British summers wouldn’t be the same without music festivals and rain. Every year hundreds of thousands of people flock to fields, parks and woodlands. There is literally an event for everyone, from a folk festival to a techno rave.
Every sort of demographic is catered for across the land and this is why so many brands are keen to hitch their wagon to the stars that are Britain’s festivals.
As a festival activation specialist, we have noticed that some of these brand activations are questionable. So we insist on making sure our clients’ activations are carefully prepared. The brand needs to connect with festival-goers and get their message across, while the festival should want more than cash – they want to enhance festival content with something that is relevant.
Consumers don’t want to be left wondering, ‘why on earth is brand X here?’. We’ve spoken to festivals who have used the words – ‘we want the maximum money for the least amount of space’. This is never a good approach.
You know you have done a good job when festivals are requesting your brand assets at the show, and reducing fees, because they know it is such a good thing for the festival to have this brand activation on site.
For example, only a limited number of festivals could seriously shift large quantities of Champagne. Our work with Moët & Chandon has proved that within the right environment and at the right shows – it can be done. You may have seen the 30ft Moët Yacht Bar at any number of events.
You can also introduce a new idea or concept at festivals – last summer we went to eight events with Jameson whisky and delivered a brand bar and over 100,000 samples without cannibalising sales. This saw a significant increase in year-on-year sales of whisky at the events.
We took Bumble the dating app to We Are Fstvl last year and gave out thousands of pieces of relevant festival merchandise alongside makeover stations and free glittering for an app download. This wouldn’t have worked at every festival, but ensuring that you are reaching the target audience of the brand with something fun and engaging, you are usually onto a winner.
The key to initiating a successful brand activation for a festival is putting the festival-goer at the heart of the creative idea. Shoe horning the exact same idea from your shopping centre tour into a field is usually a great way to fail.
Client Services Director