Which Coachella Weekend Should Brands Bet On?

Sick of hearing about Coachella yet? This will be the last thing you read about everyone's favorite peacock parade, trust— we're breaking down what people really want to know.

The weekend 1 vs. weekend 2 Coachella battle is on.


Did someone say flex?!?!?💪🏼 Had a fun fit morning with these angels at the @victoriassecret #angeloasis!

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If you're a brand that's marketing to the millennial demographic, then you've undoubtedly partaken in the recurring festival season circus that hits us like clockwork ever spring. While there are tons of worthy outdoor music events that unfold throughout the summer —Bonaroo, Governor's Ball, Glastonbury— there is one unequivocal champ that makes all the cool kids come out.

Coachella, duh.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, as we know, has grown to become much more than a music event over the past few years. Let's face it: we kind of have social media to thank for that one. The event has come a long way since Lindsay Lohan was caught partying with Paris Hilton pre Instagram documentation era.

The headliners might be the excuse to head out to Palm Springs, but the parties are secretly the real impetus to descend upon the desert. And the one thing required to reach VIP status is social influence. All flower crowns aside, music festival marketing is real and has reached extensive proportions.

The role played by visual social media channels in our lives has rendered everything we participate in a shareable experience. Every single moment is an opportunity to showcase, no matter how banal. Vicarious living on steroids, if you will. If simple occurrences are now being displayed in an extraordinary manner, it's no wonder that exciting events like the Coachella festival would become this amplified.

Now that Indio, CA has become a hub for parties and marketing across all unrelated industries from fashion, to beauty, to food, there's a lot of pressure on brands to get that influencer sponsorship bang for their buck. If companies choose not to have a presence, it can mean losing out on massive exposure opportunities. On the other hand, if they go for it and shell out some heavy coinage for Instagram influencers to set up shop in their name and on their dime, they need to be able to see the return.

With that in mind, we posed ourselves this quandary: is Coachella worth it? And if so, should companies invest in weekend 1 or in weekend 2? We're about to shed some light on this mystery that has surely been eating at you for years.

Let's get to it.

Weekend 1

All brands that engage in influencer marketing have one thing in common: they want to be exposed to other audiences to grow their own following. The more people are talking about you on these channels, the more you are seen by various audiences, the higher your potential for growth and customer acquisition. It's simple math.

Companies that set up shop in the desert or send influencers out for representation are there to have their name broadcasted. It shows they're with it and relevant, and it's another way to create a dialogue with their followers. The more eyeballs brands have on content that mentions them, the more that message is telegraphed.

Among all the brands that had boots on the ground over Coachella's first weekend, here are the ones that were most omnipresent through user-generated content.

@revolve

REVOLVE's influencer activations are legendary by now, as is their #RevolveFestival party house. It would be crazy if they didn't win the UGC contest. Here are some of the top pieces of user-generated content from Coachella's first weekend. These 3 influential guests basically crushed it.
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@hm

H&M's activation landed them in second place in terms of the most Coachella-related content produced in their name. Not only did they set up camp out there, but they also released an entire Coachella collection and actually played on the music theme by inviting the Atomics, the Smith siblings family band.

we're on our way to #Coachella with @hm Will you be there this weekend? #spons

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The dedicated #HMLovesCoachella hashtag was used on 1,146 over the span of weekend 1, yielding 75,422,682 impressions:
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Here are two of the most influential pieces of content from H&M's commissioned Instagrammers:
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@victoriassecret

Bringing an angelic touch to the desert dust was Victoria's Secret army of babes. Their top girls crushed the 'Gram while gallivanting about in the name of VS. Sara Sampaio and Josephine Skriver had the highest performing posts of the weekend for the brand:
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On the first weekend's Saturday, Victoria's Secret was tagged in over 1k posts, most of them festival-related. That ain't no small potatoes.
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@urbandecaycosmetics

Cult makeup brand Urban Decay flew in some high profile beauty influencers for the weekend, partnered with other brands, and set up an Urban Decay rehab house in the desert. UD leveraged a lot of that content on their own Instagram account, unlike some of these other brands, allowing their investment to live a much longer life than if all those paid influencer posts were never repurposed.



As for the top performing influencer content for the brand, there were a few standouts.
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Weekend 2

Real talk (that's what we do!): there is barely any data to show from brands out of Coachella's second weekend. The great majority of parties occurred during the first go 'round, and only a few were still at it. Out of all the brands that had boots on the ground during both weekends, round 2 paled gravely in comparison. In fact, most tags were not party-related and just from regular users sharing their #ootd shots.

*crickets*

Wild & free. ✌🏽

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Here's the bottom line: there was barely any influential content created over Coachella's second weekend, meaning there is a lower attendance rate from both brands and influencers. While that may sound like an opportunity for a brand to have the floor to itself, there are more cons than there are pros to weekend 2:

  • Less people means less hype. No matter how cool your party is.
  • Instagram users have already been flooded with Coachella-themed content and have likely had enough of desert gallivants in flower crowns. They've already moved onto something else.
  • At this point, the over-saturation might even reflect poorly on you brand.
  • You might not get the influencers you want because they've already been to weekend 1.

By weekend 2, the buzz and palpable excitement is essentially gone. It's important to remember that producing Coachella activations should only be done if it's part of your social strategy. Does establishing a presence in the California desert align with your brand? Do you feel like you have something to add to the conversation? Do you have the right partners? Is there another public social event that may be in better range for your social efforts?

These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you start planning your next Coachella campaign.


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