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Strategy, Experiential

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By: Thomas Schertzer

Every year in Indio, California hundreds of thousands make their annual pilgrimage to the desert to experience the best in music and culture like only Coachella knows how to deliver.

Weekend One brought memorable performances from Lana Del Ray, Billie Eilish and the return of No Doubt but the excitement, we at VIBRANT were looking for, was which brands are showing up in a unique way and telling their story to Coachella festivalgoers.

Of course, you have the stalwart brands that have been investing in Coachella for years, like Heineken and AMEX that are always sure to impress. Then you have newer and highly influential brands, like Poosh – Kourtney Kardashian’s lifestyle brand who’s activation for the second straight year was Camp Poosh. This brand was investing to achieve their festival moment.

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#1 – Creating Beautiful Photo Moments & Self Expression Opportunities

When we think of Coachella, the first thing that comes to mind for many of us is the sun-soaked imagery that we see from all content creators and festival goers. This year is no different and here are a few who we feel did it well.

Pinterest created the Pinterest Manifest Station, which they are dubbing an immersive experience, inviting festivalgoers to transform into their most creative selves, with the help of expert fashion and beauty stylists.

Google created a film studio type of activation, where consumers would take photos in highly curated rooms, and then have a team of educated professionals retouch their images, while showcasing the unique features of Google’s latest device. Seamless and beautiful images ensued.  

Together with VIBRANT, our partner Unshackled Wines, official wine of Coachella VIP, created the Unshackled Wine Bar. Within our space, among offering various photo moments with inspirational imagery, we executed a 360 immersive photo op, capturing these precious moments of celebration and self-expression.

Honorable mentions were Nike & Coke, as they also played in the photo theme space this year using green screen tech and also professional photographers, respectively.

#2 – Enhancing the Party

Many brands want to show up to a festival like Coachella and integrate into the day seamlessly. What better way to do that than to be an integral part of the party? This usually fits organically with beverage alcohol brands, and this year was no different.

Absolut Vodka started off the festival season with a unique branding initiative titled ‘Mixing It Up: Cosmos & Culture,’. Hosted by Matt Rogers, this experience featured mixology sessions and discussions with experts in fashion, music, and culture on the latest trends in pop culture, all while enjoying Absolut Cosmos.

White Claw, once again, had a large consumer area, where their main objective was to keep the high intensity party alive – no matter what time of day. They designed a DJ booth and dance floor as key elements in their space to ensure that the ever-growing crowd was constantly engaged and White Claw product was continuously served. The design was eye-catching and the consumer experience was simple but clearly impactful, as the lines were continuous throughout the entire day.

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#3 – Impactful Lighting & Graphic Branding

Knowing that this festival is both during the day and evening, many brands once again considered the different looks & feels that they can achieve with lighting once the Californian sun descends.

Aperol did a fantastic job leaning into their main brand colour of orange, and created a very visually appealing and premium looking space. Inspired by the original Terrazza Aperol in Venice, Italy, the activation had a VIP space that hosted guests (who had pre-reserved their spots) for culinary experiences during golden hour each day.

Eyewear brand Carrera, the official eyewear partner of Coachella, designed a neon activation space, communicating their festival edition products, only available during the two weekends of Coachella. The total footprint of this activation was not overly large, however, the design and use of lighting really made this stand out amongst the crowd.

Whether you are a fan of music or not, Coachella is a yearly cultural landmark that will surely never be ignored. What a great year again in 2024 and VIBRANT is looking forward to planning with our clients again to ensure 2025 is bigger and better than ever!