What Late Night Teaches Us About Shareable Experiences


Wednesday, May 20th marked the end of an era. David Letterman filmed his final Late Show on CBS. And although we’re sad to see him go, his retirement ushers in a new generation of late night hosts & comedy

So, what does any of this have to do with events, experiential marketing, or experiences?

YouTube Channel Statistics
Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: 7.4 million subscribers | 2.9 billion views
Jimmy Kimmel Live: 5.9 million subscribers | 2.1 billion views
Late Show with David Letterman: 0.24 million subscribers | 0.10 billion views

The point is that even though David Letterman created amazing late night segments like “Top 10” and “Will it Float?” it’s clear that Late Show’s more traditional format is not asshareable as it’s modern competitors. Each new viewer that a viral video attracts becomes a proud brand advocate leading them to share on social media channels, and comment on their experience.

So how do you create an equally shareable marketing experience? Well I’m glad you asked.

1. Be Disruptive.

Most of the top late night clips that go viral are those that put celebrities in precarious circumstances. We like to share the unexpected. Think about what you say when someone asks you about your day. You don’t focus on the mundane like your drive to work, or checking your email. You discuss the experiences that were out of the ordinary, like seeing your favorite brand show up at your neighborhood park, or local mall. The best way to connect with consumers is by being where they are, and showing up with a unique & larger-than-life environment will definitely pique their interest.

2. Create A Community Through Social Media


Kimmel & Fallon both have excellent social media presences, which easily allow for engagement with their viewers. Not only should each of your events be part of a larger integrated marketing campaign, but it’s important to ensure your audience knows they’re part of a larger community – a community made up of lovers of your brand. Using hashtags is a great way to emphasize this by creating a medium to connect with your consumers and giving them the feeling that they’re part of your brand.

3. Provide a takeaway

Create a memorable experience and consumers are sure to document & share the experience. Whether it’s a laugh, a 3D printed cookie, or the chance to sing your favorite song in the middle of Times Square, memories drive emotion, and emotions drive behavior.

Provide an incredible experience for your consumers, and you can be sure that they’ll be loyal to you brand.