Coachella tickets go on sale, you set up three different computers in hopes that one of them will get you through to the concert page, and when you do, you hit purchase without even looking at the ticket price. You let everyone and their grandma know that you got a ticket; you Snapchat, Facebook, and Tweet about it all at once. Great, everything is rainbows and butterflies until you go out to dinner three days later and find you have $3.61 cents left in your checking account. This feeling takes awhile to set in. Some go through the five stages of grief, while others attempt to rationalize their purchase. “I just won’t go out to dinner for the next five months.” At the end of the day, one way or another, you move past the hit your bank account took because you finally get to see Disclosure’s moon suites in person.
Festival day comes and you couldn’t be more excited. But, when you’re offered a mini sample cup of soda, or asked to spin a wheel where the best thing you can win is a blue pen, your smile starts to fade. You paid $400 plus to be at this festival, and the best they can give you is a lukewarm shot of soda?
Marketers have come to realize this lack-luster showing is no longer is going to make the cut. Brands are being forced to figure out how to stand out amongst the crowd. Music festivals have become huge opportunities for brands to promote themselves, however it isn’t an easy task. In order for brands to benefit from entertainment advertising, they need to create a lasting impact with potential consumers in a five minute or less interaction.
Brands like Uber, Malibu Rum, and Sephora have a grip on what needs to be done. For example, Uber had one of its drivers pick up a group of festival-goers with a rising country star sitting in the back seat. Malibu Rum created an extravagant beach house at a New York music festival that had heavy rainstorms predicted in the forecast. Sephora created a massive beauty patio at the 2014 Coachella festival, offering make-up and freebies to those who stopped by their setup. These brands have figured out exactly what their consumers want: free entertainment in addition to what the have already paid for.
With Lollapalooza just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how brands will stand out and make some noise at the music festival. Who knows, maybe it will be the marketers stealing the show and not the artists. Watch out Paul McCartney, they are coming for you.