Chad Tons of Infinity Marketing Team on 5 Ways to Create a Wow! Customer Experience
CEO, Infinity Marketing Team

Deliver A Story Telling Vehicle That The Consumer Will Always Remember.

Asa part of our series about the five things a business should do to create a Wow! customer experience, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chad Tons.

Chad Tons, CEO and founder of Infinity Marketing Team (IMT) is an industry leader in experiential marketing. His award-winning agency, based in Los Angeles, specializes in creating unique customer experiences through event activations, product demonstrations, mobile campaigns, and branded social media competitions. IMT has been consistently showcased on Event Marketer’s ‘It List’ for the last two decades, while Chad is recognized as a BizBash influential marketing and events professional. With a client roster encompassing entertainment, education, fashion, technology, food & beverage, automotive, travel, and finance, Chad’s broad industry knowledge equips him to handle a diverse clientele. Partnered with PICO Corporation since 2019, Chad has successfully led over 10,000 marketing campaigns to achieve clients’ brand objectives. His vision is to seamlessly integrate brands into consumers’ lives.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

InExperiential Marketing, who we “wow” can be a wide spectrum — clients, partners, customers, and defined targeted audiences, B2B and B2C. Ever since I was a student promoting Nike with USC Trojan Athletics, I have loved creating awe-inspiring experiences to increase trust, loyalty, and sales for the world’s most impactful brands. After rising up the ranks at Nike and adidas, I returned home to Los Angeles and founded Infinity Marketing Team (IMT) in 2001 to specialize in experiential marketing across industries.

I was thrilled to have the Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau as IMT’s very first client. Our inaugural campaign produced custom 20x30 interactive booths at multiple PGA tour stops where consumers learned about various Hawaii tourism opportunities via numerous hands-on experiences. I vividly remember personally distributing Hawaii’s famous chocolate-covered macadamia nuts to thousands of attendees while I registered them in our database.

Within the same year, we seized the opportunity to secure significant contracts with other prestigious clients, allowing us to execute bolder and more innovative campaigns. One partnership that is particularly close to my heart is our enduring client relationship with HP, that lasts to this day! This alliance continues to thrive and has earned us dozens of top industry awards.

Today, with our ever-expanding team of multi-disciplinary creative, technical, and production experts, Infinity stands at the forefront of the experiential industry as a true trailblazer. Our commitment to delivering game-changing campaigns has resulted in over 150 prestigious craft awards, cementing our position as a top experiential marketing firm consistently recognized on annual industry lists, such as Event Marketer’s prestigious ‘IT LIST’ for the past 20+ years. IMT has been a trusted partner for prominent brands, such as HP Inc., HP Enterprise, Uber, Promethean, Intel, State Farm, and the NAACP.


Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Let me take you back to 1999 when I had the privilege of helping lead a remarkable adidas 360-campaign initiative for the Women’s World Cup. The industry trades quickly acknowledged our exceptional work, awarding us an impressive A+ rating. I remember this moment afterward when the whole team gathered in a room, reveling in what we had accomplished and savoring our success.

It was then that our Sports Marketing Director posed an important question: Did we have any data demonstrating the impact of our campaign on sales? The room went silent, and we all stared blankly at one another as there weren’t any quantifiable mechanisms put in place for such an ask. Looking back, that moment is hilarious, but we were all mortified at the time.

Needless to say, that experience served as a valuable lesson, and since then, I have always ensured that EVERY campaign I’m involved in is equipped with results-driven ROI mechanisms. In fact, the entire Experiential Marketing industry has evolved significantly from the early days when simply having brand visibility was the main focus.

With Infinity Marketing Team, our strategies now revolve around thoughtfully crafting touch points, implementing efficient registration processes, seamlessly integrating with advanced martech stacks — including tailored consumer relationship management platforms — and conducting comprehensive consumer surveys to achieve pinpoint accuracy on defined target markets for optimal impact.


None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’m grateful to so many individuals — both past and present — that have helped me along the way that picking one person almost seems unfair. But since you’re asking the question, I’ll go with the amazing Bob Major. Bob was a PR Director at HP and had worked directly with me on the Women’s World Cup during my Adidas days. He and his colleagues wanted to create an event series to showcase HP’s mini printer and camera lines to consumers throughout the United States.

Bob gave me the opportunity to enter a proposal against many HP long-tenured agencies, and we won it with a concept we named the YOU+HP Experience! When we launched the YOU+HP Experience campaign in 2006, its wild success sent seismic waves across the entire industry. Our campaign was the most aggressive experiential mobile tour ever created. It housed over 40 HP products, had onsite sales that outsold HP partner stores, and was attended by over two million consumers during its run! As the remarkable sales results began to roll in during this campaign, it was the first time that strategies for national brand campaigns and public relations efforts all shifted to accompany an experiential platform in their marketing campaigns. I am proud to have championed this change.


Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. This might be intuitive, but I think it’s helpful to specifically articulate it. In your words, can you share a few reasons why great customer service and a great customer experience is essential for success in business?

At Infinity, our experiential campaigns are as creatively diverse as our corporate clients. Our recipe for success tends to come with our campaigns having three necessary ingredients: Groundbreaking. Innovative. Disruptive.

To achieve these pillars and create campaigns that become global case studies, there has to be the utmost level of confidence and trust from our clients. I love quoting one of our Fortune 100 clients who always says, “When Infinity is leading my project, I can kick up my feet and open a bottle of wine, and I know every detail of the campaign will be done to perfection.”

What sets us apart from competitors are the wildly innovative campaigns we produce, and what keeps clients returning is the flawless execution of our integrated full-service team. IMT further stands out by delivering a focused strategy for each client that consistently produces groundbreaking return on investment. Experiential today is more than pretty stuff with a logo; it’s about results.


We have all had times, either in a store or online, when we’ve had a very poor experience as a customer or user. If the importance of a good customer experience is so intuitive and apparent, where is the disconnect? How is it that so many companies do not make this a priority?

I was literally stuck on a call wasting 30 minutes with a cable company the other morning. It happens to us all at various times! You’re right that for whatever reason — headcount cuts, revenue reporting, digitization, etc. — many companies do not prioritize the consumer experience. But that’s also why we are in business! In experiential marketing, we create unforgettable experiences for audiences that directly convert to new customers for our clients.

Our job is to help brands to be storytellers and prioritize memorable experiences — from embedded activations at special events, product demonstration mobile tours to branded social media competitions — that create instinctual and conscious associations with brands and corporate goods. The experiential marketing industry has become so much more than forgettable logo-branded trinkets and event posters without measurable results. I am proud to have led this shift in the marketing world over the last two decades with my Infinity Marketing Team firm.


Do you think that more competition helps force companies to improve the customer experience they offer? Are there other external pressures that can force a company to improve the customer experience?

Competition will always force companies to take a closer look at their structures and offerings that impact customer experiences. However, the companies that regularly prioritize and improve their customer experience tend to be more agile and responsive to change. As a result, it’s usually easier for them to understand their customer needs, promote customer feedback, develop service standards, and expand employee training. At Infinity Marketing Team, we love keeping our competitors on their toes, making headlines, and winning craft awards, but our focus is always on impressing our corporate clients! Our biggest competition is going above and beyond what we’ve already accomplished year after year.


Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?

HP endeavored to create and debut an artistic masterpiece at Coachella, taking the onsite and global online audience through a mind-bending, transformative sustainability experience. HP wanted an event so spectacular, it would compete with Coachella’s headline performers.

The now-acclaimed REGEN (Gen Z’s abbreviation for regeneration) encompassed the brilliantly designed sustainable words created by nine world-renowned digital artists, with combined NFT art sales of $1 million plus, put to an emotional score by Grammy nominee ODESZA. REGEN took viewers on an adventurous journey of re-birth, growth, and magnificent life of a green, lush planet. It presented the dream of a better tomorrow with a single goal — with everyone working together — the world can become a better place.

Demonstrating its leadership on sustainability, HP sought to create funding for its sustainability partner, the Arbor Day Foundation. The entire 5-minute, 20-second REGEN experience was converted into a 1:1 NFT to be auctioned on the sustainable blockchain network, Solana.

The “WOW” factor of the campaign was solidified as the excitement surrounding REGEN spread like wildfire, producing long lines with 2.5-hour waits. Festival attendees chose to miss live performances of the world’s biggest music celebrities to be mesmerized by REGEN.

But for one customer who was “WOWED” more than the rest, he took his experience to the next level…

Did that Wow! experience have any long-term ripple effects? Can you share the story?

This customer purchased the 1:1 NFT and established a record-setting sale for the largest 1:1 art piece ever auctioned on the Solana platform. Moreover, all proceeds from the purchase were donated directly to HP’s sustainability partner — the Arbor Day Foundation, the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to planting trees — to complete this groundbreaking story.

Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience.

Whether creating a campaign and strategy geared at Gen Z or developing a physical event presence that leaves the participant with a brand interaction they’ll never forget, the following 5 vessels are essential for any business leader to truly create their own WOW moment for customers…


1. Understand — REALLY Understand — Your Target Market & Audience.

IMT advised State Farm to shift from traditional Esports sponsorships to the insurance company creating their own proprietary Esports event that catered to the larger ‘gaming’ marketplace. The result, State Farm Gamerhood Challenge, was a unique blend of a tournament, reality show, and commercial, garnering 1 Billion impressions in the Millennial and Gen Z target market. The celebrity gamer content creators lived in the world’s largest gaming neighborhood, experiencing relatable (yet insurable) accidents, with two Infinity-engineered Twitch extensions for a gamified audience integration. It’s won multiple awards, including ‘Brand of the Year’ at the Tempest Awards and ‘Best Interactive Experience’ at the Muse Creative Awards.


2. Help Your Client Be As Big & Bold As Your Vision.

At CES (‘the most influential tech event in the world’) 2012, IMT made the decision with our HP and Intel clients to create their entire CES product experience OFF of the traditional show floor. It was the first tech art-meets-EDM interactive environment ever developed. In addition to the record attendance achieved (from partners, media, and customers), multiple HP and Intel products still won ‘Best In Show’ at CES despite not having an ‘official’ presence! This is when the power of our experiential industry truly flexed its muscle.


3. Deliver A Story Telling Vehicle That The Consumer Will Always Remember.

To create the REGEN at Coachella experience I previously spoke about, we spent four months collaborating with our globally renowned digital artists so their collection of scenes featuring 9 unique, sustainable words came together for a cohesive 5-minute masterpiece on sustainability that led to groundbreaking results!

A story of REGEN’s magnitude needed a 360-degree storytelling masterpiece, so we developed and constructed The Antarctic, the world’s largest mobile geodesic dome. Powered by 48 HP products, The Antarctic became a Coachella landmark, attracting capacity crowds.


4. Make It Groundbreaking Every Time!

With the 2023 Big Game being held at State Farm Stadium in Arizona, State Farm wanted to redefine how a company should leverage naming rights. IMT urged State Farm to opt out of a traditional Super Bowl TV commercial. Instead, State Farm would take their spot to TikTok to ‘double down’ on their naming rights and creatively demonstrate that the “Big Game Came To Us!”

State Farm’s goal was a lofty one: State Farm would compete with the event’s massive live viewership with a viral TikTok post. To accomplish this record-setting feat, IMT strategically partnered with the World’s #1 most-followed TikTok Creator — Khaby Lame. Combining Khaby with the brand’s own Jake From State Farm, the pair would tell a provocative story to drive both PR and earned media opportunities in a way never before experienced! Over 220 Million viewers watched the Khaby Lame + Jake from State Farm TikTok post, a number that FAR SURPASSED the Super Bowl’s live viewership!


5. Edutainment (Being Informative and Entertaining) Is a Must.

As part of its commitment to education, Intel addresses the needs of educators by transforming how education devices are built, along with a cohesive and streamlined education technology ecosystem.

Infinity helped Intel develop the Intel Tech Learning Lab — a revolutionary mobile classroom — and took some of the most innovative educational technology platforms to schools nationwide. Intel’s Tech Learning Lab was the world’s most groundbreaking mobile classroom, built from a container system that unboxes into an activation. The Lab opened onto a modular 44’x60’ footprint. The main 40’ container unit housed nine virtual reality (VR) stations. Two 8’x8’ auxiliary pods — representing the look of the future classroom — contained two additional VR stations. Finally, an external classroom section included six more VR stations.

All of the Lab’s features were powered by Intel technology to demonstrate how student outcomes can improve using modern technology in the classroom. In addition to the 17 VR stations, these technologies included powerful PCs, augmented reality (AR), and Internet of Things (IoT) smart whiteboards.

To give the impression of a current, ghost-like classroom being transformed into a classroom of the future where the basic structure of the classroom will be obsolete, the Tech Learning Lab was designed from a blue metal mesh. This blue mesh was featured on all the structural elements, from the truck and container exteriors to the future classroom structures (auxiliary pods) to the exterior desks, along with the lockers and globes created within the environment.

The Intel Tech Learning Lab traveled over 13,000 miles. It made 16 major stops at schools, museums, and select events in seven states — California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Oregon. To assist students and educators through this revolutionary experience, Intel had 14 tech-education-based brand ambassadors on site every day, almost one ambassador for each VR station. That’s seven times more than most mobile tours, which typically feature two general brand ambassadors.


Are there a few things that can be done so that when a customer or client has a Wow! experience, they inspire others to reach out to you as well?

Social media helps the conversation flow in both directions so that our clients can shine and be appreciated for their impact on audiences with their Infinity-produced campaigns. All of our campaigns have social media vessels connected to them. This is a simple and quantifiable way to instantly connect to the customers during and after the experience as they react to and comment on their brand interactions.

Our programs all have registration mechanisms for consumer opt-ins to continue the dialogue with our clients and learn of any new offerings.

Customers have also been incredibly receptive to client surveys stemming from the experiences. This allows a two-way dialogue as customers can provide feedback on the client’s offerings while the client gains more insight into their target consumer.


You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I will answer this one with something we’ve already had success with: educating and inspiring people on the importance of environmental sustainability via innovative, artistic storytelling methods. It’s a message that all our clients continue to budget towards and an avenue we know firsthand that the audience will listen to if done originally. It’s what the world needs and what audiences want. With constant emerging technologies and vessels (from AI-generated artwork to the new MSG Sphere in Vegas), the sky is the limit!

This interview with Chad Tons, founder and CEO of Infinity Marketing Team, LLC, was published in Medium on 30 July 2023.