The T-Mobile Indio Invasion, Powered by Pandora marked its fifth installment this year, once again setting up shop at the sprawling Cree Estate in Cathedral City, CA, during weekend one of Coachella. Grammy-nominated electric-funk duo Chromeo provided the entertainment as influencers, media, Pandora listeners identified as Chromeo fans, and friends of the brands lounged by the pool, munched on healthy bites, got makeovers, played games and took advantage of myriad photo ops.
With a target audience that craves opportunities to self-curate social media content, T-Mobile and Pandora focused their efforts on developing Instagrammable moments, using T-Mobile’s signature magenta color as the thread that tied them all together. Lush magenta bougainvillea bushes grow naturally on the Cree Estate, creating an organic tie-in, and prompting the brands to erect panels of latticework threaded with the same bougainvillea, which served as the colorful backdrop for a variety of photo moments. (Fun fact: A portion of T-Mobile’s Instagram account is dedicated to locating magenta in the wild.) The hue was also integrated into the event décor, including pillows, daybeds, towels, pool floaties and umbrellas.
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When attendees weren’t striking a pose, they could be found playing classic lawn games, customizing accessories at bandana screen-printing and bedazzling stations, getting their hair braided and taking their chances on a wishing fountain. They could also refuel with healthy snacks like L.A.-Style fruit cups and homemade fruit popsicles, and sip on custom magenta margaritas, pink lemonade vodka cocktails and Flying Embers’ Hard Kombucha.
“The Los Angeles market in general tends to be really healthy,” says Liz Brochhausen, senior manager-experiential strategy and live production at Pandora. “It was really important to give our audience the things that they want, the things that they’re craving, and right now those things are really health- and wellness-focused.”
Rounding out the event was what the brands call a “magenta moment,” a surprise and delight stunt that stops attendees in their tracks (last year’s “Trojan horse” experience was one for the books). This year, the duo took the nostalgia route, planting bubble blowers throughout the property, but concentrating on the pool and stage area. Right as Chromeo took the stage, the blowers were activated, immersing fans in a sea of bubbles and transporting them back to their childhood.
“In order to have our presence and our message carried on, not only throughout the festival weekend but beyond that, we really needed to create some engaging areas for guests to create their own content,” says Brochhausen. “We know that in this day and age, social content is king. I think a bulk of the reason so many people are attending these festivals is because it is just such a rich environment for self-curated social content. If we were to ignore that drive and that desire of our guests, we’d be missing the mark with our audience.” Agency: NVE Experience Agency, Beverly Hills, CA.