Music lovers, millennials, and influencers – as well as the brands trying to reach them – flocked to the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, held from April 13-15 and April 20-22 in Los Angeles, California. With more parties than any individual could possibly attend in a single weekend, brands used a variety of tactics to entice guests to attend their events. Here are 7 of what we think are the cleverest activations, entertainment, and decor ideas.
1. YSL Beauty Festival
L’Oreal’s YSL Beauty Festival kicked off festivities with a performance by Halsey on an elevated stage trimmed with bright LED lights. Guests found decorative neon lips throughout the space, including in a standalone rectangular-shaped structure that quickly became one of the more popular photo ops of the evening. Neon signs also enticed guests to try out vending machines stocked with YSL beauty products.
2. T-Mobile Indio Invasion Powered by Pandora
To encourage guests to engage via social media, Pandora created colorful photo ops at every step of a T-Mobile-sponsored pool party. As soon as guests arrived, they could pose for an arrivals post at a branded entryway featuring faux magenta bougainvillea and white wisteria on a graphic step-and-repeat. Custom ribbon tents stocked with branded pillows and graphic rugs served as seating areas.
3. The HP Lounge
As the official technology sponsor of Coachella, HP pulled out all the stops for Coachella. The brand implemented two distinct experiential marketing campaigns: an HP lounge available for attendees to recuperate and test recently launched HP products, and an 11,000-square-foot-dome called “The Antarctic,” displaying audiovisual art powered by HP products.
4. American Express Card Member Club
Amex also had a presence on the festival fields, where it used RFID technology in Coachella wristbands to offer card members access to a tranquil on-site lounge complete with a bar and charging stations, as well as other perks such as a priority lane for Uber pickup, a free Ferris wheel ride, and the chance to have a personal item embroidered.
5. Google Pixel 2 Photo Activation
Google created photo activations highlighting the tech company’s Pixel 2 smartphone. In a fun twist on photo booths, the creative agency wrapped six of the festival’s iconic Ferris wheel pods with an interior graphic to create a fun finish that guests could then snap using the Pixel. A Ferris wheel-adjacent activation provided non-riders with a similar experience.
6. BMW i Powered Paradise
The automotive company delivered a campaign that saw 15 BMW iFleets wrapped in a colorful custom design created by Portugal the Man’s John Gourley. Social media influencers then drove the iFleets to the festival, sharing their road trip with followers along the way. At a Friday night party, guests could create a shareable video at an interactive neon photo booth featuring the iFleet.
7. Marriott W Village Experience at the Safari Camp Grounds
Marriott gave rewards members the chance to stay at one of four yurts on the festival’s campground. A greenery-heavy yurt was meant to evoke the W’s Bali hotel, while the others were designed to resemble the chain’s Hollywood, Barcelona, and Dubai properties.