It's not to say that other forms of advertising don't work – they still have a role – but actually we want people to really understand what San Miguel is all about and why it's a brand they would want to be seen drinking; you can only do that when you start telling a story."

He added: "For me that's the real benefit experiential gives you because it's not a non-transactional TV ad, it's a way for people to live, breathe, touch, feel and engage with the brand and that will hopefully give them a lasting memory."

San Miguel's millennial-focused strategy helped the brand achieve record sales towards the end of 2016, a success it has attributed to both the craft beer movement and the rise in demand for "global beers".

Video filmed and edited by Jamie McMurray

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she has interviewed key figures from brands like Airbnb, Amnesty International, Facebook and Spotify. She has covered international events in Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as Advertising Week Europe.

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