Courting the Cool Kids: Coachella Marketing Roundup

Celebrities, musicians, and influencer Millennials flock to the desert in April to celebrate Coachella—and brands are eager to charm them. Here are some ways the cool kids are being courted this year…

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicked off this weekend, and it was three days filled with celebrities (Kylie! Kendall! Leo! Taylor!), surprise performances (Kanye! Ke$ha! Rihanna!), and, of course, plenty of brands looking to court the cool kid crowd.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal outlined the rising brand involvement in the festival, calling it an event “filled with a marketer’s dream: throngs of influential, open-minded and ready-to-spend Millennials with plenty of time to kill.” Festival schedules allow for a significant amount of down time, just waiting to be filled with visits to sponsored tents and Instagram shots of branded experiences. On top of that allure, the Millennials who attend the fest tend to be social media sharers. The hashtag #coachella currently has 1,782,384 public photos on Instagram, not including the variations of the tag that include the year and other details—and keep in mind this is an event that takes place over just two weekends each year. Many brands are eager to have a presence at an event filled with young influencers who might just spread the word about their brand. At the same time, being associated with the festival gives brands a link to current cool kid culture, and potentially an image boost.  

For Coachella 2016, H&M and Heineken continued their long-running sponsorship, and Pandora, luxury watch brand Tag Heuer, Uber, Cupcake Vineyards, and more played a role wining, dining, treating, and driving attendees. Here are some of the stand out activations of the event this year:  

Alice + Olivia See Now/Buy Now Show

Designers and…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies