From Samsung’s virtual-reality experiences, to Jagermeister’s immersive stages, brands have been known to draw in the crowds who are looking for the alternative festival experience. It’s a great way to add value to both the brand and to the event itself.
Somewhere in the middle, however, we have other cultural events such as the Brits, or the Golden Globes. In their entirety, they are large enough brands and cultural moments in themselves that they don’t need as heavy-handed corporate visibility. More generally, they are comfortable in partnering with equally well-known brands, in a more discrete manner. How they do this, is up to interpretation.
Every year, iconic musical award ceremony, The Brits, is sponsored by Mastercard. They sponsor particular awards; notably the British Album of the Year is named after the global brand. Otherwise, their colourful logo that sits visibly, yet comfortably, across the event sites, on-set décor and public communications.
Perhaps one of the best pieces of inadvertent, yet blatent, brand sponsorship was Fiji Water’s guerrilla hijacking of this year’s Golden Globes. A model handing out the company’s free water bottles found herself tactically placed behind just about every celebrity photoshoot on the red carpet. The result? #FijiWaterGirl became the second most-used hashtag on the night, after #GoldenGlobes itself. And Fiji Water received a whole lot of free traffic and publicity, merely from their model appearing in the background of everyone’s favourite celebrity shots.
After all of this, however, what do many punters consider the most iconic cultural event in recent history? It wouldn’t be unexpected to have Glastonbury Festival top of that list. Their corporate sponsors are few and far between, and are vetted carefully so as not to over-commercialize the event. They aim to provide genuine value to attendees and provide an experience-enhancing opportunity, with minimal branding and corporate spiel.