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…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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