The summer festival has become something of a tradition in the USA, Europe and beyond. With roots that began in the UK in the late 1980s, these large-scale events, often lasting for several days, feature a fertile breeding ground for all kinds of marketing campaigns. Whether you’re hoping to sell a new range of delicious craft beer or promote your new line of custom-made T-shirts, these events offer businesses the opportunity to present their products to an audience of very receptive potential customers. The carefree atmosphere, the sun and the unusual locations mean that non-traditional and even downright strange approaches to marketing campaigns can be extremely effective when managed correctly. Here are some of Probella’s sensational summer festival marketing ideas to give you a little inspiration.
Simple, cheap and very visible, this tried and tested method has been popular among alternative industries such as skateboarding, underground music and nightclubs for over a decade. Though you must always get permission from the festival owner before slapping your branded stickers all over the site, most have come to expect this as part and parcel of the experience now. Well designed, eye catching stickers that feature your website, logo, telephone number and email address are one of the easiest ways to get noticed by a large number of people in a short space of time. Just remember to stick them somewhere there’s a lot of foot traffic if you can, this way they won’t get missed.
Skywriting or Banner Ads
This is something seldom seen these days, but skywriting used to be commonplace, especially at rural events in certain parts of the USA. This novelty approach to offline marketing can be a fantastic way to create a buzz amongst a lot of people, the visual aspect also means they are likely to remember this for some time to come. You will need to get permission from the festival owners but in some cases, it may be possible to advertise to crowds as they are arriving or leaving the site. Keep messages short, succinct and as clear as possible if you want to make the most impact. Always try to include at least a website address or phone number, too, as this can act as your call to action. Though it will be out of reach for some people, especially smaller businesses, skywriting or banner ads that are attached to small planes can be a fun and memorable way to push your brand to the summer festival crowd.
Live Performances, Improv and Fancy Dress
Festivals can be crazy places (in a good way) and people have come to expect fancy dress as standard. Some savvy businesses have discovered that they can potentially get in on the act by using crowd interaction, flash mobs and other festival friendly techniques to push their brand. Providing that you enter into the spirit of the festival itself, the sky is the limit when it comes to ideas. Short plays, songs and even interactive events can all be fun and effective ways to promote your business to revellers who wouldn’t ordinarily see your message.
Flyers and Business Cards
It might sound old fashioned and even a little boring, but this technique has remained popular for a good reason. It works. Under normal circumstances, many people will walk past somebody handing out flyers. Their daily working lives and the stress of everyday life means they aren’t especially receptive to new products or ideas on a regular basis. At a festival, most people are happy, relaxed and open to the idea of accepting new things. That means your flyer or business card has more chance of being seen when the festival punter gets home. Try to link the design and typography of the flyer to the festival in some way if you can as it can then serve as something of a reminder or keepsake as well as a piece of great marketing.
Pop Up Shops or Stalls
Festivals are the perfect place for pop ups. You can erect a small stall or temporary shop in no time and providing you have spent some time on your branding and your overall presence, you should be able to make an impact. Large, clear roller banners are great for market stalls and pop up stands featuring your brand image can help to draw attention to things like free giveaways or samples. This kind of marketing will definitely require permission and may even require you to pay a fee but if you are successful, you can potentially reach a large number of people who stand a great chance of converting.
Novelty Branded Items
Water bottles, sun hats, badges and bags are festival essentials, but you can get in on the action by handing out your own branded versions. This type of campaign will require you to have the capital to invest in the products initially and you will need to be able to take the hit before expecting any kind of significant return, but over time, this type of approach can be a potential success. Try to brand items that people need to use, rather than something they will likely throw in the trash a few minutes later. Practical items such as lanyards for festival programs, keyrings and rain ponchos have all been used by major companies across the globe to great effect.
Big Screen Adverts
Not recommended for those without a considerable budget and ideally suited to well established businesses, this style of marketing is commonplace around the mainstages of practically every festival in the world. If you can afford to, projecting a short, snappy and engaging video ad on to the screens either side of the main stage will allow you to grab the attention of literally thousands of potential customers at the same time. The key to success with this kind of campaign is to make your videos loud, short and unforgettable. Contacting festivals well in advance can mean you get cheaper rates but generally speaking, this kind of advertising is usually quite expensive.