Coachella has long been one of the largest music festivals in the world and a hotbed of fresh, sustainable, and progressive ideas. For this reason, BMW i ventured outside its core event strategy to become Coachella’s first-ever automotive partner. BMW i teamed up with Mirrored Media to present #RoadToCoachella, a campaign that seamlessly blended music, inspired design, technology, sustainable mobility, and the journey that fans and artists take on their own road to Coachella.
This first-of-its-kind partnership paired renowned composer, producer, and Coachella headliner Hans Zimmer with BMW i to create an artistic and visually-inspiring content piece featuring an original score by Zimmer himself along with a cast of Coachella and influencer cameos. The narrative followed Zimmer along his journey to his first-ever and much-anticipated Coachella headlining performance. Zimmer is no stranger to the spotlight, having scored films such as Inception, The Lion King, and Pearl Harbor. The campaign successfully fused together digital and social elements by creating original branded content that introduced Coachella fans to BMW i through an authentic medium while garnering millions of views and tens-of-millions of impressions organically, going viral across social media almost instantly.
The concept was unique in that it gave BMW the opportunity to create an open dialogue with its target audience while also fostering a narrative around why BMW partnered with Coachella. The campaign told the story of the partnership while blending multiple forms of art including music, film, photography, and automobiles across multiple genres. The campaign also featured a group of prominent Coachella performers, which is unique for Coachella brand sponsorships.
The star-studded group included Marshmello, Grouplove, Broods, Warpaint, Galantis, Amy Pham, Brian Willette, Silas Lee, and of course, Hans Zimmer’s All-Star Orchestra featuring Nile Marr. Road to Coachella recap deck for site.
A stand-out feature of the BMW i3 fleet at Coachella was a unique wrap that was created especially for the occasion; its design reflecting the creative and unconventional nature of the event. BMW i8 plug-in hybrid electric sports cars with the Coachella design took to the roads between Los Angeles and Indio with a select group of festival-bound celebrities and influencers on board.
A social media campaign ran concurrently, creating continued engagement and dialogue. The campaign consisted of 10 influencers and artists who supported the #RoadToCoachella through original content and social media posts before, during, and after the festival. Posts included calls-to-action for fans to watch the original content, and offered festival-goers the chance to win weekend passes by documenting their own preparation and journey to the Coachella Valley via social media using the hashtag #RoadToCoachella.
The campaign launched with three social media-based teasers released by Coachella and BMW on their respective social media channels. The first teaser officially announced BMW’s sponsorship. The second teaser hinted at Hans’ participation in the campaign. The third and final teaser helped craft the storytelling experience and drive traffic to the long-form content. The pieces went viral across social media, leaving fans curious and anxious to see what would happen next.
The long-form piece of content was truly unique in that it included exclusive behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage from Hans Zimmer; which is rarely seen; mixed with artistic sound stage shots, lifestyle driving shots on the actual road to Coachella, original content from influencers and other Coachella artists, and even user-generated content from fans. The piece integrated several anticipated Coachella headliners from various genres rarely seen together in one video.
On the festival grounds, BMW i invited visitors to its innovative Brand Lounge in the VIP Area where fans were able to experience the allure of BMW i and the unique Coachella-inspired design, co-developed with Garage Italia Customs. An eye-catching photo collage in the VIP tent documented the making of the #RoadToCoachella campaign and featured original behind-the-scenes photos of the i8 and i3 in action with cameos by Hans Zimmer, Niles Marr, and Brian Willite.
Fans also got creative with their own #RoadToCoachella original content with custom photos and videos.
The influential social media campaign teamed up with 10 social media creators to support the #RoadToCoachella through original content.
“The wealth of ideas the artists bring and the festival’s focus on sustainability create a unique atmosphere; Coachella is the birthplace for many trends, ideas and movements. BMW i is likewise a driver of pioneering innovations and the joy of sustainable mobility. We are positioning the sub-brand as open-minded, creative and inspiring – and Coachella provides an exceptional platform for this purpose, uniting creativity, passion and connectedness. We’re looking forward to an inspirational partnership.” – Hildegard Wortmann, Senior Vice President Brand BMW.