Music Isn’t the Only Thing Playing at Bluesfest

While music is the main focus at Bluesfest, one could say that marketing is the opening act and most concert goers won’t ever realize it.

Many Ottawa businesses have marketed their brands at Ottawa’s Bluesfest over the years. Some continue to forge ahead year after year while others come and go. At last count there were 31 sponsors listed for this year’s Bluesfest with everything from banking, beverages, press, food and more covered. It will be interesting to see which sponsors are able to harness concert goers to engage with their brand in a meaningful way customized for this event. If they can do that, there will certainly be some success.

The simple truth is that if you don’t plan on providing genuine value and a somewhat enhanced experience to your target group, it won’t deliver for you.

Some interesting facts from Eyeball Research that polled over 2,000 people.

  • Going to a festival is the most exciting thing 44% of respondents have ever done.
  • 41% have positive feelings towards the brands that were involved with music festivals which makes for a better chance of getting your message across.

Think about giving genuine value.


Example 1

Heineken U Code Campaign

Heineken found an original and clever way to promote a new message with a personalized QR code sticker for event goers t-shirts. It allowed people to scan others to get a message to appear on their phone. It was brilliant; providing a  fun and interactive way to break the ice when meeting new people and was perfect for the demographic Heineken was targeting. This campaign received further mileage post event when participants posted photos of themselves in their t-shirts on Facebook and other social platforms. It was a win all around, connecting strangers, helping people make new friends and providing an interactive social experience with the brand front and centre.
See The QR Code Campaign

Example 2

Recycling for Beer Tokens

Thinking about the needs of your audience is key to getting noticed. Started in Scandinavia, people can go around  festivals collecting beer glasses and take them back to a recycling point in exchange for beer tokens. It’s a win-win as festival goers are helping to keep the festival area tidy and at the same time, are receiving something tangible in exchange for their participation. The result is an involved group of consumers interacting with a brand in a positive way.

Example 3

While traditionally thought of as indoor activities, we continually see gaming brands like Xbox and PlayStation with a consistent presence at outdoor festivals, fairs and more including music centric fairs, skateboarding venues and other sports centered events. Exposure at these types of events allows them to showcase their brand offering to their target audience in a creative space and to a receptive crowd.

Bottom Line

To gain the approval of the festival crowd, brands need to think beyond the crowd and their message and think about giving genuine value to the consumer to make it all work.

If you are looking for some great marketing ideas or a better way to communicate with your audience, contact us. It’s what we do! We’re the idea people and we are waiting to hear from you!

Author: Todd Marcotte
Lead Marketing Strategist

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