State Farm returned this year to the music festival and concert circuit once again with its #HereToHelp Lounge but this time with a new platform, NeighborhoodOfGood.com, an engagement tool that encourages attendees to volunteer in their communities. The brand’s #HereToHelp activations at Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lost Lakes and other festivals include a help desk with “helpful” premiums for festivalgoers such as shampoo, free locker storage and Wi-Fi, as well as opportunities for on-site “micro-volunteer” activities, artist partnerships and an interactive augmented reality wall where posters become animations that reinforce the volunteerism message. In addition to the music festivals, at 17 amphitheaters across the country, State Farm has donated its footprint to local non-profits so that an extra wave of concertgoers can get in on the volunteer action as well.
The #HereToHelp Lounge and NeighborhoodOfGood.com are marketing platforms that enable the brand to showcase what it means to be a “good neighbor,” a tagline associated with the brand since 1971 that last year was revamped to “Here to Help Life Go Right.”
The effort is based on the insight that most people want to make a difference in their communities, but only one in four actually does so. State Farm has stepped in to close that intention gap as a catalyst, a resource and connector of people and causes. It’s also a way to drive brand affinity and loyalty among younger consumers, especially the 18- to 34-year-old demo that attends music festivals and concerts.
“We can use music as an inspiration, as a context to help shift perceptions, and to shine a light on what it means to help, give back and be a good neighbor,” says Mandy Laux, sponsorship/experiential manager at State Farm. “Obviously with music, we find ourselves at the center of a community that brings fans together in their shared passion. And that is where our belief in music, in community and being good neighbors all come together.”
The #HereToHelp Lounge, similar to last year, is back with amenities to enhance the fan experience such as air conditioning, charging stations and more. New this year, as part of the brand’s community messaging, is a dedicated space for a State Farm Neighborhood content series where musicians play an acoustic set of three songs, then go through a Q&A with fans on the importance of volunteerism that highlights their own community give-back efforts.
A digital AR wall that at first glance appears to be rock band posters reinforces the message. Each poster highlights a cause—like environmental, veterans/military, animal welfare, health and wellness, hunger and homelessness and education. When attendees hover above them with an iPad, the posters come to life with stats that highlight the need for help and a link to neighborhoodofgood.com where attendees can enter their zip code to find local volunteer opportunities, then exit out to view the other posters. At the end, participants can choose a cause and have a branded photo taken that they will receive via email along with general information about neighborhoodofgood.com.
A dedicated space for micro-volunteerism activities at each event provide immediate give-back opportunities, where in five minutes or less, festivalgoers can make “Welcome Home” banners for returning military personnel, assemble a school kit or create a chew toy for the local animal shelter.
“The causes vary but we keep them local and show people that it can be simple and easy, and that those small acts make a huge difference,” Laux says. Agency: The Marketing Arm, Dallas.