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.
Small and medium-size agencies worldwide produce a great deal of outstanding advertising, yet creative competitions are dominated by large advertising agencies, large clients, and large budgets.
Since 1994, the Summit Creative Award has recognized creative firms and helped them stand out in the crowd. This international advertising competition offers participants a unique opportunity to showcase their talents alongside similarly positioned agencies, and to have their work judged by experts in the advertising field. Our exclusive award-selection process means winners have earned the right to broadcast their achievements far and wide.
Companies and individuals from more than 50 countries and across five continents have participated in this prestigious 25-year competition – the first and best of its kind.
The Summit Awards is the oldest and most prestigious organization administering marketing awards exclusively for small firms. Throughout our twenty-five year history, the SIA Creative Award is established as one of the premier indicators of creative and communication excellence. Using stringent evaluation criteria and a blind judging process, the Summit International Awards competitions reward only those firms whose work exemplifies the best in its class.
The 10th edition of the online video conference targeted Gen Z with colorful, interactive booths and lounges that encouraged creativity.
ANAHEIM, CALIF.—In 2018, VidCon general manager Jim Louderback proclaimed that VidCon attracts “the most media-savvy audience in the world.”
That idea was once again on display at the 10th edition of the convention, its second since being acquired by Viacom. The four-day event, which ran from July 10 to 13 at the Anaheim Convention Center, drew 75,000 fans, video creators, social media influencers, and other industry attendees.
This year, the convention—which was named to BizBash’s list of Southern California’s top 100 events again this year—tested out some formatting changes, most notably with the addition of six-minute case studies, a series of rapid-fire presentations from the likes of Netflix, Microsoft, Chipotle, and Electronic Arts.
The convention also featured the inaugural pet programming zone this year, co-hosted by animal-focused YouTube channel The Dodo. The area offered panels on how to turn your pets into social media stars and featured meet-and-greets with famous animals including Sunglasses Cat, Escobar the Bearded Dragon, and dog and pig duo Pickles and Dill.
In another shift from previous years, TikTok was arguably the biggest winner of the weekend: The short-form video platform—which has 1.2 billion monthly users and was the third most-installed app worldwide so far this year—had a presence at VidCon for the first time. While popular YouTube creators were given extra security and private transportation after massive crowding in previous years, TikTok stars were still largely accessible to fans, generating the weekend’s biggest buzz.
One place that TikTok stars were not accessible, though, was the platform’s ultra-exclusive—and ultra-buzzy—after-party at Bowlmor Lanes. The guest list was strict: Only creators could enter, meaning fans and marketers were stuck following the festivities from afar.
One thing stayed the same, though: Brands such as YouTube, Facebook, MTV, Adobe, NBCUniversal, and more asked the Gen Z-focused crowd to embrace their creative sides at colorful, interactive booths, lounges, and activations. Here’s a look inside some of the weekend’s brand highlights.
NBCUniversal’s “Share Your Voice” activation, produced by Mirrored Media, encouraged VidCon attendees to discuss all the issues that matter to them, from politics to the influencers they love. Attendees could step into a video booth to record their own segments of Snapchat news show Stay Tuned, where they discussed the causes they’d like to see featured on the news. Photo: Mirrored Media
In one area inspired by E! News’ The Rundown, attendees could choose from a menu of phrases—from “Treat Yourself” to “This Is a Case for the FBI”—to have printed on branded T-shirts from a digital printer. They could also help paint a mural by artist Amy Tangerine. Photo: Mirrored Media
In another area inspired by the People’s Choice Awards on E!, attendees could walk down a black carpet and pose for photos and then write in their choices for the awards. Photo: Mirrored Media
Several brands also activated outside the convention center. Invisalign hosted a 15-foot-tall candy station, which featured 20 candy dispensers in the colors of the Invisalign logo. Each dispenser was custom-engineered by producers Mirrored Media to withstand the weight of the candy and the heat of the sun. Photo: Mirrored Media
Mirrored Media also created two custom photo wall backdrops in the VidCon courtyard, including a custom Awesomeness TV sequin wall. Photo: Mirrored Media
Invisalign & Awesomeness TV
The two brands teamed up for a large-scale rainbow slide, produced by Mirrored Media. Guests could race each other on branded slide mats. Photo: Mirrored Media
Toronto-based Collision attracts over 25,000 of the world’s largest buyers and sellers of technology each year, making it a prime setting for tech brands to share the perks of their products with a captive audience. For Engineer.ai, a startup that helps entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life through customized software, North America’s fastest-growing tech conference, this year May 21-24, was an ideal place to exhibit its Builder tool to drive on-site sales. The brand’s strategy ultimately proved to be a success, enabling over 20 platform builds, which add up to more than $1 million in revenue.
Engineer.ai’s Builder product breaks projects into small “building blocks” of reusable AI-powered software features that are customized by a human engineer, giving just about anyone the ability to realize an idea, whether it’s a social app or e-commerce platform, without learning how to code. Playing off of the building blocks concept at Collision, the brand erected a colorful two-story booth featuring modular cubes to facilitate a variety of brand-customer interactions.
Given that Engineer.ai is just over a year old, mass communication was key to its on-site strategy. To that end, the brand built four touch screens into the façade of its booth and held live demos just outside it to draw in passersby. (The brand’s primary sponsorship of Collision’s Pitch startup competition also helped increase visibility.)
“Oftentimes, we’ve found that people might be a little bit timid walking around a conference room floor,” says Lauren Crist, U.S. marketing and communications lead at Engineer.ai. “But the moment we asked them, ‘Have you ever had an idea that you’re looking to build or bring to life,’ everybody said ‘yes.’ So, having those live demos and touch screens externally-facing has really given us a good platform to showcase what we can do for someone early on.”
In addition to brand awareness, cultivating intimate conversations and individual sales meetings was also a chief priority for Engineer.ai. To encourage attendees to schedule one-on-one meetings ahead of the conference, the brand directed them to a microsite where they could pre-book a spec meeting with a product expert. The strategy helped Engineer.ai line up over 50 consultations before the start of the event. On-site, its booth design further promoted individual interactions via two open meeting spaces and five private meeting rooms equipped with computers and screens where brand experts helped customers develop and “spec out” their customized platforms.
“Everyone wants to talk to an expert and be heard, and the power of the product is that they’re able to see, in real time, the cost associated with that and the actual process, so everything’s guaranteed,” says Crist. “Events have been a super powerful way for us to convey that in the digital age where there’s a lot of content online, searching and finding different solutions can be difficult, especially for the audience we’re looking to go after. So, this has been a really powerful channel for us.” Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.
Mirrored Media is excited to announce a continued relationship with BMW and Hans Zimmer, as they develop sound for the BMW Vision M Next.
Hans Zimmer is known worldwide for his film music. He has composed countless soundtracks for Hollywood and won numerous awards. Now Hans Zimmer, together with Renzo Vitale, acoustic engineer and sound designer at the BMW Group, has composed the sound for the BMW Vision M NEXT. The Vision M NEXT celebrates its world premiere on June 25th 2019 at #NEXTGen. Hans Zimmer: “I have always been a BMW enthusiast. As a kid I used to recognise my mother coming home by the sound of her BMW. I am thrilled to get the chance to design the sound of future electric BMW’s and create emotion for the future electric driving experience.”
Hans Zimmer and Renzo Vitale composed the drive sounds and sound signs for the BMW Vision M NEXT together in Zimmer’s studios in London and Los Angeles. Vitale: “We envision sounds that celebrate the beauty and complexity of our vehicles and that are able to move people. I see designing people’s future acoustic environment both as a privilege and as a responsibility. Working on this together with Hans Zimmer is a special honor for me – both as an acoustic engineer and as a musician.”
Kickoff for BMW IconicSounds Electric
The silence of driving electrically is often cited as a major advantage of electric mobility. However, as the range of electrified models increases, a gap in the emotionality of the driving experience arises in the driver’s seat. Under the brand name “BMW IconicSounds Electric” a visionary sound offer will be created for future electrified vehicles from BMW. “We want to get BMW IconicSounds Electric in position for customers who value emotional sound. With BMW IconicSounds Electric they will be able to experience the joy of driving with all their senses”, said Jens Thiemer, Senior Vice President BMW Brand. The sound of the BMW Vision M NEXT gives a glimpse into the future of BMW IconicSounds Electric.
Sound inspired by art
The BMW Vision M NEXT is a statement for the driver – and so is its sound. When driving electrically, the driver who is used to the familiar sound of a combustion engine experiences the paradigm shift of powertrain technology. For some, this may lead to an alienation between driver and vehicle. The sound of the Vision M NEXT aims to create harmony between the driver and the electrically driven vehicle. This is achieved through the inspiration of art. Vitale: “The development and composition for the sound of the Vision M NEXT was mainly inspired by light installations from James Turrell and Ólafur Elíasson. In particular, Turrell realized works known for the illusion of an infinite space, which creates a magical experience for the spectator. The idea behind the Vision M NEXT is to recreate this sense of wonder through sound.”
Hans Zimmer: “When the driver interacts with the accelerator pedal it is not only a mechanical touchpoint but also a performative element. Accelerating becomes an experience during which the driver moves through a series of gradually morphing sound textures.”
BMW Group has been developing sound for electric mobility for around ten years now
In 2009, with the introduction of the MINI E test fleet, acoustic engineers from the BMW Group were already working on artificially generated sound, which was intended to contribute to the better perceptibility of vehicles with barely audible drivetrains. Since the launch of the BMW i3, customers have therefore been able to choose acoustic pedestrian protection as optional equipment.
The sound of the acoustic pedestrian protection has since been further developed in line with new legislative requirements and is now gradually being rolled out as standard in all plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles from BMW (requirements for acoustic pedestrian protection as well as operating times vary worldwide). The aim in the development was to fulfill the important warning function without disturbing pedestrians. At the same time, the customer should continue to enjoy a high level of acoustic comfort in the vehicle.
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.
Coachella has become one of the biggest festivals in the country with over 125,000 attendees each weekend this past year which does not include the number of people that travel to the area for the parties or activations. It is estimated that Golden Voices’ Coachella and Stagecoach generate approximately $900 million in economic activity around the Coachella Valley area. With the majority of attendees contributing to the almost billion dollars in economic activity consisting of Gen Z and millennials, major brands have the opportunity to build relationships with new audiences that they would not typically interact with otherwise.
“For brands, identifying influencers is easy. Paying them to post is easier. Building a trusting relationship where both sides can add value to the other (without feeling used) is the ultimate challenge. ‘Return On Influence’ is the new ROI,” says Christopher Rockwell of LOVE, a brand strategist who helps companies like Audi, Fendi, and Google.
Revolve has proven that activating at Coachella is a must for brands looking to boost revenues while staying culturally relevant. But Revolve isn’t the only brand that shines its presence in the desert; Express, BMW, American Express, Create & Cultivate, Rachel Zoe, Levi’s and Neon Carnival have all invested in creating an experience to connect with existing customers while reaching a new audience.
BMW returned to the desert for #roadtocoachella produced by Mirrored Media with Khalid as their 2019 artist. Khalid designed the art for a fleet of BMW i8’s to be driven down to the popup by influencers and celebrities. At the popup, fans got to meet Khalid, shop the collab merch and test out the i8’s. BMW has taken an unconventional approach in making its activation more about a lifestyle rather than a car.
“As the world´s most vibrant music and art festival, Coachella is an ideal match from a brand perspective. At BMW, joy is in our DNA, and with experiences like #roadtocoachella, we are able to connect authentically, yet unconventionally with young (at heart) people in a very emotional way. Coachella broadens our community from an automotive company to a more accessible & inspiring lifestyle mobility brand.” Stefan Ponikva head of BMW events and BMW group shows.
And if the painted flames and image of a wolf looks familiar to you, that’s because BMW i was inspired by Khalid’s new album ‘Free Spirit.’
And it’s a mutually beneficial partnership produced by Mirrored Media. Khalid admits to getting ideas for his music while on long drives in his BMW i. “I love road-tripping, hopping in my car and driving back home to El Paso is 12 hours each way from L.A. To me, BMW, especially BMW i8, is the embodiment of freedom on the road. I really feel like a free spirit when I’m driving and listening to music. I love making music that you can crank up and drive to with the windows down,” Khalid said in a press release.
And Khalid isn’t the only A-lister heading down to Coachella in a funky car. ParisHilton, LenaGercke, LauraMarano and other influencers will be traveling to the venue with BMW i a day before the festival begins to experience while exploring Palm Springs.
If you’re not lucky enough to get your own personalized automobile, fans of Khalid can check out the ‘Pit Stop’ at BMW of Palm Springs where visitors can purchase exclusive merchandise, enjoy a food truck and listen to great music.F
BMW i is supporting the event throughout weekends 1 and 2 from April 12-21.
Mirrored Media is excited to announce that we have won the 2019 Agency of the Year award by Eventex Awards.
Founded in 2009 to celebrate creativity, innovation and effectiveness in the industry, today Eventex Awards is the most coveted and recognizable competition in the world of events – a true symbol of high achievement and excellence.
Are you “Young Dumb & Broke?” Are you looking for a “Better” way to get from the “Eastside” to Coachella? Well here’s your chance to ride in style! iHeartRadio has teamed up with Khalid and BMW i to send you to Coachella in a BMW i8! That’s right, we’re giving you airfare to the Coachella Valley, hotel accommodations throughout the festival weekend, 2 VIP tickets and VIP passes to park your Khalid wrapped BMW! All you need to do to is listen to Khalid radio on iHeartRadio and ENTER TO WIN!