Working with a music festival is just as cool as it sounds (ok, maybe even cooler than it sounds). Over a year ago TORQUE Strategies teamed up with the organizers of Squamish Valley Music Festival, Live Nation and Brand.LIVE to help set the Festival up for sponsorship success.
With a bold vision and set of aspirations from the SVMF team, and a revamped brand identity thanks to our friends at Will Creative, we co-authored a strategy that focused on brand alignment, values-based partnerships and consumer experience. With strategy in hand, the SVMF team set out to do the hard work building a family of corporate partners – and oh did they succeed. Seeing the festival come to life with vibrant, experience enhancing contributions from partners truly exceeded expectations.
Still buzzing from their experience, TORQUE team members Bart, Auburn & Monica share their favourite new activations for SVMF 2015 below. Check them out, and be sure to share your favourites in the comments section. [Honourable mentions include Budweiser (lazers and lights in the forest like woah!), Spotify (still listening to the SVMF playlist on repeat), and even Just Eat (who doesn’t want to try riding a bucking salmon nigiri?)]
Bart Given, Managing Director
My favourite activations were Mumford & Sons, K-OS and Elle King.
But I wasn’t asked about my music critique, so Perrier is my top performance of the non-musical variety. Perrier set up a musical “Greenhouse” stocked with a bar serving Perrier products, a DJ, and air conditioning for festival goers to enjoy. It was visually impactful and therefore captured the attention of every festival attendee, though its raw appeal is not the singular reason I rank it highly.
Live music is continuing to grow globally, with sales of tickets and sponsorship forecasted to generate revenues of US$30.9 BN in 2017, up from US$26.5BN in 2012, a CAGR of 3%.(Price Waterhouse Cooper)
Successful partnerships deliver against multiple objectives, and in my estimation Perrier was able to accomplish the following (in no particular order):
Perrier’s strategy encompassed all of this, and perhaps more importantly – leveraged it as part of a broader festival strategy. Perrier was present at multiple festivals this season and obviously identified the opportunity as an avenue to reach a desirable audience and therefore activated it properly.
Of course, this is my opinion as a consumer – but I’m betting Perrier will rank highly on post-event research from the brand and property perspective.
Auburn Sigurdson, Director, Brand & Strategy
There were so many impressive partner activations at SVMF this year, sponsors really came out to play making it hard to choose a true favourite. It wasn’t hard to see, however, which activation was the fan favourite. With line ups 150 people deep from the moment gates opened until dusk each day, Topshop/Topman Canada held court on the Tantalus Stage field all weekend long.
Not only was their footprint, bold, beautiful and frankly huge (apparently their mantra is go tall or go home with the highest structure on the field second only to the stage itself), but they nailed the value-add experience millennials are after, offering free custom-designed festival tees printed on a beautiful hand operated screen printing press. Guys and girls lined up for hours patiently waiting to choose their own design from a menu of six artistic renditions commemorating the festival.
They hit a sweet spot when it comes to consumer trends – offering fans choice – tailoring their own experience, a craft-like handmade product, and all for free. Not to mention owning a significant theme within festival culture: the fashion. Beyond the brilliant custom tee gift, Topshop brought their brand story to life showcasing festival fashion by capturing street-style-esque #OOTD shots of on-trend revelers and integrated the content on the main stage big screens between acts.
The brand’s engagement wasn’t limited to the confines of the festival grounds however. A quick list of highlights:
In the end, as a loyal festival-goer in my teens through the early 90’s frequenting events like Edgefest, I’m so happy to see the revival of music festivals (and somewhat amused to see the revival of the same Doc Martens, crop tops, short shorts, plaid-shirts-tied-at-the-waist fashion I wore in ’96 and ’97 while crowd surfing to Big Wreck and the The Tea Party). There are no better memories than those made while celebrating with thousands of your peers surrounded by music and the great outdoors. It’s clear marketers are seeing the benefit of tapping into their target market while they’re in a state of joy and euphoria – whether it be stomping their feet along with Mumford & Sons, or shaking a tail feather with ASAP Rocky.
Monica Whiteley, Coordinator, Client Service
I cast my vote for the LUSH fresh handmade Cosmetics activation hands down. LUSH Cosmetics teamed up with a local hair salon called is. Salon to give festival goers fantastically radical braids. Is. Salon supplied their hair dressers and LUSH brought their deliciously scented products to the hair of festival goers. The brand also sold their products onsite to the not-so-sweet smelling campers.
To be perfectly honest, not only was I enjoying the likes of Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes & my boy George (Ezra that is), I was simultaneously enthralled by the entire festival experience. And I know I’m not the only one who likes to watch for new trends at festivals. Eventbrite found that 17% of festival goers are excited about the experience and 10% are there for the fashion. And while sporting events continue to have a male dominated audience, 56% of festival goers are females. LUSH Cosmetics catered to this demo (and some particularly awesome gentlemen!) enhancing their festival experience and personalizing it with each braid.
LUSH didn’t just braid the hair of greasy campers. Here are a few more highlights from their SVMF activation both onsite and online.
LUSH mirrored Squamish’s theme of a festival beyond with a gorgeous oasis-inspired “salon” fitted with flowers, lush greenery and even fruit. What girl wouldn’t want to get her hair done at a place like this?!