All-Star Activations in the Music Industry

experiential music activation

Brand activations at music festivals have become quite popular over the last couple years. Some activations with an Instagrammable experience are starting to matter just as much as the music. Brands have become a big part of festivals by upping the stakes each year with celebrity endorsers, social media influencers and Instagram-friendly experiences that dominate promotion. Music festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Panorama give brands an opportunity to gain an entire season’s worth of promotion in a week or two, with near-guaranteed social media exposure along the way. Music streaming platforms are a perfect fit for festivals too, they continue to generate buzz and have mastered creating interactive experiences for guests. Experiential music activations - or at least experiential activations done in conjunction with a high-profile music event - have clearly been recognized by the festival industry as a great way to stand out among the crowd and keep festies coming back year after year.

Music streaming platforms are successfully expanding activations outside of the festival world to interactive media conferences, the Olympics, and other top entertainment destinations. Check out the top activations in music, in & out of the festival world.


Music Festival Activations

Pandora And T-Mobile ‘Invade’ Coachella 2018

Coachella’s all-star lineup, festival fashion, and epic pool parties attracts thousands of guests each year. For many guests, the T-Mobile Indio Invasion Powered by Pandora was a fan favorite. The co-branded activation provided guests with the ultimate interactive experience.

Inside the custom-designed tent, the opportunity for social engagement and social sharing was abundant through the stylish rugs and branded pillows. Guests could also head over to the Gaming Lounge to play classic lawn games like corn hole, Ping-Pong and croquet. Pandora contributed the highlight of the activation with DJ sets from Mia Moretti, Jim E. Stack and headliner Dillon Francis. Beyond the music, T-Mobile launched their #AreYouWithUs campaign. The #AreYouWithUs display served as a popular photo op until the DJ set started.

experiential music activation

Source: EventMarketer, "Pandora and T-Mobile 'Invade' Coachella with an Instagrammable Oasis"


The Heineken House at Coachella 2016-2018

One of the most successful activations ever at Coachella was done by Heineken. In 2016, Heineken celebrated 15 years as the official malt beverage sponsor of Coachella and they kicked it off with “living room styled” house party activation. The activation included a kinetic dance floor with a modern twist. The movement on the floor converted into energy and light beams that lit up the party and powered the whole activation. The theme inside the house was Heinekens history, giving the brand great exposure to tell the Heineken story. The outside patio gave guests a further experience by providing misters and phone charging stations.

Heineken has continued to bring back the “Heineken House” activation to Coachella yearly. In 2017, Heineken brought to life the creative spirit of the festival with a digital art wall installation. Guests entered the interactive simulation area and created their own artwork using a selected stencil, or make their own selfie with a spray can. This past year, Heineken offered free water for its “This One Is On Us” activation, to remind guests to keep responsible consumption on their mind. The activation also expanded outside of Coachella this year to a venue in Brooklyn, where people were introduced to a new artist in the green room sessions.

experiential music activation

Source: EventMarketer, Heineken's Kinetic Dance Floor Lights Up Coachella


Music Streaming Platforms

Music Brand’s SXSW Activation Uses Facial Recognition

Pandora’s personal audio clips was a top activation at this year’s SXSW Conferences. The activation allowed attendees to create their own personal sounds using Pandora technology. The information was pulled from attendees based on their personal song selections and the additional facial recognition feature indicated various moods and feelings to the songs played. Together, the technology produced a personalized audio clip for attendees. Pandora’s personalized activation was not only unique, but attendees walked away with their own personal sound and a blend of all genres.


Spotify’s Subway Station Take Over

This year, music streaming company Spotify paid tribute to one of the most iconic artists in Europe. The underground activation attracted people all over New York City to Broadway-Lafayette subway station to experience the influence of David Bowie through amazing images and murals. Each mural showed a different stage of his career. Spotify included codes within each piece of art providing audio about his career. During the activation, Spotify also launched an artist spotlight introducing David Bowie’s greatest hits and stories which people could stream from there Spotify app. Spotify targeted daily commuters in New York City giving them a taste of music history.

experiential activation music

Source: Adweek, "Spotify Turned a Subway Station Into an Interactive Homage to David Bowie"

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