Lessons in social media from music festival brands.

Maureen Clemons's picture

The music festivals of 2013 can teach us a thing or two about social media. Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and smaller festivals know their young target audience and are taking social media and running with it. They’ve created an entire culture and use social media to disseminate it - from Instagram to Youtube, festivals are connecting to fans in new ways. I’ve noticed a few things that other brands can learn from festivals when it comes to social media:

Give people a reason to keep coming back. I like how Coachella’s Facebook and Twitter accounts keep the conversation going by asking fans about their favorite artists, festival fashion and more. Posts can gain over 5,000 likes, and hundreds of comments and shares. The pages engage users beyond event/product based content.

Festival social media is also employed for sharing tips and tricks. Bonnaroo’s Facebook page is full of festival veterans giving ideas and reviews to first timers. Bonnaroo is encouraging fan to fan interaction which is more valuable than just the brand speaking - 70% of people trust online reviews over paid media.

Finally, festivals use social media for more practical reasons. Lollapalooza in 2012 used social media to communicate a huge storm coming to the area and told people what to do/where to go. These “emergencies” can happen to any brand and social media can be the best way to reach everyone at once.

Build suspense. This is the smartest thing that festivals are doing these days. For the whole year before the event, Facebook pages are getting fans pumped up. MoPop Festival had a weekly countdown to the day of the event, gave clues to the lineup and posted teaser statuses before announcing their schedule. For Bonnaroo’s lineup announcement, they live streamed a celebrity filled video on YouTube where the headliners were announced one by one. Throughout the hour long broadcast, they encouraged a ton of engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with hashtags. This all-encompassing and innovative idea can be used for other brands – whether it’s for a store opening or product launch.

Do promotions. On top of everything else, these festival brands are utilizing social media to give away everything from tickets to t-shirts. They use status updates to encourage fans to like, share and comment in order to win. This builds awareness, increases fans on their pages and rewards those fans.

Have an after party. After each festival, the pages ask for feedback from festival goers. Bunbury Music Festival sends out a survey with a chance to win tickets next year attached. They also provide a forum for people to find lost items, respond to missed connections and share photos of the event on their Facebook page. This helps the event improve and continues building the community.

Be creative. As you can see from all the examples above, these brands are getting creative. They’ve got visual status updates, hashtags, live streamed videos and more. For example, Firefly Music Festival hid tickets in random states for fans to find and posted clues on Facebook. Maybe it’s the fun nature of these events, but they’re not afraid to try new things.

Social media has transformed the music festival industry – for the best. These brands are offering a rich experience that lasts for the whole year, every year.

Have you seen any other festivals or brands that are developing every facet of their social media for a well-connected experience?


The week in review - August 5, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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MI Healthier Tomorrow inspires.

Katie Rehrauer's picture

Creating an inspiring workplace and culture: at Brogan & Partners, this is our passion. And while inspiration comes in many forms, for us it’s our clients who make Brogan & Partners an inspiring place to work.

Case in point: Michigan Department of Community Health’s MI Healthier Tomorrow Campaign. The challenge? Bring the obesity rate down in Michigan. Using an integrated approach that includes mobile messaging, emails, TV, radio, interactive, a Facebook community and the support of over a dozen partners, we asked Michiganders to take an online pledge to lose 10% of their body weight. Why? Because losing just 10% of one’s body weight can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Obesity is a major issue in Michigan, and beginning with the campaign’s launch on January 23, we were ready to tackle it head-on…

3,928 Facebook followers and 21,394 email subscribers later, we’re proud to report that over 26,500 Michigander’s have taken the pledge to lose 10%. That’s enough people to fill every seat in the Palace of Auburn Hills and still leave over 2,000 standing.

Our client, the Michigan Department of Community Health, has given us the opportunity to open a conversation about an issue that affects millions of people. That’s why it’s important to us to keep the conversation going, and what better place to start a conversation than Facebook?

The MI Healthier Tomorrow Facebook page has over 3,900 followers. As an agency, we work hard to provide helpful information, tips and inspiration to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. The people who have taken the pledge and follow the Facebook page represent communities throughout the entire state of Michigan. These people more than likely will never meet, but the encouragement and support they show one another on a daily basis is truly inspirational.

When we log onto Facebook and check the MI Healthier Tomorrow page we’re often greeted with posts like this:

The Michigan Department of Community Health gave us the opportunity to start a conversation with Michigan residents that could save lives. Residents have not only responded, but they’ve kept the conversation going.

How’s that for inspiration?

Will you join us and take the pledge to lose 10%?


Innovative healthcare marketing example #18.

Julia Mastropaolo's picture

This short video for Cleveland Clinic will make your heart melt. It’s simple, quiet, real and right on in making an emotional connection with the healthcare consumer, worker, or anyone whose life intersects the hospital environment. As the camera wanders through the hospital, we see the inner thoughts of patients, family members, doctors, nurses, even a maintenance guy. Things like “Visiting Dad for the last time.” to “Recently divorced.” There is no voice over, only music.  

The theme is “If you could see inside other people’s hearts”…and the realization is that although you can’t tell from our masks, we are all dealing with something. Whether it’s worry, fear, confusion, shock, determination, fatigue, even joy. The video beckons us to go a little deeper when confronted with the variety of people encountered in a hospital. “Hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel.  Would you treat them differently?”   

When you think of Cleveland Clinic, you think of world-renowned, clinically superior treatment and care. When you see this video, you think of world-renowned empathy in healthcare. It’s a perfect high-touch strategy to complement their high-tech position.  With close to 900,000 views on YouTube, I think it’s getting through. Let us know how it makes you feel about Cleveland Clinic.


The week in review - July 29, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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Will Google Glass be the vision everyone wants in the future?

Kristin Morris's picture

Google Glass began testing in 2012. It's a wearable computer with a head-mounted display that is able to display info very similarly to a smartphone but in a hands-free format. The image appears in the user's line of vision slightly above eye level. Users can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands and by touching the side of the headpiece. Basically, Google Glass is a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone all built into spectacle frames

Early Adopter Program

In February of this year, Google launched an early adopter program for developers and consumers to test Google Glass and provide feedback. They requested that “bold, creative individuals” apply to test Glass on Google+ or Twitter by using the hashtag #ifihadglass. Then, if selected, they had to attend a Google Glass event in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles to pick up the developer version for $1500.

Google Glass Visual

Photo Credit: Google

Pros and Cons of Glass

Without having tested Google Glass first-hand, I have researched some of the pros and cons from the early adopters and others who’ve come into contact with the product.


  • It’s hands-free, making it easy to multi-task.
  • Navigation directions are more intuitive.
  • You can get real-time translations and transcriptions.
  • It’s simple to scroll through messages and reply to them, even when you’re on the go.
  • The camera is able to capture your first-person perspective.  
  • It only requires brief gestures or voice commands to control what Glass will show you.
  • There’s a guest setting so that your friends can test it out without sending messages on your behalf.


  • Like any new technology, Google is still working out many glitches.
  • Users may feel silly wearing glasses with no lens and talking to themselves in public.
  • It’s expensive. With a contract, most smartphones only cost $100 - $200 where Glass costs $1500.
  • There’s potential to invade someone’s privacy without them realizing it – especially if they don’t know how to tell if Glass is in use.  

Even with all of cons, Glass could prove to be successful if consumers are willing to invest their money and adapt to the technology.

Future of Glass

Google expects Glass to be available to all consumers for purchase by the end of 2014. It is anticipated to have a cheaper price-point than the early-adopter price. There are also talks of Google looking into partnerships with different eyeglass designers to create Glass with prescription lenses. While the future of Glass is wide-open, it’s hard to tell what Glass will mean for marketers this early in the game.  

What are your predictions for Google Glass? Will you be an early adopter of Glass when it becomes available in 2014?

Blog Category: 


The week in review - July 22, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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The week in review - July 15, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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Google and Pinterest are Gaining on Facebook
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So what is native advertising?

Julia Mastropaolo's picture

Have you been hearing a lot about “native advertising”?

If you’re anything like me, when you first heard the terminology, you may have conjured up images such as this:

Which would be native AMERICAN advertising, not native advertising.  So what is native advertising? It really depends on who you talk to as there are many interpretations for this new buzzword. Wikipedia defines it as a “web advertising method where the advertiser provides valuable content in the context of the user’s experience.” SEO Book claims it is “content that seamlessly integrates with a site, as opposed to interruption media.” Key examples include Facebook Sponsored Stories, Twitter sponsored tweets, blog posts, publisher articles  – anything that looks like real content as it flows naturally within the environment it is placed. Washington Post’s Brand Connect is their native advertising solution. This Lincoln MKZ native ad chronicles the career of the car designer, complete with video, photos and an actual banner ad.

Much of the native ad hoopla is due to the increased effectiveness and new revenue stream its creating in the online publishing business. Sharethrough data indicates 53% higher viewership than display ads and 9% higher lift for brand affinity than banner ads.  And native ads are forecasted to almost triple in growth from $1.6 billion to $4.5 billion in the next 5 years (BIA/Kelsey data).

But naysayers claim that native advertising is just a shiny new spin on an old practice - namely,  advertorials and product placement. And there are other negatives. Users resent feeling misled by ads that appear to be actual content. Bloggers and publishers who receive compensation without disclosure risk alienating their audience and reputation. And perhaps the biggest obstacle is that Google is really cracking down, demanding that the distinction between editorial content and advertising must be very clear, warning that “violation of Google quality guidelines will get you penalized.”

A prominent example of native advertising gone amuck is the case of the Atlantic with advertiser, the Church of Scientology.  Comments on the controversial, multi-page story were moderated to suppress criticism, a move that resulted in removal of the sponsored content within just 12 hours of posting and a public apology from the Atlantic.

So in a nutshell, there are pros and cons to native advertising that advertisers and publishers should be wary of when navigating into this arena. The conundrum is that while one side is trying to disguise native advertising to make it look like editorial, the other is working to regulate it so as not to invade on editorial integrity. I think if you venture into it with eyes wide open, success will be as indigenous to your marketing results as the native advertising itself.  Share with us your favorite native advertising.

Blog Category: 


The week in review - July 8, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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The recipe for a wonderfilled campaign: Oreo.

Maureen Clemons's picture

I was in awe the first time I saw Oreo’s Wonderfilled TV spot. Its happy melody and charming lyrics brought me back to my Oreo-filled childhood. The brand created a Wonderfilled Anthem that sets the stage for the rest of their emotionally connecting ads. The video uses an adorable song, typography and illustration to bring a simple story to the cookie.

The second ad, Bedtime, pulls at your heartstrings and asks what would happen if a little girl gave an Oreo to her Dad before bed. A perfect ode to Father’s Day.

Finally, in their most recent Wonderfilled video, Daydream – they have a celebrity voice singing about giving an Oreo to a long lost love.

Each of these ads does something that most can’t – captures the listener’s attention and connects with them on an emotional level. Wonderfilled reaches every audience – moms and dads, children, women and men. These are videos that people will rewind to watch again and will share over and over on social media. In fact, Daydream has already garnered over 400 shares in its first few hours on Facebook.

On top of creating a unique set of commercials, Oreo has been rocking it on the social media front. Their Facebook page is constantly posting new and inventive graphics and statuses that relate the cookie to its followers. Their Twitter account has been carrying on funny conversations with consumers and other brands, like Kit Kat. Oreo also gained some recognition for its famous live tweet during the Super bowl power outage.

From social media to TV, Oreo is a brand with innovative and heartwarming marketing. A brand that we should all look up to. What is your favorite Oreo advertising moment?


The Week In Review - July 5th, 2013.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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Results. Strategic insights that deliver more "aha" moments. Creative that makes an emotional connection. Account service that creates happy clients. And metrics that move your business forward. We guarantee you'll be delighted.

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