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Why the NYT and other publishers are adding experiential marketing services

Over the past several months, The New York Times has helped the automaker Kia put the latest model of its Cadenza sedan in some unusual situations. The car’s been at the heart of an augmented reality presentation led by an interior designer; it’s been turned into a musical instrument played by various musicians; it had the starring role in a noir-themed evening event at the NeueHouse in Los Angeles.

The campaign, scattered across multiple cities over a period of many weeks, was led by Fake Love, a 50-person experiential agency that the Times acquired one year ago.

As publishers look to move further up the food chain and expand the scope of the work they do with brands and marketers, publishers are adding experiential marketing services.

The Times and Condé Nast recently bought their way into that business by acquiring existing agencies. Other publishers are hiring their own people. Meredith, for example, hired experiential marketer Chrissann Gasparro away from the Omnicom-owned agency Serino Coyne to build an experiential marketing services arm inside its branded-content studio, Studio M, in July.

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