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Getting Brands to Find Their Beat – Marketing and Music Festivals

How do you strike a balance as a brand “performing” to creative music loving crowds this Summer? Take a route too mainstream and endure a potentially heavy amount of damage to your brand image. Be too little known and waste valuable budget. Is there a way of achieving balance in this popular annual niche?

At Magnafi we endeavoured to find out the truth behind the noise.

Getting brands to find their beat – marketing and music festivals.

How do you strike a balance as a brand “performing” to creative music loving crowds this Summer? Take a route too mainstream and endure a potentially heavy amount of damage to your brand image. Be too little known and waste valuable budget. Is there a way of achieving balance in this popular annual niche?

At Magnafi we endeavoured to find out the truth behind the noise.

Hitting all the wrong notes

An example of getting it wrong by being too big was shown by McDonalds at SXSW. At a food loving place like Austin, Texas where local produce is king they were ridiculed by both the media and by festival goers for their trucks being present.

They made a bad situation even worse when they requested an indie outfit perform for no pay – unless you can count food being offered as payment!

Poor SXSW – yet again they had another critical hit, this time from a Doritos shaped catastrophe when they had Lady Gaga play on a stage that took the form of a giant vending machine.

It left a sour taste in many mouths – not to forget smaller independent musicians which was the original reason for founding SXSW in the first place.

They were put out by money being thrown so readily at such a badly planned publicity stunt that for many media sources it cited a death to the authenticity of this festival.

The sound of success

A leaf should be taken out the book of previously little known brand Live Lokai and their marketing efforts that reached over 40 million, with more than 2 million likes and 14,000 comments from music and fashion lovers alike. Their brightly coloured and affordable bracelets were pushed to a gigantic audience through the use of celebrities and influential content creators. The overwhelming feedback was that the products perfectly matched Coachella’s aesthetic. 

Just a few of the big names involved were Vanessa Hudgens and Nina Dobrev which alone was amazing to have speaking on behalf of any young fashion brand but it is also a signifier that influencer marketing is not indeed dead as so many are speculating – as we have visited in a previous post. Smaller influencers like kyrasantoroxx and melisfit also proved necessary to Lokai’s success.

Live Lokai’s success story
Live Lokai’s success story

 

Your festival marketing can also provoke thought. There are many ways to bring out the altruistic side to your audience. Toyota combined their tactics in way that beautifully worked with charity, music and multiple festivals. Not just getting the ethos right for one festival but in being able to implement throughout multiple locations shows exceptional strategy. Their charitable involvement was as part of their partnership with VH1’s Save The Music Foundation, a national nonprofit organization committed to restoring music education programs in America’s public schools. A $30K donation will be given to a designated school, chosen at the end of the six festival run.

Festivalgoers can participate through social media using #ToyotaGiving to show their support.

#Toyotagiving

In order to raise further awareness Toyota built a glowing, “Whispering Willow” tree as a metaphor to display how music impacts lives so profoundly. The tree will be covered in “leaves” constructed of hand written notes from visitors about what music means to them.

 Toyota Whispering Willow

Get your strategy in the festival spirit

Millennials are attracted to many aspects of these campaigns, according to Nielsen’s Music 360 report, 51% of consumers and 76% of festivalgoers feel more favourably towards brands that sponsor a tour or concert.

If you happen to be marketing alcohol, then a Festival might just be your next brand breakthrough. The Field Work festival reports that this sector absorbs 31% of the market share globally. An integrated marketing strategy that exemplified this perfectly was Cupcake Vineyards who have been involved with Coachella on multiple occasions most notably as their 1st ever wine sponsorship back in 2015 and are back with a vengeance for 2016.

 Cupcake Vineyards Marketing

Competitions, social and point of purchase marketing fully integrated with their hashtag is the reason why they have been welcomed back to the event with open arms by all.

  Cupcake Vineyards Strategy

They retained a lot of whimsy in their strategy that is easy to engage with both visually and in practise as an attendee. One of their other promos was in the form of staying in contact with friends and family with postcards posted for free by Cupcake themselves.

What a way to say to those you care about “I wish you were here”.

Innovative festival marketing

 If you are going to take the leap into bringing your marketing strategy to involve the festival circuit – integrate!

Don’t be an eyesore or an inconvenience. Your audience are there to have fun, not to be obstructed or annoyed by your gimmicks.

To integrate your marketing strategy across live events with the use of video and digital contact Magnafi today.

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