- Alcoholic beverage maker Pernod Ricard has teamed with Brand Labs, a youth-focused agency that launched earlier this week as an offshoot of U.K. music broadcasting platform Boiler Room, to sponsor a series of new music festivals around the globe, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. The deal is Brand Labs' first global brand partnership.
- The debut Boiler Room festival will take place in South London from October 9-12, with plans to expand the initiative to two additional contents. The gathering marks the first time an event has been co-sponsored by the core Pernod Ricard brands, including Beefeater Gin, Jameson whisky, Ballantine's scotch and Absolut Vodka.
- In addition to hosting several musical performances in genres like jazz and rap, the debut London festival will include interactive multimedia exhibitions. Pernod Ricard and Brand Labs will also host related special activations around the city, like film screenings and private dinners.
Pernod Ricard and Brand Labs are taking some of the trendier marketing tactics of the moment, namely experiential activations and deeper event sponsorships, and expanding them to a global scale. Brands often link up with popular music festivals to reach the types of high-spending, younger consumers that attend them, like millennials and Gen Z. Pernod Ricard and Brand Labs are trying to further flesh out the concept by introducing more comprehensive, city-spanning activations to layer on top of the musical performances.
The strategy, which a press release states is focused on fostering "intimate, authentic, shared moments," could be a way to ward off some of the fatigue consumers are experiencing with experiential marketing, which frequently manifests in the form of one-off pop-ups and activations that are intended to drive social shares through platforms like Instagram. Other brands have recently grown the scope of ambition for their experiences to foster deeper connections with their most ardent fans. Taco Bell, for example, is later this summer opening a full-fledged themed hotel and resort in Palm Springs, California. The brewer Bud Light has for several years now also run a Dive Bar tour centered around performances at intimate bar venues.
Brand Labs' stated mission to help brands better engage "elusive" audience demographics like Gen Z, who have grown increasingly cynical toward traditional advertising. Brand Labs said the new events series follows intensive research of Gen Z over the past five years involving surveys of 5,000 young people around the world. The group suggests that the Gen Z audience is five times more influential than the general population, with 40% of respondents reporting they have a social following of more than 1,000. Additionally, 42% of those surveyed indicated they prioritize experiences and being exposed to new aspects of culture.
The freshly-formed agency will tap into Boiler Room's global roster of musicians, DJs, producers, filmmakers and other creatives to design its branded experiences. Founded in 2010, Boiler Room describes itself as a music and culture platform that opens up local club culture to audiences via a music broadcasting platform.
For its part, Pernod Ricard has been trying diversify the ways it reaches new audiences. Its Absolut Vodka brand recently began running video ads on Reddit as an alternative to Google and Facebook. The company claimed it experienced 2.5 times higher engagement with its Reddit video campaigns. Last year, Pernod Ricard also "dramatically increased" its ad spending on Amazon in the U.K. to grow a stronger e-commerce foothold, along with experimenting with providing cocktail recipes via an Amazon Alexa voice skill.