Thrill seekers (and experiential marketers in search of inspiration) are more than willing to travel for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From Australia's Great Barrier Reef to Iceland's Northern Lights, world-famous adventure doesn't come easily. Today's consumers, largely millennials, are looking for experiences that provide a lasting impression. They want the chance to connect with new people and 72% are spending money on experience-related purchases.
Get ready, San Diego Comic-Con 2018 is days away. Time to dry clean your cosplay outfits, binge the last season of Breaking Bad in preparation for the highly anticipated reunion, and make sure your smartphone has plenty of juice to capture every moment you're about to experience. This is the big dance in the world of experiential marketing - brands will be out in full force vying for attendees attention, praise, trust, and purchases. On the other end, attendees expect to be dazzled, delighted, shocked, and surprised.
The annual International Festival of Creativity (aka Cannes Lions) took over the Cote D’Azur once again last month, as the advertising industry continues to face an extraordinarily challenging business environment. From the Palais to VIP parties and luncheons, there were countless fascinating debates from marketers, media professionals, and agency executives with eye-opening insights on the future of advertising.
Coachella 2018 proved, yet again, that this is Beyoncé's world and we're just living in it. Queen B made history this year for being the first black woman to ever headline the music and arts festival in the desert of Indio, CA. Coachella's origins date back to a 1993 Pearl Jam show at the Empire Polo Club - a form of boycott against Ticketmaster's dominance over venues in the early 1990s. The concert validated the site's viability for hosting large events, leading to the inaugural Coachella Festival over the course of two days in October 1999 - just three months after the disastrous Woodstock '99.
The annual conference in Austin, TX is infamous for its over-the-top parties, brand marketing activations, packed lecture halls, and enough breakfast tacos to make you physically ill - a fact our team continues to test year after year. While always an inspiring and innovative event of the brightest minds in tech, marketing, design, film, comedy, style, and music, this year, like last, had clear political undertones. In 2017, it was all about vowing allegiance to social issues, while this year tackled major issues like cybersecurity, the #MeToo movement, healthcare, surveillance, diversity in the workplace, artificial intelligence (AI), and the responsibility social platforms have to place checks on their power while reflecting on the changing tech landscape.
The 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT was action-packed with screenings, political marches, and below freezing temperatures. Delivering on the spirit of founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity, Sundance brings independent films to life. But, gone are the days in which Harvey Weinstein roamed the mountains, bringing with him male-centric films like “Sex, Lies and Videotape” and “Reservoir Dogs” to theaters, with a greater focus on parties, sponsorships, and Paris Hilton-sightings than film making.
Okay, that's it, we're officially oversaturated. There are too many options, invitations, channels, apps, connections, newsfeeds, and devices. We're tired. We're hungry. We just want to go to bed. Brands have spent billions (and earned billions) cashing in on FOMO (fear of missing out, but you already knew that) by sponsoring blowout parties, activations, and experiences. And while consumers will never stop buying festival tickets, staying up late, and Snapchatting everything in their wake, they care about health, wellness, and peace more than ever.
Whether a one-day headliner or dozens of artists spread out over multiple weekends, music festivals have blown up in the last decade as fans crave bigger and better IRL experiences. Festivals offer more than a 12 song set and an encore, there's also shopping, food, drinks, activites, and high quality music experiences -- both onsite and off, making it big business for promotors, record companies, artists, brands, and most importantly, the fans.
The annual conference in Austin, TX is infamous for its over-the-top parties, brand marketing activations, packed lecture halls, and enough BBQ to make you sick - a fact the Pop2Life team continues to test year after year. While always an inspiring and innovative event of the brightest minds in tech, marketing, design, film, comedy, style, and music, this year had a clear political undertone - as CEOs, big brands, and stars vowed allegiance to social issues.
2016 is fading away fast. It was an exciting and interesting year for the experiential marketing industry, as more brands embraced the power of live events and seasoned veterans refined their approaches beyond paying a big check to sponsor a festival, with a focus on smaller, more focused and personalized experiences.