Coachella: influencer marketing success stories

Coachella has become a Mecca for brands connecting with millennials and Generation Z through influencer marketing. Read which brands got it right in 2018.

Coachella is now one of the biggest US-based festivals. Held over two consecutive weekends in California each spring the music and arts festival has become increasingly important to youth marketers - especially for those in the fashion vertical.

Many brands now view the festival as the new fashion week for millennials. It’s a place where fashion brands can connect with around 100,000 millennials and Generation Z-ers IRL and engage with countless millions of their target audience through influencer marketing on social media.

For influencer marketers Coachella has become a place to firmly position their brands within the minds of this key customer demographic.

A standard Coachella ticket costs $429 (around £307). This steep price acts as a marketing qualifier, too. The charge ensures that the event goers aren’t just the right demographic for their brand, they’re likely to have the disposable income with which to buy their products, too.

In this post we look at four brands that made a big impact at Coachella 2018 with their influencer marketing and user generated content approach.

Revolve performs well at Coachella with influencer marketing

Revolve, the online fashion, accessories and shoe store has been building its presence at Coachella for the last seven years.

The Los Angeles-based site now attributes around $650 million of its $1 billion annual sales to its network of influencers and ground-level marketing tactics it activates at events like Coachella.

According to a recent article in business title Forbes last year the retailer, founded by Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, dressed 416 influencers at Coachella, booked an entire hotel and opened a pop-up shop for guests to take pictures and publish them to their Instagram following.

The result? Revolve reports it generated 4.4 billion social impressions - five times more than the festival’s main sponsor, H&M.

Revolve upped the ante this year. The online retailer increased the number of influencers it styled from 416 last year to over 450 influencers for this month’s festival.

And naturally all the clothes and accessories worn by the selected influencers were pieces taken from Revolve’s stable of in-house brands.

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Beyond the 450 Revolve-styled influencers the company accommodated over 90 influencers from over 14 countries in a hotel that was four times larger than the one it took over in 2017.

And, as if these endeavours were not enough to boost sales and generate sufficient Instagram moments, Revolve threw its own two-day mini-festival at the Merv Griffin estate in La Quinta, California for thousands of guests with performers including Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky and Chance the Rapper.

Revolve also partnered with Circoc Vodka, LoveWave sun cream, and Heineken throughout the festival to maximise brand awareness with its core audience.

We are yet to interrogate the influencer marketing success metrics for Revolve at Coachella 2018 but, speaking with Fashionista co-founder Michael Mente confirmed sales for the week leading up to the two-weekend event were impressive. "This was our best week ever: Monday [before Coachella] beat our Cyber Monday ... and everything's full price". Mente added that he believed the company would continue to see a lift in sales throughout Coachella, with items worn by influencers likely to sell exceptionally well.

 

Coachella influencer marketing: the Sephora tent

Sephora, the cosmetic and beauty products firm was Coachella's official beauty partner this year.

Owned by LVMH, this French brand built brand affinity and online awareness through the creation of its Sephora tent and selfie playground.

The tent became an oasis away from the Californian heat. Fully air conditioned, it was a place where any festival goer could get free full-service hairstyling, makeup touch-ups, and DIY temporary hair colour.

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The Sephora offering was Insta-bait-friendly too with a designated area where attendees could snap pictures with friends and post to Instagram.

Sephora fans were encouraged to include a designated sephora hashtag when sharing their user generated content. They were offered the further incentive of winning prizes for their Instagram uploads.

The Sephora tent was wi-fi enabled too, making it even easier to upload posts to social media platforms. Fans were encouraged to share their new Sephora makeovers with their following or just make good use of the Instagram-friendly photo opportunities.

To date, the #sephoracoachella hashtag has been used 4.5k times.

Sephora’s Coachella activation spread beyond influencer and user generated content.  The brand received coverage from mainstream media outlets such as BuzzFeed, People Magazine, and Marie Claire.

 

American Express

Brands beyond fashion and cosmetics were also active at Coachella 2018.

Using the tagline ‘your wristband gets you in, your Amex gets you more’, American Express partnered with Coachella to give influencers and card members an exclusive offer and other benefits.

The credit card giant built its first Amex Card Member Club at Coachella, where card members could bring up to three friends in to relax, recharge their phones and enjoy some drinks - again with free wifi to encourage sharing user generated content to Instagram.

Platinum card and Centurian members were treated to free access to the American Express Platinum House at the Parker Palm Springs, where singer Kiana Ledé Brown played tracks from her new album along with Marc E. Bassy and Ultraviolet album singer Justine Skye.

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HP

Another official Coachella 2018 sponsor this time for technology, HP, offered two influencer-heavy events at the music festival.

One event was the return of the Antarctic. Following its success last year, the technology company installed a new 360 degree reimagining of the 19th novella Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions.

Flatland played throughout the two-week festival in HP’s air conditioned immersive dome, powered by HP technologies.

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HP also offered influencers the opportunity to try out recently launched HP products in a specially-created HP lounge.

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Coachella will celebrate two decades as a music and arts festival next year. Brands will continue to flock to California and activate influencer marketing events as a way to grab the attention of the notoriously hard-to-market-to millennial and Generation Z-ers, making the festival one of the most important around.


CampaignDeus is the leading independent provider of influencer marketing campaign data for Instagram and YouTube. Our platform identifies and classifies brand sponsored influencer campaign performance metrics, tracking hundreds of thousands of posts.

We use this data to provide Brands & Agencies with industry insights across verticals, benchmark campaigns against vertical & competitor averages, and equip clients with in-depth reporting and recommendations on how to make campaigns more effective. Get in touch for more details.


Scott Guthrie works with companies to drive business growth in the social age through strategic insight and technical know-how. A former digital director of influencer relations at Ketchum, Scott is now an advisor at CampaignDeus. You can find Scott on LinkedIn and Twitter, or on his blog.