Frantic, Fun & Festivals
Our World | On 06, Sep 2013
For some, festivals are the highlight of their summer, an opportunity to see a huge line up of top talent and party for 2 or 3 days at a time. They are growing in size, number and popularity and where there’s an audience, there’s an opportunity to market yourself, which is what one of our clients recently asked us to help them do.
Festivals deliver access to a lot of people in one place for an extended period and, depending on your festival of choice, some interesting demographics in terms of audience. Some are family friendly, some attract the “youth” market, other more nostalgic line ups attract a more mature customer. One thing’s for sure, they all offer big potential for raising brand awareness and engaging potential customers.
Recently one of our clients got involved with a number of European festivals for the first time. We helped them deliver their brand message at events such as Latitude (UK), Way Out West (Sweden) and Lowlands (Holland). The aim was to target a different market segment to their usual core customer demographic and engage with as many festival goers as possible. We worked with our client to deliver the promotional activity on site with the public and also back stage where their sponsorship deal gave them access to the talent performing live. We created an opportunity for people to try out the innovative, newly launched products, getting hands on to experience their quality for themselves. It was a great opportunity, as it dovetailed perfectly with the festival entertainment and exposed the brand to a new market segment.
The interesting part for me was how other brands used their time at these festivals. The FMCG products were out in force raising awareness of their brands through promotional give-aways: bottles, headbands, sweatbands, sunglasses and t-shirts. For them, the message was clear, they wanted everyone to see the brand wherever they went on site. One even had a DJ playing music all day, creating a real energy and fun factor.
Another even more popular idea was from a food company that, yes you guessed it, gave away food, all day, every day. Free food at festivals is a real draw and will have people queuing round the clock. To be honest, anything free will have crowds of people flocking. While waiting, promotional reps have a captive audience to chat to in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. No hard sales, just everyone enjoying themselves and being educated about products all at the same time.
What these festivals taught me is that brands can, and without doubt will, continue to get more involved with festivals. Over the next 10 years, I think we will see more of our clients asking us to start incorporating festivals into their events activity. The main thing is to plan this like any other live event experience. Decide what you want to achieve, target the right event for you and then design a live marketing experience that will showcase your brand or products in the most appropriate way to the festival-going audience.
Festivals are a great opportunity to shake off the corporate tie and create real event energy and a lasting impression of your brand. People remember fun, as well as great products. Festivals are all about enjoying an experience. The brands that assist people in achieving this will be remembered. Be fun, be frantic and be different.
Ash EL Menshawy