The allure of the pop-up has permeated a new industry: the music biz. Artists from Slipknot to Madonna are leveraging pop-ups to hype new tours, engage fans and push merchandise in an era when album sales are no longer a musician’s bread and butter. Some feature brand partners, many include interactive experiences and virtually every genre of music has been covered (look no further than this pop-up dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach). For some experiential inspiration, take a look at the following steal-worthy pop-up strategies inspired by the modern music industry.
With his sights set on balancing “Instagrammable moments and a tangible item” Khalid promoted his sophomore album “Free Spirit” with a pop-up shop created in partnership with BMW during this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The contemporary soul artist (and BMW driver) helped the automaker outfit an assortment of its vehicles to match the aesthetic of his album cover, which features flames and a wolf, ahead of the event.
During the festival, the “Pit Stop” pop-up offered limited-edition merchandise, a look at the fleet of “Free Spirit”-inspired BMWs and Khalid’s own restored ’70s-era van, which was also designed to match the album cover. In addition to shoppable merch, the pop-up experience featured a claw machine that gave fans a chance to snag exclusive Khalid bandanas (which could be custom embroidered on-site), food trucks, games, music and, on one afternoon—a visit from Khalid himself. Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.
The experiential marketing industry’s first and only comprehensive guide to the best agency partners in the business
Mirrored Media is honored to announce that we have been named one of Event Marketers top experiential agencies for another consistent year.
The Event Marketer annual It List turns 17 this year, and like all 17-year-olds—it’s going through some changes. The It List is designed to reflect the changing needs of the brands and marketers who use it. So this year, they gave the It List application a facelift—tweaking the questions and selection criteria to better illuminate the agencies that are keeping pace with the industry—and what you need to be successful.
Among updates, they put less emphasis on office culture and years in business and more emphasis on strategic thinking, creative culture and work. “We wanted to understand better how the most innovative companies in events think. We also put more emphasis on new work as well as metrics, giving those companies delivering exceptional results for clients higher marks on our checklist. And we weighed the overall growth of the organizations: their top headlines of their year, awards won, client wins and new hires.
This year’s list is comprised of start-ups and boutiques, legacy shops and monolithic organizations. Some have a few dozen employees, and some, hundreds worldwide. Some specialize in b-to-b, while others, in b-to-c. Some, in a little of both.
As we have remarked over the past 17 years, the It List selection task is no walk in the park. Every year we huddle together for several weeks, scrutinizing newbies and veterans alike, digging through portfolios of work, and tracking the standout programs that captured the industry’s attention—all to provide the brand community the list of who it should be working with this year, and why. “
Check out the Mirrored Media portfolio HERE. See the entire list HERE.
Spring’s hottest ticket is about to fringe and flaunt its way into a second weekend. We’re talking Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the trendsetting, celebrity hotspot that boasts some pretty epic experiential marketing programs on top of epic performances. Ahead of the Indio, CA festival’s second and final weekend, April 19-21, we offer our roundup of the brands that have come out to play in the desert.
For the last two years, BMW has leveraged key partnerships and a fleet of its vehicles to document what the “Road to Coachella” looks like for influencers and musicians. To maintain its festival narrative and build on its legacy at this year’s event, the automaker again partnered with influencers and a key artist to deliver Road to Coachella content, but its on-site presence for the first time took the form of a “Pit Stop.”
At the heart of the program was Khalid, a Coachella headliner and the biggest musician BMW has worked with to-date. Riding on the success of the April 5 release of his album “Free Spirit,” the contemporary soul artist (and BMW driver) helped the brand outfit an assortment of its vehicles to match the aesthetic of the album cover, which features flames and a wolf. The theme of the campaign: youthful joy and freedom.
WATCH: KHALID REVEALS HIS OWN ROAD TO COACHELLA
Ahead of Coachella’s opening weekend, BMW’s influencer partners, including personalities like Paris Hilton, Laura Marano and Ross Butler, each headed to Palm Springs in a newly decked-out BMW and, of course, documented their journey on social media. Riding on that initial buzz, Khalid then announced his Road to Coachella Pit Stop to fans online.
The Pit Stop, which was located at the BMW of Palm Springs dealership and was open to guests Thursday through Sunday of Coachella’s opening weekend, was home to an array of exclusive merchandise, the “Free Spirit” fleet of BMWs and Khalid’s own van, also designed to match the artist’s album cover. In addition, there was a claw machine that gave fans a chance to snag custom Khalid Road to Coachella bandanas (which could be custom embroidered on-site), food trucks, games, music and, on Saturday—a visit from Khalid himself. Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.
The editors of Event Marketer announce the winners of the 2018 Experience Design & Technology Awards, the world’s largest—and only—recognition program celebrating the best use of design, social media and event technology to enhance live experiences. This year’s “best and brightest” were recognized at an awards luncheon at EventTech in Las Vegas. Mirrored Media is honored to announce that we have won bronze in two categories:
BEST DIGITAL + LIVE CAMPAIGN
Bronze Winner Campaign: Road to Coachella Client: BMW Partner: Mirrored Media
BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Bronze Winner Campaign: Road to Coachella Client: BMW Partner: Mirrored Media
Recognizing the Top 100 Event Agencies of the Year
Each year Event Marketer’s editors carefully review the credentials of hundreds of experiential agencies across the country to hand pick the 100 shops that represent the kind of best-in-class work and forward thinking that is pushing this industry forward. In this, our 16th year, and with a record-setting number of entries, we are proud to present the 2018 It List—the industry’s only editorial listing of the Top 100 event agencies of the year.
A landscape touted for years as “uncluttered” has become anything but. As live experiences continue to draw more marketing dollars and generate higher marketing returns, there’s a good reason why more agencies than ever are getting into the experiential marketing business.
Adding agencies to this space forces hotter competition among them to win the hearts and budgets of clients. Never have the stakes been higher for today’s event agencies to craft integrated campaigns, blending strategy and creative, leading to flawless execution, with measurable results. Which is why we received more It List applications than ever this year.
From b-to-c to b-to-b and everything in between, the truly top agencies driving this industry forward have more in common than you’d think. Like the innate desire to understand the cultures they market to—the unique behaviors, beliefs and values that make a demographic tick. Or the increased focus on advocacy that today’s younger generations demand. At its core, experiential marketing is about forging meaningful connections, and that can only exist if both parties find common ground.
Putting all 100 agencies on the same table gives us an interesting vantage point. Note how many agencies are celebrating milestone birthdays—a testament to the longevity of so many of these companies. Take a look at the incredible industry-wide pivot to embrace the power of data (and data security). When it comes to influencer marketing, let’s just say proprietary platforms that connect the right tastemakers with the right audiences are the new black. And alas, notice how many agencies that graced the It List for years are no longer on it—a nod to the competitiveness of the current experiential landscape.
Of course, selecting the top agencies in an industry that continues to see explosive growth was no easy feat. The caliber of work and subsequent ROI that augments with each passing year never ceases to amaze. From cutting-edge interactives to unparalleled storytelling to out-of-box venues (think: laundromats and wine caves), the agencies on this list—and the tireless soldiers behind them—represent the absolute best in the biz.
Whether they’re newcomers or veterans, b-to-c or b-to-b, this year’s It List consistently delivers exceptional experiences backed by impactful creative and well-defined strategy. The kind of campaigns that give you goosebumps. The kind that make you want to share what you’re experiencing. And the kind that have the power to change the world around us.
To all of the agencies that made the grade, we salute you for continuously striving to make the impossible possible.
Riding on the heels of its successful Road to Coachella campaign in 2017, BMW i put its show on the road once again this year to drive awareness of its i Series electric and hybrid vehicles, reach new audiences and engage the creative, passionate (and eco-friendly) demographic Coachella tends to attract. The brand’s presence reached far and wide, encompassing an artist partnership, a robust influencer program and two special events. It was the second year BMW i served as an official sponsor of the festival.
This year’s Road to Coachella program centered on BMW’s partnership with John Gourley, co-founder and lead singer of one of the festival’s most highly anticipated performing bands, Portugal. The Man, and an accomplished visual artist. Gourley was enlisted to create a one-of-a-kind design that was wrapped around each car in the BMW i Coachella fleet. The artist’s creative process, including the reveal of the wrapped vehicles, was documented on the brand’s social channels to give digital fans a taste of the action.
In addition to Gourley, BMW partnered with 15 influencers from around the world, including Kellan Lutz and Dorothy Wang, to share their own Road to Coachella journey in one of the custom-wrapped BMW i8s. The tastemakers documented their entire road trip, stopping at iconic locations along the way and, of course, sharing the content with millions of followers.
“There is perhaps no more quintessentially American experience than the road trip—your favorite music, a great car and the open road have always gone perfectly together,” says Tim Rittenhouse, experiential marketing manager at BMW of North America. “In the same way that a great song can trigger emotions, driving the ultimate driving machine can do the same. This emotional connection was the foundation for developing our Road to Coachella campaigns.”
SEE BMW i’S PARTNERSHIP WITH JOHN GOURLEY COME TO LIFE:
The brand also teamed up with lifestyle company The h.wood Group to deliver two large-scale events that collectively drew 6,000 attendees: Poppy’s BMW i Powered Paradise and Poppy’s BMW i Recharge Oasis, both of which took place at a sprawling estate just outside the festival grounds. As guests arrived at each event, they were met with a fleet of the wrapped i Series vehicles, and invited to hop in for the first shareable moment of the night.
Other share-worthy engagements across the events included a neon art installation featuring a metal BMW i3 frame traced with neon flex lighting, a neon photo booth experience with the new BMW i8 Roadster that could be shared instantly, and a custom-wrapped claw machine game. Prizes in the machine included custom-designed bandanas created by Gourley, four of which also had a hidden key to a BMW i8. The four lucky winners who clawed their way to the coveted key earned an extended weekend test drive of the Roadster.
In addition to myriad photo ops, the events also included performances by Diplo, Travis Scott and Lil Wayne, to name a few, and attracted a host of celebrities including Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, The Weekend and Paris Hilton. Other touchpoints included the unveiling of Kylie Jenner’s new makeup collection, ‘KOURT X KYLIE,’ as well as the launch of Kendall Jenner’s Pizza Boys Radio program on Apple Music’s Beats 1.
“The second chapter of our Road to Coachella campaign really developed beyond our initial expectations,” says Rittenhouse. “Not only was John’s design unique and eye catching, throughout the week at Coachella we had the opportunity to work alongside some amazing celebrities and creators to capture and share their Coachella experience.” Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.
Mirrored Media is excited to announce that our BMW Road to Coachella campaign has made it to the finals of the 2018 Ex Awards. The best experiential campaigns in the world will be named May 14 in San Francisco.
BEST FAIR/FESTIVAL ACTIVATION Client: BMW
Campaign: Road to Coachella
Agency: Mirrored Media
For more than 15 years, the Ex Awards has remained the largest recognition program for best-in-class experiential marketing. This year’s finalists, just unveiled, represent the most innovative brands and agencies in the industry.
The editors of Event Marketer have announced this year’s Ex Awards finalists, the 2018 best experiential marketing campaigns in the world. Entries this year broke all previous records—more than 1,000 were received from all over the world and there were more tie-breaks during scoring than ever before. One judge may have said it best: “This was the best work ever entered into the Ex Awards and the hardest year to win… ever.”
The Ex Awards is still the only marketing recognition program on the planet judged entirely by client-side judges—more than two-dozen scored entries over the last three weeks.
Mirrored Media’s CEO, Justin Lefkovitch, is a guest speaker for Event Marketer’s Guide to Festival Marketing Conference. Justin spoke at the live event about festival shareability and how brands can extend their reach through offline and online activations. Make sure to tune in! Register and tune in HERE.
From the world’s most respected resource on experiential marketing comes The Event Marketer’s Guide to Festival Marketing 2018, a free online conference designed to equip you with the intelligence you need to:
• CHOOSE THE RIGHT FESTIVAL PLATFORM
Learn tips and takeaways for determining if festivals are right for you, and where your brand fits in among an ever-expanding list of festivals.
• ENGAGE TODAY’S FESTIVAL ATTENDEES
Understand what festival attendees crave most, and learn how you can engage them in meaningful—and memorable—ways.
• EXTEND SPONSORSHIP REACH
Hear from the event pros that have mastered the art of executing shareable engagements designed specifically for festival crowds. AGENDA:
1:15 pm – 1:45 pm ET Festivals and Shareability: Extending Your Reach
If it didn’t happen on social media, it didn’t happen. Learn how to extend the reach of your festival sponsorship by:
Understanding which social platforms to leverage and when
Digitally engaging attendees before, during and after the show
Designing socially shareable engagements that festival audiences can’t resist
Founder / Chief Executive Officer
11:00 am – 11:30 am ET The Evolution of Festival Sponsorship Activations
Discover what’s fueling the explosive growth of music festivals and how sponsors can:
Leverage cutting-edge activation strategies to cut through the clutter
Get up to date on modern festival challenges
Develop sponsorship deals that will set their brand apart
President National Sales
11:45 am – 12:15 pm ET Picture Yourself Here: Festival Hospitality Experiences
Take a journey through the VIP lounges and event spaces that attract top customers and influencers. Find out:
Why inducing FOMO is a viable strategy, and how to leverage it
What festival goers want—and expect—from modern hospitality experiences
How to leverage your brand’s assets to build a memorable (and cost effective) experience
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm ET Festival Activations Done Right
Hear case studies from leading festival sponsors, including:
Play-by-plays of successful on-site engagements
How key marketing goals were met
Why attendees stuck around
THERE’S MORE! Access digital Q&As with speakers, a networking area for peer-to-peer chats, a resource center with articles and case studies plus top industry partners. Register today before we sell out all available digital seats.
We are proud to announce that Mirrored Media was named by Event Marketer as one of the top 100 agencies for the Second Year in a Row in their 2016 It List. We could not have accomplished this without the help of our amazing team and our extraordinary clients.
This award represents our hard work and determination to become a leader in the experiential marketing field and this only motivates our team to excel in bringing the best products to all our clients and supporters.
“It was the toughest year to date to be selected for the It List, so let’s give a big round of applause to the 2016 Top 100 Agencies who hustled to hit every mark—and to an industry that has truly hit its stride. Congratulations.”
See the whole list HERE and read more about what Event Marketer has to say about Mirrored Media HERE.
“To connect with younger audiences and create buzz for its sexy new show, “The Magicians,” Syfy in January launched a five-campus tour that included social media influencers with millions of followers, a local marketing blitz and shareable on-site photo booth activations. All that, plus students got the chance to watch an advanced screening of the first episode of the series, which has been described as “The Vampire Diaries” meets “Harry Potter,” and hear pop singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha perform “No Broken Hearts,” a new single she released with Nicki Minaj in a trailer to promote the show.
“Our goal with the tour was to generate buzz among some of the most influential Millennials—college students,” says Sara Moscowitz, svp-marketing at Syfy. “The effort was overwhelmingly successful. ‘The Magicians’ is delivering some of the youngest audiences we have seen in years, an age segment who is very selective about what they watch on linear tv.”
Influential social media personalities in each market, such as Brittani Taylor (@brittanitaylor) in Los Angeles or Andre (@blacknerd) in Austin, promoted the tour in original YouTube videos and Instagram posts, then hosted the events and took Snapchats of the audience. A local marketing blitz included campus media, newspapers, radio and on-campus groups. On-site photo sharing, including a red carpet photo booth where students could pose with cut-outs of the cast members and a GIF booth, also extended the tour’s reach. A huge share wall inside each theater aggregated and displayed all the shared content. Students also could make custom t-shirts and munch on branded popcorn and soft drinks before the show.
Besides Los Angeles and Austin, the tour visited campuses in Miami, New Orleans and Tucson. Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.”