Music festivals represent an ideal scenario for brands to showcase new products and services, raise awareness to relevant causes or to simply  maintain (or enhance) brand awareness.

The hedonic environment and behaviors of festivals, combined with the values and behaviors associated with music, allows brands to effectively communicate and interact with fans while they are influenced by positive emotions.

Thus, marketers seek creative solutions to trigger novel hedonic experiences or to simply solve utilitarian problems that frequent during a festival experience. Either way, an effective brand communication and relationship is established and the festival goer benefits from having a more memorable experience.

The insight report shown here highlights common practice trends developed by marketers during brand activations in music festivals.

How Did We Develop It?

The report displays a sample of results from a content analysis of 120 brand activations, which took place in over 60 music festivals from 2007 to 2019.

Festivals ranged from markets such as North America, Europe, Africa and Oceania (Australia). The activations were analyzed in 21 categories.

The data was collected with the support of two talented students: Daena knauf and Celina Yau. The research initiative is also supported by IUBH University of Applied Sciences (Bad Honnef Campus)

Download the Insight Report

To download: Click here or on the image - Insight Report - Brand activation in music festivals .

Brand activation
Cover of the Insight Report

Final Thoughts

Brand activations have the potential to, and should, be much more than a simple tool for brand exposure. As seen through the examples, brand activations have the potential, for example, to enhance a music festival or any other live hedonic experience, while at the same time, raising awareness to relevant social and environmental causes.

Moreover, activations also have the potential to provide valuable solutions to utilitarian problems and basic needs during the consumption of the experience. These may include transportation, safety, illness, communication,  hydration, hunger, well-being and much more. The 120 brands investigated here have shown fascinating creative solutions that can be replicated or adapted to other contexts.

Furthermore, these examples show that when a brand is indirectly communicated in association with a customer solution or macro-environmental cause, the impact is often very positive. The affective response, as consequence to the solution of the problem, is directly transferred to the brand in a hedonic environment where affective emotions are running high.

The combination of context, situational factors and consumer value indirectly related to the brand makes brand activations in music festivals an extremely effective marketing communication tool.