Featured Photo Credit: Thaddaeus McAdams, Getty Images
I went to Coachella via my Iphone and Macbook this year.
If you’re anything like me, your social media from the past two weekends was bursting with Coachella pictures/videos/boomerangs from your favorite celebrities, models, musicians and influencers. The two-weekend long music festival based out of Indio, California is one of the largest and highest-grossing in the world. A Fashionista article states that since the relaunch of the festival in 2001, attendance has doubled in the past seven years alone. But with this attendance surge comes a different type of concert goer and a sense of declining exclusivity. What are the benefits and consequences? I discuss.
I (And The Other 1 Million Followers) Want That Jacket
Gone are the days when paparazzi pics of Diane Kruger sauntering around Coachella in Alexander Wang or Florence Welch in Gucci were style inspirations for the non-Coachella public. Now anyone can feel like they’re in the middle of a giant H&M sponsored pool party or between stages with Instagram, Instagram Live, Instagram Stories, Instagram DM’s, Instagram Virtual Reality…ok the last one doesn’t exist but you get me. Social media at Coachella has created a surge of a public that prestige designers do not prefer, but lower to mid-price brands do. And appealing to this public they have! Parties hosted by Victoria’s Secret, PopSugar, and H&M (to name just a few…there were plenty) had celebrities and influencers promoting free dinners, concerts and products to their millions of followers on all channels of social media. I am not ashamed to admit that after I saw my favorite influencers posting their embroidered and airbrushed denim jackets from Levi’s, I commented “Are these available online? NEED.”
I saw a ton of other people commenting the same thing….BUT THEY AREN’T AVAILABLE. However, these comments prove the point that influencers posting on social media do drive customers to the brand. I may not have gotten my embroidered “Not Your Baby” denim jacket I wanted (I will someday) but I still have begun to visit Levi’s more often because I’ve seen how great my favorite influencers look in Levi’s and how they make the denim trendy and fun.
The ultimate influencer event from Coachella was hands down #RevolveFestival. I give major props to the Revolve PR, Brand Partnerships and Marketing teams because this event was over the top in just the right way and extremely well executed. According to another Fashionista article (they were really on top of the Coachella coverage) this was Revolve’s biggest branding activation yet. You’ll get why with this lovely list of what Revolved covered for their influencers’ presence:
- VIP wristbands (FOR THE BFS & PHOTOGRAPHERS TOO!!)
- Clothing allowances (so influencers could be wearing Revolve brands)
- Appearance Fees
There was a performance by rap star Migos, appearances by Drake(??) and Leonardo DiCaprio(???), a pink skating rink, unlimited free tequila and so many more bougie things. IT WAS A GREAT PARTY! Followers (including me) got to watch guests pose with the pool floats, boomerang their squad, and show off their festival wear. I paid for nothing, but still got to feel included in the party. AND #RevolveFestival had 10,000 Instagram posts at press time. For Revolve, that is thousands and thousands of dollars in free marketing and ROI.
But there’s the issue.
Have you noticed something? Besides Migos, I have not mentioned anything about The Coachella lineup. Or really music in general. With prestigious brands fleeing and the mid to lower-price brands taking over and producing all-day influencer events, one could entertain the claim Coachella has edged into a marketing ploy rather than an opportunity to see many amazing artists in one place. But I believe that fashion week is no better than Coachella in that sense. One goes to fashion week to see amazing artists display their talent in the form of clothing. But there are still parties, influencer events, dinners, and concerts all set around this art form. WHERE IS THE BACKLASH? There is none…because it these events are so tightly integrated with the fashion week culture.
Overall, I believe that Coachella is still about the music. But with the rise of social media, influencers and interconnectivity, it is inevitable and so easy to create a marketing event around it. It is only good business to integrate digital publicity when there is such a high demand to attend Coachella and the rising popularity of festival wear. The future is digital, and I hope to see prestigious brands return to Coachella and develop their digital branding and marketing platforms…or risk being left behind.
What do you think?
P.S. I livestreamed Porter Robinson and Madeon’s Coachella performance and it changed my life. Click the link to change yours.