This week, he takes a look at the high-profile brand experiences that ensued in Oscars Week as part of Vanity Fair’s Campaign Hollywood.
Events like The Oscars can help bring a brand to life, and Vanity Fair is well aware of this; Oscars Week is to Vanity Fair what Superbowl is to Budweiser and Doritos. In the week leading up to the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, the magazine launched its 13th instalment of what it calls 'Campaign Hollywood', with a host of brand experiences that boasted more glitz and glamour than ever before.
2014’s Campaign Hollywood trumps its precursors on account of Vanity Fair’s partnership with Chrysler and L’Oreal beauty brands – partnerships which ensured a variety of memorable brand experiences at the Vanity Fair Social Club.
In a great experiential marketing move, Vanity Fair invited more than 120 bloggers and online reporters covering the Oscars to use branded WeWork work spaces on Hollywood Boulevard.
The work spaces were complete with features like a media wall, a faux food truck and a vending machine powered by Twitter - the machine imparted products in exchange for social posts that used sponsor hashtags and handles, similarly to Marc Jacobs’ Tweet Shop in New York Fashion Week. In providing a physical manifestation of the brand, the marque encouraged its VIP guests to create good social content.
These fortuitous VIP guests were transported around in new Chryslers and Fiats, and L'Oréal were on hand to freshen up their make-up. The beauty brand also stocked all the 300 rooms of the Roosevelt Hotel with its product.
And it wasn’t all selfies à la Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars either - further recognising the worth of social media virality, Vanity Fair installed an Instagram photo booth, in which an impressive hoard of celebrities captured some great moments from the evening, whilst simultaneously spreading the Vanity Fair brand. Photo booths are a great way for a brand to market itself - and when you’ve got celebrities in them, you’re on to a winner as the images will get shared and shared again all over the web.
Many other brands cashed in on the idea of hosting brand experiences in Oscars Week, such as Banana Republic, Evite.com and People magazine, but Vanity Fair had the benefit of the academy’s imprimatur, some nice partnerships with L’Oréal and Chrysler, and the impressive list of A-listers getting involved with the brand experiences.
I think it could have been a nice addition if there had been an opportunity for people at home to get involved too using a social media incentive. That said, however, - live, digital, on-trend, celebrity endorsement, incentives - the brand experiences that ensued in Vanity Fair’s Campaign Hollywood are great examples of how brands can utilise experiential marketing to provide tangible ways for consumers to connect with them.
Joss Davidge is managing partner of BEcause, an award winning brand experience agency which has been helping brands become more tried, tested and talked about for over 20 years.
Read more from Joss in our Cluhouse.