The Invisible Brand
17th July, 2012
Sponsorship in the past has focused largely on naming rights and branding. However, increasingly brands are moving their attention away from this approach towards more creative activations and a less ‘visible’ form of sponsorship.
Festivals are a good example of where understated sponsorship can be the most effective. With a different music festival virtually every weekend of the summer in the UK, it is no surprise that plenty of brands want a piece of the action. However, festival sponsorship requires careful consideration on behalf of the brand.
Often a highlight to their summer, people tend to approach festivals with a more relaxed vibe and are therefore more open-minded and receptive which can make sponsorship of these events hugely appealing from a brand perspective. However, too much obvious branding and a lack of relevance to the event could have a negative effect. Festival goers want to relax and enjoy the music and brands should not make them mistake of trying to get involved if they won’t be perceived as bringing something positive to the experience.
Festival goers complained that gaming brand Xbox’s sponsorship of Bestival was not in line with their outdoor experience and this created a negative perception of Xbox’s involvement with the event. Whereas, alcohol brands have such a good response from sponsorship of festivals because the brand is integrated into the event, and in turn leads to people associating it with their positive experience.
When approaching a sponsorship campaign surrounding an event such as a festival brands should consider:
- Creating the chance for the audience to experience the brand at the event in a relevant format through experiential activities
- Amplifying the best attributes of the event through the sponsorship campaign – adding to the experience not taking attention away
- Providing exclusive content in some form to share with the audience
- Ensuring the brand has relevance to the event in some format
It is no surprise that the positive environment surrounding festivals continues to entice brands, however, it is important that brands think beyond the obvious message and provide real value to the event in order to gain the crowd’s approval.