Each Spring, music fans eagerly anticipate their favorite festivals happening across the country. While the main focus of these experiences is the artists & their live performances, festivals have also become an advertising playground where marketers create new and unique experiences for attendees to enjoy.
Throughout the years, music festivals have proven to be in their own playing field when it comes to brand sponsorships. While marketing at events like the GRAMMYs, Oscars, and Super Bowl focus on television audiences, music festivals are an Experiential Marketing endeavor. Unlike televised events, brands at festivals rely on their content being distributed by attendees through organic social channels. With more and more users trending towards social sharing, it’s no surprise that brands often create picture-perfect backdrops and experiences, so their names will be featured in the user-generated content of the attendees.
Here’s a look back at some memorable and unique brand experiences from 2019 music festivals:
NYX Professional Makeup
For Coachella 2019, NYX set up a glitter station in Indio where festival-goers could find a beauty bar and touch-up area equipped with glitter makeup. NYX’s display also included a glitter fountain and a “mouth” slide. Lastly, NYX partnered with makeup artist Nam Vo who provided on-site makeup tutorials for visitors.
Merging two worlds, Red Bull set up an eSports station at Lollapalooza 2019 where famous Twitch streamer Ninja (along with other professional gamers and Lollapalooza musicians) played video games live in front of an audience. While the bottom floor of Red Bull’s outpost had top of the line gaming hardware for visitors to try for themselves, the second floor replicated Ninja’s gameroom, or as fans know it, Ninja’s Dojo. Throughout the festival weekend, fans were able to compete against one another in hopes to make their way up to the second floor to play alongside Ninja and the other special guests. According to Tubular Insights, Red Bull uploaded 15 videos during the festival, gaining 2.5M cross-platform views and 10.5K engagements.
American Express provided a number of exclusive perks for their card members at Coachella 2019, including access to their festival lounge, Beauty and Spa treatments, and more.
Peet’s Coffee set up a “Recharge and Refresh” cold brew station and taproom at Coachella 2019. The area allowed festival-goers a place to regroup and get a Peet’s coffee caffeine fix so they could continue enjoying their favorite bands throughout the weekend.
Although the physical activations are what stick out the most to attendees, brands not in attendance have also found ways to connect with these audiences. YouTube’s partnerships have led to several livestreams, helping music lovers at home feel as though they didn’t entirely miss out on the weekend’s experiences. The capability to Livestream these festivals opens up huge opportunities for brands to connect with this engaged audience over social media.
A reminder of some elements when advertising on social during live events:
During LIVE moments...
- Audiences’ social media usage rises
- Social Media Engagement amplifies
- Users’ emotional sentiment increases