Get Your Fringe Vest Off of My Festival (Weekly Roundup: March 20)

Posted by Gabriella Prieto on March 24, 2017
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Every Friday, the P2Blog will feature five industry articles that are trending, relevant, shocking, hilarious, or rediscovered. The Weekly Roundup is a curated list of what Pop2Life is sharing around the office - complete with our thoughts and on-point opinions (IMNSHO).

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1. Live From Austin: Politics, Tech, and Brand Activations at SXSW 2017


Found in P2Blog, written by Samantha Stallard 

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.

Attendees still are still getting a healthy dose of weird and whimsy over the 10-day conference, not even an unexpected series of rainstorms the first weekend could stand in the way of dozens of outdoor brand activations.

The biggest stand out of SXSW 2017 so far? Casper. The tech-savvy mattress company, which most New Yorkers will recognize from their subway ads, was praised for its innovative business practice, unique approach to marketing, and experiential efforts. But the rain created an even bigger promotional opportunity for Casper.

The mattress company initially partnered with the Standard Hotel's One:Night app for a promotion in downtown Austin. Every day at 3 pm, One:Night released 20 hotel rooms for $99 each, far below the going rate of $250–$1,200 a night. The winners walked into their rooms outfitted with Casper mattresses, pillows, slippers,  a Tesla-car service, plus cocktails and VR experiences in the hotel. The partnership was only scheduled to run March 10-14, but when winter storm Stella hit the northeast, canceling hundreds of flights, Casper kept the experience going. They also threw a party for stranded attendees with rapper Warren G.

(Click on the title to check out the hottest topics at SXSW 2017) 

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2. Coachella Suing Urban Outfitters For Trademark Infringement

coachellaa.pngPhoto Courtesy: Pitchfork
Found in Pitchfork, written by Noah Yoo

Urban Outfitters subsidiary company Free People wrongfully used the brand name “Coachella” on their items names and descriptions, and that the name was also used as a metatag to mislead customers to purchase certain products (such as a "festival survival kit.") Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festivals and promoters Goldenvoice have filed a lawsuit against Urban Outfitters for trademark infringement, LA Weekly reports. Coachella currently has a “extremely selective” licensing deal with H&M to allow the use of their name, but does not claim to have any other deals. Coachella claims to have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Urban Outfitters last year that was ignored. 

Our take:

As if Urban Outfitters, with its questionable headdress brand, isn’t “Coachella” enough. Well, the hipster apparel company now has to suffer the consequences - all of the profits that were made with the purchases with the “Coachella” name will have to be reimbursed to them. Even after Coachella sent Urban Outfitters a warning, they proceeded to wrongfully use their name. Take advice from us and see how brands could be activated in different ways, without trademark infringement.

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3. 7 Festival Tips From Our Guest Concierge Team


Found in P2Blog, written by Samantha Stallard

1. Plan your "can't miss" performances: With three stages, dozens of artists, and back to back performances - you are not going to see every artist in three days. In fact, you won't see a third of them - it's harsh, but it's true. Festival coordinators stack their lineups with amazing performers there to showcase their new material or plug an upcoming tour, so choose wisely. Make sure you have enough time between performances to make it to the next venue and scheduled hours for food, hydration, and the porta potty line. Most fests have apps to coordinate your "can't miss performances - check out Pitchfork's here.

2. For the love of God, put your phone down: While we're all guilty of snapping a "don't you wish you were me" Instagram photo and making sure our Snapchat story really drives the point home, don't spend the whole set, or even more than 30 seconds of it, watching through your phone screen. First of all, you're pissing off everyone behind you who can't see through your outstretched arms. Secondly you risk getting your phone, and dignity, taken by festival security placed throughout the crowd to prevent attendees from recording the full performance. Take your photo, then enjoy the moment.

3. Bring a portable charger: Your. Phone. Is. Going. To. Die. Thousands of people crammed into a small, usually isolated space is going to eat up everyone's data. When you're with your friends, keep your phone on airplane mode, turn the brightness down, and close your apps. Bring a portable charger for the times you're separated from the group, time stamp your texts to make sure your friend is still by the left speaker at Solange, even though she told you that 30 minutes ago, and don't take excessively long videos of performances (see tip #2). You can post your photos on social when you're back home and on wifi. (Click on the title to read more!)

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4. How Google's New Event Brought Cloud Computing Down to Earth

Photo courtesy: BizBash

Found in BizBash, written by Robyn Hagan Cain

Google emphasized how there are more opportunites on Google Cloud at their Google Cloud Next conference, that was held on March 8th through March 10th. Google Cloud Next’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, said the company is focused on increasing the availability and lowering the cost of data storage and computing. This will eventually make it easier for businesses to understand and act on critical information.

Within the project at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, experiences included a Partner Playground where attendees exchanged ideas and worked on deals, a centralized “Meet the Experts” area, and a Google Cloud Showcase with interactive educational exhibits designed in the company’s brand voice.

Our take:

It feels like I have eaten up my iCloud storage since I purchased my iPhone. But yet again, Google never fails with spewing information through something that is fun and interactive, rather than a boring  information session. This event on cloud storage brought to you live by Google Next travels through the concept to the finished product. The Google team brought installations to life by giving attendees the full picture of the Google Cloud’s offering and allowed them to take away specifics. Google can overcome any difficult obstacle, such as targeting 10,000+ attendees. Everything was purposeful and practical, as well as playful.

The result being a series of about 20 exhibits and games that offered a physical manifestation of virtual ideas was like machine learning. It is easy engaging guests when there are fun and interactive events to participate in. That is always our goal, too - we brainstorm, have fun with it, and execute the joy to our people and the outcomes are endless. It brings attention to our brands. 

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5. How Escape Rooms Became the Future of Advertising 

escape room.jpg

 Photo courtesy:  The Verge 

Found in The Verge, written by Bryan Bishop

This year at the SXSW conference, Disney launched an escape room experience that was tied-in to Rouge One: A Star Wars Story. This wasn’t the first time that the escape rooms have been immersed into real-world marketing experiences. Another example was when Fox took over the Prison Break room at The Escape Game Austin to promote the new season of Prison Break. HBO had a multi-room installation in place to promote Game of Thrones, Veep, and Silicon Valley.

“I think the immersion allows for it to be more personal and customized,” said Joanna School, vice president of marketing at HBO. “Each person feels like they themselves are part of that experience, and it leaves much more of a memorable note for them.”

Our take:

The first time I (did not) escape an escape room was during Halloween time about two years ago in a haunted house. Escape rooms were basically unheard of, but now there are about 1,500 installations across the country and they are being used to activate brands. Although this particular escape room at the SXSW conference wasn’t the first time a brand or company has capitalized at an event, it has definitely served as a main attraction for consumers - it transports the audience to a different world that feels real. This is essential to the audience because it is a promotional landscape.

I think escape rooms target all demographics and it is also a given trend since virtual reality has become a hot cultural topic. They have become readily available to the public because of promotional and marketing events looking to capitalize on the interest of technology, especially towards millennials. The idea of exploring a space with a real alllure of a television show is much different than watching content versus being a part of it.  

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Topics: pop culture, news, experiential marketing, events

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