Bud Light Wins Lollapalooza, Along with Chicago's Heart!

Step by Step Creative:

1. Lollapalooza is an annual music festival, taking place in Grant Park, Chicago.

2. Bud Light is an official sponsor of Lollapalooza 2017.

3. Chance the Rapper is the headliner for Lollapalooza 2017.

4. Bud Light partners with Chicago artist, Brandon Breaux, who designed all of Chance the Rapper's album covers for a limited edition aluminum bottle featuring Chicago's iconic landmarks.

This is how you win music festival season.

This is a multi-pronged campaign that allows Bud Light to tap into the heart of the Chicago community through the love of art (music, design - all forms), summer, and beer - Whether you attend Lollapalooza or not. Anheuser-Busch is no stranger when it comes to the event sponsorship space, but they continue to innovate and create strategic partnerships to maximize exposure and engage their consumer through storytelling.

http://bit.ly/2s1S72q

What Marketers Can Learn from SXSW 2017

Another SXSW has come and gone, but not without making a splash!  While there were reports of brands reducing their presence at SXSW this year, there were plenty of awesome activations of all sizes and scope.  Here are 3 takeaways that ALL brands can use moving forward with all brand activations:

·       Stick to what you’re good at

·       Focus on the goal, not being ‘the biggest’

·       Collaborate

1.       Stick to what you’re good at

If your brand is not an event-production company that offers PR/media outreach services, don’t take that piece on yourself unless you have an internal team solely dedicated to do just that.  A brand will spend more time, money, and resources taking that piece on than if they sponsored an existing event that is going to handle everything from securing the venue, to PR/media coverage, to VIP/influencer attendees. 

Think about it like you would a wedding.  People try to save money by using a venue they have access to (like their home) or not hiring a wedding planner.  You need to rent tables, chairs, shoot – what if it rains?  Anything require a permit?  Will the HOA freak out over the number of cars parked throughout the neighborhood?  Fast forward to the big day, the amount of time, money, resources, and gray hair…often not a huge savings when all is said and done! 

Sure, a bit different than what brands’ needs are whether producing or participating in an event, but the point is that the brand should focus what they know and leave event-related execution to the professionals.  You’ll be happy with the results and have just as much creative input as you would if you built it from scratch (but without the headache!).

2.       Focus on the goal, not being ‘the biggest’ 

Every activation wants to be the best, but that doesn’t mean the biggest.  Having the most bodies does not guarantee the best experience.  A well-executed event can be just as impactful as the largest event on the block.  Small and intimate can be just as effective, and can even exude a sort of “exclusivity” making it more desirable.

Compare it to your average Friday night.  You might go to the most popular club in town – line out the door, when you finally get in it takes 15+ minutes to get a drink, people everywhere, no available seating, your song never gets played on the jukebox, and someone’s flying elbow just spilled your drink.  As far you’re concerned, the most popular club in town is also THE WORST.  But that establishment down the street – you walk right in, same drink, song actually plays on the jukebox, and you can even snag a pool table or darts.  Same goes for industry events.  If the experience is lackluster or, on the flipside, overpowering, the vibe felt by the attendee is negative.

Focus on the goal – what is the experience you want the attendee to have and how can it be best executed?  And if you don’t know how it can be best executed, work with the event-production teams.  Together you can create the desired experience, keeping the brand’s goals as the main focal point.  The right PR and media plan can amplify the impact of any event and puts your brand in a larger conversation. 

3.       Collaborate

Have an idea, but need more support to make it come to fruition?  Whether it’s bringing on brand partners to take on some of the financial burden or a creative collaboration, strategic partnerships are a great way to focus on what you know best and leverage others’ resources, skill sets, and expertise to execute a top quality activation.                           

A great case study from this year’s SXSW was when Casper, Tesla, and The Standard Hotel teamed up for a unique hospitality activation that also capitalized on #NationalNapDay.  Festivals and conferences can be exhausting.  Whether you needed a place to stay that night or a quick cat nap to recharge for the rest of the day, Casper, Tesla, and The Standard Hotel through the One Night App had your back!  Casper promoted their mattresses, Tesla was the transportation provider in a city where Uber and other rideshare services are not available, and The Standard Hotel booked their newly renovated boutique hotel through the One Night App for last minute bookings (and at an incredible rate, especially when a big festival is taking place!).

If each brand tried to activate this on their own, it would require a large chunk of a marketing budget to execute, but by leveraging partnerships, collaborating, and sharing the load this was a cost-effective activation that required more planning than anything else!  The ROI was through the roof, as the hotel and other services were booked as soon as 3pm struck, but the additional buzz during the conference and with media coverage was the icing on the cake!

SXSW activations are always innovative, but the basics are the foundation that allow for those unique and creative activations to come to life.  Keep them in mind for your next event or marketing plan:

1.       Stick to what you’re good at

2.       Focus on the goal, not being ‘the biggest’

3.       Collaborate

STILETTO has worked with event-production teams for numerous lifestyle events, from New York Fashion Week to Music Festivals to Celebrity-Hosted VIP Events.  Let STILETTO guide you through your next activation.

Calling all Cannabis Brands – 5 FAQs about Entertainment Opportunities

I’ve spoken with a countless number of cannabis brands since I founded my agency and while it’s still unclear what government agencies will decide when it comes to future regulations (state and national), with recreational marijuana being legalized in key states, the prohibition is over and the stigma is slowly being lifted from the cannabis industry.  The cannabis industry is about to BOOM.

Up until now, social media and cannabis industry-specific media outlets have been the primary platforms for brands to promote their products and/or services (aside from working directly with dispensaries and budtenders). Many cannabis brands have successfully leveraged niche lifestyle influencers through successful affiliate marketing programs with proven ROI. Those tactics are a great way to build a business and those programs will continue to grow, but it’s time to go a step above and really differentiate yourself. 

With the “stoner stigma” being lifted and the fact that cannabis will be legal on a national level (if the projections are accurate), the opportunity for any cannabis brand is about to grow exponentially. It’s not just about sales anymore, the conversation will turn to brand awareness and perception with the goal of reaching new demographics and creating new potential customers across the US and internationally.

So, what’s next?

·      How do you become top of mind?

·      How do you make your product a national brand? 

·      How do you pull away from the rest of the pack, in an already saturated market that continues to grow rapidly? 

·      How do you get ahead of the curve? 

·      How do you maintain your brand image and amplify it to a larger audience?

ANSWER: Entertainment is KING. Whether it’s a beach bum vibe or sophisticated creative mindset you’re trying to recreate, it’s all about how the consumer “experiences” your brand and there are entertainment partnerships to help your brand achieve your goals through branded content.  

Hollywood events, celebrities and influencers are looking for strategic partnerships in the cannabis category NOW.

FAQs

1.      How much for a celebrity to post on social media about our brand? And are they open to an affiliate program?

A.     The cost will vary by celebrity, based on social media reach, current project, and many other factors. Social media influencers, even with a large following, are almost always cheaper, but that is because there is value associated with being attached to a celebrity that has another platform outside of their social media.

I don’t generally recommend “social media post ONLY” campaigns, as they are more successful when they are linked to a larger campaign or piece of content. That being said, in terms of budget, there are few celebrities that will be willing to post for less than $5k per post - And many celebrities only want long-term engagements, not one-offs. Some may be open to an affiliate/% of revenue program as part of the deal, but celebrities will always require an upfront cash fee in addition the % of revenue. 100% revenue based deals are not an option when dealing with this level of talent.

2.      Are music festivals open to cannabis-related sponsorships/integrations?

A.     Yes. Activation details and budgets vary per music festival and type of associated event. (Coachella and Stagecoach are both open!!)

3.      What other opportunities are available for cannabis brands?

A.     Approval for cannabis brands is still a case by case basis, but the following are all open for discussions:

· Celebrity Event Appearance

· Celebrity Licensed Product Line/Celebrity Endorsement

· Music Video Integration

· Music Tour Sponsorship

· Private Party Sponsor (Malibu Beach House, Celebrity-Hosted Music Festival Parties)

· Event Sponsorships (Customized per Event)

· Gift Lounges

· Branded Integration – Web Series or Horror Film

· And more…sky is the limit.

4.      What kind of budgets do we need?

A.     Budgets are flexible and negotiable. Generally we can find something for every budget, but please refer to the “New Year, NEW BUDGET” blog for more budget and asset details.

5.      We’ve been approached for gift bag sponsorship opportunities. Should we do it, is it a good idea?

A.     NO. NEVER. Save your product and marketing budget for something with a larger ROI.

Final Thought: There is no limit to creativity. Brands, celebrities, productions, and events are all open to suggestions and ideas to a degree. It will come down to the final details of the activation and budget to see if it can become a reality.

Event Sponsorships: For every event, there are 5 more. Get in on the action!

For every event, there are 5 more.

It’s that time of year…every weekend there is another “Hollywood” event – Super Bowl, Grammys, New York Fashion Week, NBA All-Star, The Oscars…the list goes on, and soon we’ll be in music festival season, too.  And here’s my PSA - Just because you’re not an official sponsor of a particular event, this does NOT mean your brand can’t participate and get in on the action!

For every event, there are at least 5 associated events – kick-off parties, gift lounges, pre-parties, after-parties, viewing parties and more!  This past Sunday, 1 full week before The Oscars, there was a media event and gift lounge for talent, VIPs, and influencers to enjoy.  There will be events throughout the week leading up to the big show.  This leaves plenty of opportunities for brands, catering to all budgets, to get their products into the hands of influencers while creating PR, media, and social media buzz. 

The Why:

·       TURN KEY ACTIVATION!

·       Differentiate yourselves from the competition

·       Interactive Experience with Top Talent and Influencers

·       Media & PR Buzz

·       Social Media Assets GALORE

·       Product Seeding

There are star-studded events throughout the year – Find one that’s right for your brand and get in on the action!

Contact STILETTO to learn about opportunities today!

 

New Year, NEW BUDGET! Happy 2017!

Happy New Year, Everyone!  “New Year, New YOU!” doesn’t just apply to our personal lives and resolutions.  It’s a new year, and your brand can take on some new habits in 2017, as well.

So let’s kick off the year with some real talk.  Whether you have $5,000 or $5 million in your marketing budget, please reach out to STILETTO for a consultation.  Most brands assume “influencer and entertainment marketing” is too expensive for them and stick to traditional marketing and advertising methods – This is NOT always the case!  There is generally something for every brand, so at the very least know your entertainment marketing and influencer social media options as we kick off 2017.  STILETTO can explain and present tactics and craft campaigns that work within your budget and align with your 2017 marketing plan and associated initiatives.   

If you want Beyoncé or Taylor Swift to represent your brand, you’re going to pay big for it.  If you want a Super Bowl commercial, same thing.  But the majority of “entertainment” opportunities that yield valuable brand awareness, media coverage, and social media assets are affordable. 

Let’s focus on the activations that will get you the most “bang for your buck” if negotiated and executed correctly:

  • Celebrity Event Sponsorships
  • Gift Lounge Participation
  • Music Video Integration
  • Influencer Campaigns
  • Talk Show Integration & Giveaway

The "Why" & How Much:

Celebrity Event Sponsorship

You don’t need a full blown celebrity endorsement to participate in a star-studded event.  Nearly all celebrity events are sponsored in some capacity, whether it’s a celebrity baby shower, unofficial Super Bowl event, or an “After Party” - and the activation capabilities are endless.  You can’t deny it…consumers can’t resist seeing what their favorite celebrities are into!

What you get*:

  • Guaranteed Press & Media Coverage
  • Branded Interactive Onsite Experience
  • Celebrity and Influencer Interaction & Engagement
  • Pictures & Video assets for social media and internal marketing/sales use.
  • Potential Step & Repeat Logo Inclusion
  • Official Press Release Mention
  • Quick Turnaround – can be executed in as little as 2 weeks depending on execution details
  • Behind the Scenes Assets (depends on activation)

**Endless options based on available budget and brand details.

Recommended Starting Budget for Celebrity Event: $25k

*Varies by event and brand category

Gift Lounge Participation

With many celebrity events, there are associated gift lounges for gifting directly to celebrities and influencers.  Typically these are around award season, but can be a component of any event.  These gift lounges are great for quick assets for social media, but you may be limited in terms of the activation capabilities, press coverage, quality of celebrity talent attending, and overall “cool” factor since your brand will be featured with countless others.  Gift lounges are generally more affordable than a full blown event sponsorship for those reasons.

What you get:

  • Limited Press & Media Coverage
  • Branded Interactive Onsite Experience
  • Celebrity and Influencer Interaction & Engagement (Quality of talent not as high as Event Sponsorship)
  • Gifting to attending talent
  • Pictures & Video assets for social media and internal marketing/sales use
  • Official Press Release Mention
  • Quick Turnaround - can be executed in as little as 2 weeks depending on execution details

Recommended Starting Budget for Gift Lounge Participation: $10k

Music Video Integration

If you read my earlier post about Morton Salt’s collaboration with OK Go to launch their “Walk Her Walk” campaign, you know I’m a huge advocate for music video integration – especially if you are targeting the millennial demographic.  But it’s not just because they allow for more creativity and have a “cool” factor about them – music videos provide unique assets that other marketing tactics can’t offer.  Music and artists are a part of everyone’s lives – there is no demographic a music partnership can’t reach!  And remember, Entertainment is King when it comes to reaching consumers.

What you get:

  • Implied Endorsement – Association and interaction with top talent without huge endorsement fees
  • Can lead to a future long-term partnership with the talent if both parties are satisfied with the results of the initial activation
  • Contracted and guaranteed brand exposure (duration onscreen) and product usage
  • Pictures & Video assets for social media and internal marketing/sales use
  • Trackable Viewership/ROI via YouTube & Vimeo
  • Additional Add-on Assets (including, but not limited to)
  • Social Media posts from the talent
  • Behind-The-Scenes Content
  • Quick Turnaround – Production to release of video generally around one month

Recommended Starting Budget for Music Video integration: $15k*

*Flexible, varies by talent and brand category

Influencer Campaign

The hot tactic that is expected to double in 2017 is influencer campaigns, leveraging social media primarily.  This method is excellent for reaching target consumers based on the platforms they are active on and using select influencers to share branded and entertaining content to reach a particular demographic.  And perhaps the best thing about it, there is no one “right way” to go about it (but you can certainly do it wrong if you aren’t careful!).  Depending on the marketing initiatives, a campaign could leverage micro, social media/lifestyle, or celebrity in their influencer campaigns so the budgets will vary depending on the campaign goals.  The relationship with the influencer can be short or long-term, but that decision should be based on the campaign goals and KPIs.

What you get:

  • Entertaining content created by a select influencer
  • Contract & mutually agreed upon usage and content
  • Leverage of the influencer’s fan base
  • Shareable content for social media
  • Assets for internal marketing/sales usage
  • Flexible terms
  • Quick turnaround
  • Trackable viewership and engagement

Recommended Starting Budget for Influencer Campaigns: $30k*

*This includes multiple posts and pieces of content, and potentially multiple influencers.  This is NOT for a single post on one channel.  In addition, a micro-influencer campaign can be activated for less, but results may vary.

Talk Show Integration & Giveaway

An oldie, but a goodie.  Nothing beats an implied endorsement from a top talent, national exposure, and your brand messaging delivered straight from the host’s mouth!  You can reach millions of viewers with a 30 second brand integration and giveaway that is baked into the content of the episode.  The segment and giveaway may also featured on the TV production’s website and their social media platforms, as well. 

What you get:

  • Implied endorsement from a top talent
  • Guaranteed brand exposure and brand messaging
  • Product Sampling
  • Picture and video assets for internal marketing and sales use
  • Additional Add-ons
  • Social Media promotion
  • Website Inclusion
  • Additional “Home Viewer” Giveaway

Recommended Starting Budget for Talk Show Integration: $15k*

NOTE: Talk show integrations and giveaways require product for all audience members, sometimes an online giveaway, and may require an integration fee which varies by production and segment (reflected in recommended minimum budget below).

*Does not include value of product for gifting.  Many shows require a retail value of $50 or $100 gift value per audience member.  Audience size varies from approximately 50 – 450. 

*Integration fee varies by TV production

FINAL THOUGHTS:  

All of these tactics work individually for a “firework” marketing effect, but are best utilized when they are baked into existing campaigns.  A successful entertainment marketing plan should support all other marketing/advertising efforts in some capacity, which will also add longevity to the assets obtained with each activation.

STILETTO will educate and guide you through the details to create engaging and successful marketing campaigns.  No matter the budget, there is something for everyone.  And if you take one thing with you from this, let it be this point: DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN GIFT BAG ONLY OPPORTUNITIES!  I can promise you with nearly 100% certainty that the samples sent for the gift bag never reach the talent, but their assistants and publicists will love the free goodies.  The assets you receive in return for your contribution (usually a cash fee and product) will yield little to no result.

Contact STILETTO for your free 2017 consultation.