read

May 6th, 2024

Cara Turnbull

“Good times beyond the stages”
- Coachella

With Coachella wrapped up for another year, we’ve broken down our favourite brand activations of 2024. Exploring how Coachella goes beyond the music scene and brings people together through art and immersion; we’ve delved into how brands create ever-lasting experiences and shape the festival landscape.

Coachella 101

Coachella is known as the internet-famous music festival of California, however, in the design world, Coachella is the place to explore and discover visual beauty and experiential activations. Innovative and youthful, the festival not only hosts live music, but also celebrates the visual arts. Transforming the Empire Polo Field into a sea of talent, each year the curators seek for gifted artists, architects and designers that challenge visitors’ perceptions of art.

By championing diversity, empowering individuality, and leaving no one behind, Coachella always exceeds their community expectations. Their Accessibility+ and Queer+ initiatives provide a community care effort within the central hub to prevent harassment and mental health, co-creating a culture of community care for everyone. Building on this essence of community, brands come together to provide immersive experiences for festival-goers

Brand activations

Pinterest

Making their official debut at the festival, Pinterest explored an experimental trend-led activation that encouraged visitors to delve into the fashion of Coachella-past. Encapsulated in a lavender tone, the holographic fuelled space provided visitors with the opportunity to max out their looks – from glittery embellishments to bow galore.

Showing people what it feels like to step into a physical world of Pinterest, the social media brand tapped into Lana Del Ray’s nostalgic 2014 style and whimiscal fairy core. As a platform which is the ultimate companion to inspiration, the ‘manifest station’ utilised these trends to share the vision and aesthetic of their latest ‘board preview’ feature. Ending their journey through the world of Pinterest, consumers were met with the perfect photo-op background to capture the moment.

Aperol

Bringing a taste of Italy to the Californian desert, the Aperol activation celebrated its origins with an exclusive culinary experience. Infused with tangerine shades that mirror excitement and designed with venetian architecture in mind, the Italian aperitivo brand replicated a conventional terrazza for their most exclusive clients. Adding to the luxurious feel, each elite member was offered the ‘seat of the house’ on the terrace during the prime time of golden hour. Soaking up the good times and radiance, the refreshing service provided the ultimate VIP experience and unforgettable moments.

Post-mates

This year Postmates brought us the world’s first sauce bar. In collaboration with American songwriter, Benny Blanco, the food delivery service developed a limited-edition secret sauce prior to the festival. Celebrating the one-of-its-kind sauce, the vibrant ‘sauce-bar’ emulated a retro-futuristic interior that captured the eye of the passerby. Further welcoming them with their traditional beer taps full of ranch, BBQ, honey mustard, and Sriracha, the activation provided consumers with the ultimate condiment experience.

Rhode

We could not end Coachella without Rhode making an iconic appearance. From the beginning they have continued to exceed expectations and showcase their innovative thinking. Tapping into user-generated-content, Rhode replicated a photobooth where you could use a branded coin to receive one of their iconic lip-tints and a photo to capture the memory, in return. The minimalistic approach shows how some of the simplest activations can generate the most hype and engagement; curating an experience that is personalised, simple and over-all exciting.

What’s next for festivals?

Festivals attract hundreds of thousands of consumers a year, and by activating your brand during it all, it’s possible that you may gain consumers that you never knew you had. It is crucial to leave a lasting impression on the passerby and an interactive pop-up is just one way that you could do it. Here at Design4retail we challenge briefs where necessary, we push boundaries and we’re ambitious for our brands. We turn ideas into reality, so let’s make yours one…

Let’s Talk