media update’s Adam Wakefield spoke to Hannerie Visser, founder and creative director at design firm Studio H, about the power of experiential marketing, and why food creates engaging brand moments.

How have you brought experiential marketing into the food sector?

Experiential is a fast and effective way to build brand awareness via one-to-one connections with consumers. It engages all five senses and sparks emotions that form lasting memories, which have been shown to drive brand loyalty.

Traditional advertising can take years, and millions of Rands worth of investment, to build real connections and engagement with people. But with food, science and experiential marketing, we can make this happen in less than a second.

How does experiential marketing create memorable and engaging brand moments?

Our approach is sensorial. We are in the business of creating memories so that people recall the brand associated with that memory for longer. It is memory that creates brand affinity, and which — in the long run — leads to purchases of that brand.

Globally, we’re seeing a massive shift to experiential marketing because of the multisensory, immersive nature of experiences.

Even digital brands are moving into the real world to create experiences. Google, for example, hosted about 650 events in Europe alone in 2017.

We recently introduced the advances in food printing technology to local and international guests at the Business Insider launch at Design Indaba, where Studio H was the food experience curator.

We also did some live 3D food printing at the launch of the new Discovery Food Studio in Johannesburg in March.

What is the Food Memory Archive that Studio H established? 

The Food Memory Archive, together with Studio H’s understanding of science, psychology and social media, enables the experiential agency to design live interactions that forge a memorable bond between brands and people.

The archive is a collection of tastes and culinary senses that humans associate with memories.

People associate peak life moments, like a specific birthday or achieving something significant, with food and it is fascinating to look through the memories we’re collecting because it shows how people use food to remember the key moments of their lives.

Big moments are often marked by specific meals because eating is such an intrinsic part of the human experience. Food is something non-intimidating. Every human knows it, and can associate with it.

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South Africa has a wealth of talent to plug vital gaps in the marketing space. It just needs to be tapped. Read more in our article, How the previously disadvantaged can provide SA ad industries with talent