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How Big Brands Are Capitalizing on Festival Season


How Big Brands Are Capitalizing on Festival Season

We recently wrapped up our event production for our client 9 Story, our team reminisced how we transformed an already beautiful venue into a “WOW” interactive experience for guests. Down the rabbithole of our conversation, we excitedly chatted about some of our favorite music festivals coming up locally and how large brands revolutionized the brand experience for festivalgoers. 

As festivalgoers ourselves, we curated our top favorite experiential activations we’re absolutely in love with.

Curating Connection: The HP Lounge

As the official tech sponsor of Coachella, HP created two distinct experiential marketing activations. The HP Lounge was a space for attendees to recuperate and relax in the shade while testing out recently launched products. Within the lounge, guests were also able to listen to music while unwinding.

The Antarctic, a 360-degree projection mapping experience powered by HP products. To tie in with the music festival, HP partnered with DJ artist group Rüfüs Du Sol to release their new album right in the Antarctic space.

Eye Test Karaoke

At Glastonbury Festival in 2017, The Royal National Institute of Blind People created a karaoke activation, highlighting the importance of getting regular eye tests.

Festivalgoers experienced the feeling of having poor vision and losing their sight by singing karaoke on a stage where the lyrics on screen decreased in size line by line, just like an eye test. Filters applied to the screen simulated the effects of preventable eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

At the end of each karaoke performance, singers were given eye health tips and encouraged to have their eyes tested.

Shine Like Glitter

As an official Coachella cosmetics partner, NYX Professional Makeup hosted a Glitter activation, where attendees were able to interact with beauty bars, glitter fountain, and even take Instagrammable shots of their lip and tongue slide. The activation also offered a paradise-like hang out spot where guests could charge their phones, enjoy air conditioning and free WiFi.

NYX used this activation to highlight its Glitter Goals Collection, leveraging celeb makeup artist Nam Vo’s presence to create custom makeup looks on-site using the new product line. NYX also partnered up with top beauty influencers to host the tent.

Amazon Lockers

Can we talk about this brilliant Amazon Locker delivery at Coachella? The pop-up allowed for festivalgoers to shop for any last minute supplies like phone chargers, sunblock, handheld fans and ship them directly to the festival where they were able to pick them up at a designated locker on site. To raise awareness around the pop-up, Amazon partnered with various influencers on social media to announce the ease and convenience of Amazon Lockers.

Rollin’ in Style

Beauty brand, Revlon, went retro at Lollapalooza in 2019 with their Ultra Rollerama activation. Revlon built an 80s disco skating rink, allowing concertgoers to sample their new Ultra HD Vinyl Lip Polish while skating their hearts out to music from powerhouse female DJs. The activation was hosted by model Ashley Graham and Kristen Crawley to welcome guests into a retro wonderland surrounded by neon-painted lips.

Old School is Uncool

Why is this important for brands? “Engagement marketing,” also known as Experiential Marketing, opens the door to a deeper connection with the consumer, allowing brand interaction in the real world.

Each year around 32 million people attend one or more music festivals in the United States alone and of those 32 million, 14.7 million are Millennials. So it’s no secret that some of the nation’s top brands find music festival season to be one of the most lucrative advertising opportunities, especially when reaching a younger demographic like Millenials and Gen Z’s.

Flex the #FOMO

In 2018, more than 119,000 festivalgoers flocked to Indio, just a casual 2 hour ride from Los Angeles, CA, in search of food, music, and a one-of-a-kind experience at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. While the festival drew thousands of  physical attendees each day, Coachella had millions tune in to their livestream coverage on YouTube.This meant that brand pop-ups and branded activations captured the attention of thousands of people in-person but their investments in the festival actually earned them exposure that reached into the millions online.

Top brands like HP, Revlon, NYX, and Amazon are just a few of the brands capitalizing on the tremendous exposure these festivals offer, while also using the opportunity to create a connection with their customer base. When brands team up with festivals, amazing things can happen. These types of sponsorships not only provide a phenomenal visitor experience, but also great exposure for the brand itself. 

Happy Festival Season!