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Coachella 2017: When Brands Create Experiential Marketing Trends

 

Who doesn’t like sun, drinks, music and fashion? Coachella, the much-loved CA-based music festival, is packed with fashion brand representation. This year, a slew of brands flocked to the desert, capitalizing on Coachella’s rad fashion collection. It wasn’t all about the brands, but they certainly made a splash. Whether it was shop-able runways, hip bars, social media activations or entire branded festival lines, Coachella was the place to be. Here’s our coverage of the hottest Coachella marketing events.

Levi’s Creates Neon Carnival

Posted up in an Airstream, Levi’s gave eventgoers a power-packed experience via Tequila Don Julio. We know, it’s an odd partnership. It worked, though, and Levi’s-lovers reveled in the specialty drinks from dusk til’ dawn.

Jeremy Scott’s Moschino Party

Produced by XA, Jeremy Scott’s Moschino party featured a kitschy, Candy Crush theme. It was larger-than-life, giving guests the chance to slide into a massive ball pit. The balls were made of lucite, ignited by the pool’s neon glow.

As if that wasn’t enough, the party also featured an oversized Absolut Lite-Brite installation. Guests could place different pieces into different slots, crafting their own art, patterns and long-lasting displays. The display took on Absolut’s lime flavor color, casting a memorable light.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Escape

The Angel Escape was an islandic tent, offering comfortable seating, shade and pillows for guests. While it covered a large amount of land, it was surprisingly low-key—in a good way. Customers looking for a reprieve from Coachella’s frequently rowdy atmosphere need only step into the tent’s intimate enclosure, taking a load off the feet.

The Katy Perry Footwear Easter Sunday Recovery Brunch

For the afterparty-goers, Katy Perry Footwear featured a Sunday Recovery Brunch powered by the H.Wood Group. Sure, it might’ve been a graphic, neo-art doughnut wall, but it certainly ignited holiday cheer with an awesome nod to pastel.

The Ciroc Summer Take Over

Ironically—or, perhaps unironically—alcohol brands promoted, well, themselves at Coachella. Ciroc, in particular, hosted memorable experiential events for patrons’ eyes. The Ciroc Summer Take Over, hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel, presented the brand in a new light—a vintage one, to be exact. Ciroc bottles were displayed alongside vintage objects, florals and vinyl records, giving event goers a taste of all things classy.

Coachella is a wonderful opportunity for brands. Featuring some of today’s leading brands, the event was a powerhouse of experiential displays. We’ve kept our eye on Coachella for a while, as it always highlights emergent experiential marketing trends. We'll likely see more great displays next year. For now, however, we'll make due with this year's awesome brand contributions—powered by today's leading providers.

How Virgin Atlantic Took to the Streets

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January might be gone, but Virgin Atlantic’s flight attendant surprise event is pleasantly engrained in our memories. In promotion of its all-new Seattle-Tacoma International Airport departures to London Heathrow Airport, Virgin Atlantic hosted a recognition party in Emerald City. Emphasizing the airway between Seattle and London, the airline successfully highlighted its newest business routes.

The Reignmakers

The Virgin Atlantic campaign introduced “Reignmakers” which was a community reflecting London and Seattle’s “reign” and “rain.” We know, it seems a little forward. The display was, however, surprisingly poignant. All about cultural recognition, the Reignmakers hosted a massive, two-day party. Flight attendants zipped around Seattle in Virgin Atlantic labeled Mini Coopers, flying the airline’s flag.

Meanwhile, the event’s later hours hosted parties for the airline’s dedicated fans and passerby alike. Handing out swag to social leaders, radio stations, influential shop owners and small business owners, Virgin Atlantic connected consumers to industry trendsetters. High-traffic locations, naturally, were prioritized. In Seattle, refreshments were dished out on plane drink carts. Branded umbrellas and luggage tags were among the Virgin Atlantic swag collection.

Planes, Plans and People

Virgin Atlantic successfully aligned its newest business route with customers, prioritizing people above all. The approach might ambitious at first, but Virgin Atlantic has historically provided fantastic service. This time, indeed, was no different. The airline’s relationship with its customers has always focused on the incomparable Virgin Atlantic experience, and the Reignmakers honored such a tradition.  

Virgin Atlantic paired its consumer base with media influencers, hosting private breakfasts with big-time travel and lifestyle impactors. Hosted at Seattle’s The London Plane, the dinner dished out more branded gifts, exclusive messages from the airline’s founder Sir Richard Branson and even free onboard flight opportunities. Here, the airline’s goal was twofold: Eventgoers could experience the Virgin Atlantic hospitality while prepping for a high-end blogging experience.

Taking to Social Media

Reflecting the Virgin Atlantic attention to blogging detail, it pushed for additional promotion via social media. Seattle played host to the airline’s Reignmakers contest, and visitors could nominate their favorite brand supporters. There was heavy consideration of Virgin Atlantic visionaries, and rewards were given to those who subverted typical Virgin Atlantic ideologies, presentations and displays.

The contest took place until February 28, giving the Reignmakers ample time to get prepared, get social, get visible and—of course—party. A Seattle-based Twitter campaign gave eventgoers a place to post photos, link to Instagram and type their favorite tags. All around, the Virgin Atlantic experiential marketing approach was highly visible. It’s rare to witness such a social-heavy airlines marketing campaign. It’s also comforting. Virgin Atlantic displayed an uncanny knack for social relevancy, and it highlighted its most profitable marketing segment while remaining relevant to others—which is always a difficult hurdle.

Reese's Creates Spooning Event

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Hershey’s has given their chocolate lovers a gift in the form of Reese Spreads. Creating a marketing campaign that will draw the masses, Reese’s launched the “Do you spoon?” initiative, with a talking vending machine that invited people to use an oversized spoon to try the new spreads. Given a royalty theme, the spoon was gold, with miniature spoons given out via assistants on roller blades. Included in that campaign is out-of-home advertising in three major markets, with a huge push during the back-to-school period, accompanied by television ads. This type event helps build the brand for Reese’s, in an effort to contend with the current leader in the market, the Nutella brand.

Complete with small stations full of dipping materials like fruit, pretzels and breads, customers will be able to taste and enjoy the different ways these spreads can be used. As part of the ever-expanding Reese’s portfolio, this is a welcome addition to the family.

This type of event helps experiential marketing specialists create events that are meaningful and impactful, focusing on solidifying brand identity and incorporating customer input to grow a loyal fan base. We host a number of events of this nature, creating fun and unique platforms for customers interested in an immersive experience.

Soho Studios has the ability to work with in-house teams to solicit sponsors for the events, performers and other incentives, including VIP areas and reality-based areas. In the case of Reese Spreads, their campaign is geared toward increasing basket size. These social activities add leverage and visibility, taking into account the opportunities to increase market share.The Miami area is known for hosting these types of venues year-round, with every event customized for the customer and occasion. Soho Studios has a number of spaces to accommodate both large and small crowds, with an adjacent outdoor area. Catering to customers who enjoy chocolate spreads, this is a great way to attract attention in a fun and engaging way.

Hershey has been around since 1894, engaging customers with their variety of chocolates and other snacks. With this live event and others designed to enhance engagement, marketing firms can use venues like Soho Studios to bring concepts to life in tight timelines for both large and small corporations. Using venues that have a number of floor plans and are designed to create experiential events in customized event spaces is smart and cost-effective. Reese’s embraced the moment and created a special demand.