Make the Most of Your Festival Brand Activation

Creating a successful festival brand activation
Toronto in the summertime provides ample opportunities for brands to get into the festival brand activation game. Whether it’s music, art, food, wine, dance or otherwise, festivals of all types can lend themselves to your brand activation.

How you can leverage the festival environment

Festival environments, as diverse as they can be, all provide one thing: opportunity for consumers to have meaningful engagement with your product, brand or services. One key thing to remember is that you want to add to the festival experience, not take away from it. Provide an experience for festival goers that mesh well with the festival’s vibe yet stands alone as a cool and inviting activation people will line up for.   A perfect example of this balance is Benefit’s work at Glastonbury. The cosmetic company designed a totally unique “GlastonBrow” Drive Thru which provided festival-goers with free beauty samples, brow waxes and beauty essentials like dry shampoo and ponchos that all festival goers need. Not only did Benefit create a one-of-a-kind brow treatment, they provided consumers with an unforgettably cool experience they hadn’t bargained for, not to mention the free product they collected that was actually useful for a festival environment.

Create FOMO

Drawing people away from festival entertainment can be difficult, so create an experience they won’t want to miss out on. FOMO, or fear of missing out, is key in a festival setting. In our work with Synr.g Cannabis at Toronto’s Rosé Picnic, we designed a beautiful flower backdrop for festival attendants to snap Instagram photos in front of. This beautiful activation drew in crowds of festival guests which provided a great opportunity for event staff to engage with festival attendants and pass out Synr.g samples.

Provide product and services with utility

One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make at a festival is that brands hinder attendants’ festival experience. If you’re providing free samples to festival guests, make them useful. Don’t give away product that’s destined for landfill; it creates a negative association between the recipient and your brand as they throw your item in the trash, it results in a bad impression for those that see a garbage filled with your branded items, and it’s bad for your bottom dollar. Think of the festival environment. Don’t weigh your consumers down with items they can’t comfortably carry or won’t use that day. What might a festival-goer need? Let this guide the type of products or services you provide to your consumers.   Consider our work with liquor brand Flor de Caña. We designed a custom oasis in the middle of the Boots and Hearts country music festival for VIP guests to relax and cool down with a refreshing tropical beverage or a shot in a custom ice luge. This VIP activation drew in crowds and was a welcome experience from festival-goers looking for a break from the hot sun.

Incorporate social

A festival is a hotspot for photo and video sharing. For every person attending, you can bet there’s a smartphone in every pocket, purse, or fanny pack. Tap into the desire for festival-goers to showcase their experience to their friends and followers by getting in on the action. Invest in geofilters and custom location tools. As it turns out, people actually do intentionally use location features when posting on social.   At Reef, we’ve partnered with some major brands to design custom festival brand activations that help them stand out from the crowd. Don’t leave your activation to just anyone. Contact our experts and let’s discuss strategy.