Coachella: The Perfect Event For Influencer Marketing

The Coachella Music and Arts Festival, also known as ‘Coachella’, with headliners such as Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande and more this year, is no doubt the most Instagrammable event of the year. The festival is based in an Indio, California desert in the, just a two hour drive from Los Angeles. Every year, the festival runs through the second and third weekends of April. Within those two weekends, most of your favorite influencers are in California for Coachella running in between concerts, parties and expressing themselves through their interpretations of desert fashion. The concert is not only enjoyed by Coachella attendees, it is also broadcast globally.

According to MediaKix, in 2016, 40+ million people globally experienced Coachella through Snapchat. With a huge audience within and outside of the festival, Coachella has has become an influencer favorite, creating unique opportunities for brands to tap into a market with expansive purchasing power. Many festival-goers purchase their Coachella outfits and plan for their getaway in the months leading up, making this an important time for brands to insert themselves into consumer feeds through influencer marketing.

When the Festival Becomes a Brand

Coachella, which started in 1999 as a rock and alternative music festival, has changed over time. Not only did the music category expand throughout the years, it has also become a desirable event for art and fashion brands. Every year, brands organize exclusive events during the festival inviting top influencers and celebrities whose main purpose is to drive online interest for the event by showing bold outfits, trendy hairstyles and stunning make-up.

Influencer marketing has therefore become an essential part of the festival. According to Mediakix, 8 out of 10 participants bought something before the event to prepare for Coachella which means that brands have huge advertising opportunities within influencer marketing in the months leading up to the festival. Furthermore, 32 million people participate in one or more music festivals similar to Coachella in the United States. In fact, 14.7 million participants out of 32 million participants are Millennials whose purchase decision are heavily influenced by the online community. Further, 83% of Millennials find online content useful in making purchasing decisions (ShareThrough). Brands, therefore, compete to dress celebrities and influencers on this glamorous social event which can now be categorized as a brand itself.

What Are Brands Doing for 2019?

Many brands have paired their digital influencer marketing efforts with experiential activations at and around Coachella. These pop-up events (or even Revolve's very own festival outside the Coachella grounds) procure high numbers of earned social media content for brands. American Express has developed a longer game-plan for Coachella marketing. Similarly to 2018, they provided existing card holders with the Platinum House to rest, unwind, and even party in throughout the festival. Attendees who saw the perks of an AmEx last year definitely got their act together to make the cut this year!

Another brand who capitalized on the festival in a unique way was BMW. The brand was able to find an aspect of Coachella that fit their message and product through the #RoadToCoachella pop-up with Khalid. Many of the performers at the festival also have huge following on social media and have similar influence as content creators. By using Khalid, a well-known millennial musician, as the face of their activation, they drew hundreds of influencers through their doors to produce earned and contracted content. BMW's activation was more than just a destination, it had curated decor and backdrops that were Instagrammable.

For the most part, brands use Coachella to position themselves as aspirational. All of the consumers who can't make it to the festival watch their favorite influencers soak in the festival in almost-real-time; products that are advertised during this time see a boost in conversion because of the heightened sense of aspiration attached to each post.

These are just two of hundreds of brand activations at and around Coachella, and each year is proving to be more and more important for relevant brands to market themselves around key cultural moments. We predict that smaller music and arts festivals will become increasingly more important in the next few years in order to differentiate from the Coachella bustle.

Image Source: @travel_inhershoes