As we move into the latter half of the year and planning for media begins with brainstorms, I like to think about some non-traditional ideas for ad placements. This year, I am really loving non-traditional advertising at events and festivals.
The product or service has to be a good fit for the event and relevant to the audience attending, but so far this summer I have seen a lot of great advertising and highly interactive set-ups at events. Here are some benefits of event advertising:
Placing signage or a booth at a major event provides the opportunity to reach your target demo very directly and interact with that target in a unique way. This does not mean “interact” like interacting with a web banner with a click, but “interacting” with your target as a part of their experience and memories from an event. A large event generally provides a very niche target that can be really beneficial for a brand or product.
For products like Nintendo DS3 and other very “testable” products on the market, this is a no-brainer. Setting up a tent full of Nintendos and letting people try them is not a radical idea. But if you can take a product that is difficult to explain or experience and creatively find a way for people to get a taste of it, that is something that resonates for an audience.
At a recent concert festival, the US Air Force had a huge, elaborate set up to “test their product.” I went into the tent to find out how the Air Force had come up with a way to share the experience. In a giant camouflage tent they had: a workout area, a jet flying video game, and a skydiving simulator.
This was not only getting the most attention because it was creative, it also had the most interaction because they offered something that was unique and out of the ordinary. The experience from the Air Force tent was a lot more effective than the Nintendo DS3 exhibit next door.
If you go to a music festival or any kind of event, there is likely to be a lot of downtime. Most events last all day or multiple days, and people like to take a break from the festivities and stroll around. Event advertising can provide a company with a unique opportunity to expose their brand to consumers who are actually looking for interaction.
My favorite brands at events are always the ones that offer experiences to interact with their products, but are also content with people just spending time at their tent. Any company with a set-up offering air conditioning, chairs, and water for people inside are going to be my favorites- and I always end up spending the most time interacting with their products because of their welcoming environment.
It doesn’t have to be a title sponsorship – not very many companies have the money to be the Vans of the “Vans Warped Tour” every year. But there are a long list of advertising options including sponsorship of a stage, area, or tent that will get a name out there to a targeted audience. Another plus is that the people running the advertising opportunities for major events are generally creative thinkers who are open to anything that brings in ad dollars, so it is an chance to test some wacky, fun ideas for brand promotion.
If you could be a sponsor or advertiser at any event or festival in the country, what would you want to sponsor? How about the world? How about a completely made-up event? The point is that event advertising is a time to get creative- what would you do?