How Brands Use Coachella For Experiential Marketing
Every year, the Viceroy hotel in Palm Springs is one of the hot spots for Coachella guests who want to continue the party long after the music festival is over for the day. Guess, a clothing retailer, recognized that this hotel was attracting a significant number of festival-goers and decided to use it as a venue for one of the brand’s first major experiential marketing events. In 2014, Guess took over the Viceroy hotel and rebranded everything from the room décor to the front gates that welcomed guests to the hotel. The hotel guests had no choice but to immerse themselves in the Guess brand since it had taken over every inch of the venue. Guests were treated to fashionable giveaways, poolside entertainment, and tasty food throughout their stay, all courtesy of Guess.
Guess made sure that the party did not stop for these festival-goers once they left Coachella. As a result, hotel guests probably left with a very favorable impression of Guess, regardless of how they felt about their products prior to the event. Guests also had the unique opportunity to learn more about the brand by living the Guess lifestyle during Coachella weekend.
Guess wasn’t the only brand to host a successful experiential marketing event during Coachella weekend in 2014. The event, which was called “Lacoste Live Desert Pool Party,” drew a number of celebrity guests, including Kendall Jenner, Katy Perry, Steven Tyler, and Joe Jonas, which helped it gain a lot of buzz on social media. All guests were invited to swim in the pool, enjoy the food and beverages provided by Lacoste, or participate in one of the many fun activities. You could either shop for Lacoste products in an outdoor pop-up shop, get a fake tattoo of the iconic Lacoste crocodile, design your own pair of Lacoste shoes at a DIY station, or shoot paint-covered tennis balls at a giant Lacoste polo t-shirt.
Branding was a key part of the strategy of this event. Every activity was heavily branded so guests would begin to associate the Lacoste brand with fun and excitement. The pop-up shop and DIY shoe design activity were used to expose guests to Lacoste’s products in a new setting. Guests were able to interact with brand ambassadors within the pop-up shop who helped them discover new Lacoste pieces and create custom looks. Plus, guests who chose to design their own shoes went home with a unique souvenir that will help them remember this one-of-a-kind event.
In 2015, Heineken was the official malt beverage sponsor of Coachella. In honor of this title, the brand hosted a three-day event known as “Heineken House,” which was promoted as the ultimate house party for festival-goers. Upon walking into the house, guests were greeted with huge images of the musical acts that would be performing at Coachella over the weekend. Then, guests were led to the center of the action, the living room, where there was loud music and dancing. Heineken invited a number of well-known musicians to collaborate together and perform at the event, including Questlove, A-Trak, and Hot Dub Time Machine. Outside of the house, guests could play cornhole, enjoy a cold Heineken, and mix and mingle with other people.
But, the most exciting part of the event was the “Your Mix, Your Mash” activity, where guests could create their own musical mash-ups. Each guest would get to listen to and pick different loops and stems that would be put together to create an original track.
Heineken brilliantly used its role as a sponsor of Coachella to create an event that brought together music and beer. This was a perfect strategy to appeal to and connect with the guests of the event, who were all music lovers.
Popsugar is a media and lifestyle company that appeals to younger generations, so it makes perfect sense that they would host an experiential marketing event at Coachella. The “Popsugar Cabana Club” was a one-day event that took place at the Colony Palms Hotel during the 2017 Coachella event. Guests were invited to hang by the pool while enjoying musical performances from Grammy award-winning artists. Each of the poolside villas hosted different activities for guests, including DIY beauty stations, hair styling stations, and a video studio that reported on different fashion trends worn by guests.
Popsugar wanted to ensure that this event would be talked about, so they gave each guest the opportunity to work one-on-one with a social media video director. This brand representative was responsible for helping guests create share-worthy videos and pictures of the event that they could post on social media to draw more attention to the event.
This was a well-thought out and successful event for Popsugar. The brand used the different activities within the event—beauty booths, hair styling, and access to a social media director—to establish themselves as lifestyle and digital media experts.
Coachella may be over, but there are plenty of other opportunities to host experiential marketing activations at large-scale music festivals and other events. For more information and to discuss your experiential marketing needs, contact the team of experts at Factory 360 to schedule a free consultation!