Retaining consumers’ attention these days is challenging to say the least, but CLIF Bar managed to keep Pitchfork Music Festival attendees occupied with activities designed to amplify festival culture while underscoring the importance of protecting the environment. Equipped with a variety of analog engagements, a charity component and a chill outdoor footprint featuring a hammock lounge, the brand’s laid-back vibe kept festivalgoers engaged for an average of 13 minutes per person—double the dwell time of that earned by fellow festival sponsors.
Returning once again to the Chicago-based festival (this year July 14-16), CLIF Bar placed a temporary tattoo engagement at the heart of its activation. Working in partnership with Alliance Great Lakes, a nonprofit dedicated to conserving and restoring the Great Lakes, the brand offered attendees a chance to get music-themed Inbox tattoos, which last for an average of two weeks, in exchange for a $10 donation to the Alliance. CLIF then matched each donation, effectively contributing $20 to the cause with every tattoo. With each tatt applied, the Alliance had ample time to discuss its programming while simultaneously highlighting CLIF Bar’s “protect the places we play” activation theme.
“If you’re hoping for these people to become advocates of your products, you need to ensure that there’s not only the right communication, but enough time [to engage],” says Joey Steger, director-field marketing at CLIF Bar and Company.
When attendees weren’t busy getting inked, they could juice up their devices at a solar-powered charging station, play lawn and board games, munch on samples and take a seat at the adult coloring station where they could color and fill out postcards designed by local Chicago artists, which the brand later mailed. In a nod to its Born on a Bike roots, CLIF Bar also placed a sample and a bungee cord on each bicycle parked at the festival bike valet to reward attendees for choosing a low-energy method of transportation and to reinforce its commitment to sustainability.
The brand also turned heads with its gigantic cassette tape installation, which attendees flocked to in droves. The display served as the backdrop for nearly one in 20 Instagram posts tagged only with #PitchforkFest, as CLIF Bar purposely declined to implement a brand-specific hashtag for the activation.
“To have a five percent impact on the festival feed is significant. To me, I can relinquish having a hard number that says exactly how many people this [activation] transferred to if I can see the impact of my brand’s representation in the social conversation around this event,” says Steger. “I think that’s more authentic and more important to my brand than ensuring that everybody uses the hashtag.” Agency: agencyEA, Chicago.