Behind the Locked Door

If you haven’t been to an escape room yet…What are you waiting for? No more Settler’s of Catan Saturdays! Escape Rooms are the new thing to do and if you’ve done one, you know why.

The basic idea? Throw a few people in a room (willingly), tell them a story to set the stage (and atmosphere) and then complete the challenge. Oh yea, you’re also locked in the room and your mission is to escape. Sounds kind of messed up…But it’s all in good fun and it’s about the closest you’ll get to living a video game.

Even more interesting than the concept is how broadly these games are being embraced in different industries. Pop-up escape rooms, touring escape rooms, and theme park escape rooms are becoming the norm and these new applications have opened up a lot of doors in the marketing world.

One brand that changed the game is Disney. Possibly the most iconic amusement park in the world, Disney showed they weren’t too cool to try something new, and instead, used their creative genius to craft their own escape room. And in proper Disney fashion, they went all out. Designing incredibly detailed sets with complex room setups, plus some dedicated actors, dressed to the nines, to really bring the story to life. While this approach is becoming an increasingly common way for entertainment companies to connect with their audience in an engaging and impactful way, we’re seeing marketers take things one step further.

Introducing the mobile escape room – or for Servus, Escape the Bank. An Albertan Credit Union had the brilliant idea to partner up with a local Escape Room company and develop a marketing initiative using the interactive element of Escape Rooms paired with their goal of educating the masses on financial responsibility. They kept the idea traditional, and asked visitors to escape the bank, all the while finding tidbits of information on the benefits of joining a credit union.

The Escape Room industry found success by capitalizing on word-of-mouth to generate buzz, hitting all demographics completely organically and because of it, the market is expanding more rapidly than you might think. In the span of about 5 years, escape rooms have started popping up on every other street corner in cities around the world, each having their own spin on themes and challenges. Some rooms deviate from the classical ‘escape style’ challenge and instead place emphasis on individual tasks you need to complete as a team in order to win.

For marketers struggling to find engaging ways to reach their audience, Escape Rooms have popped up at the perfect time.

So what are you waiting for? With Halloween season upon us, now’s the perfect time to put your problem-solving skills and bravery to the test. Halloween is, of course, Escape Room Artists’ favourite time of year…So many thrilling stories and characters to choose from…Are you up for the challenge?