Why should brands sponsor music festivals? The example of Mercedes–Benz

More and more brands have recently begun to approach their younger customers during music festivals. They started to understand how important music is for millennials and to consider it as a way of enhancing bonds with them and reaching new targets. As a consequence, the amount of money being spent on activations and sponsorships in the music space has rapidly grown.
A recent study conducted by a marketing agency focused on the music world- AEG and Momentum Worldwide- indicated that it’s a perfect place to reach millennials. 93% of respondents admitted to like brands that sponsor live events and around 80% consider music sponsoring as the best and most effective way for brands to connect with them. Moreover, people who participated in a branded music experience come away with a 37% better perception of the brand.
Those may be the reasons why Mercedes–Benz decided to sponsor Rock in Rio- international festival that was moved to USA. Why did they choose this one among plenty of others? Stephanie Zimmer, the Head of brand experience marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA, explained it in an article (http://bit.ly/1HZGbei): “Rock in Rio is a different music festival, and when it came to the U.S. we knew it was a great fit to enhance the Mercedes-Benz music platform. It is the largest music festival in the world and has a 30-year track record of producing an unparalleled consumer experience.”
It was a long decision process as the Mercedes marketing team has been looking for a proper music festival for the last 3 years but according to Rafael Lazarini, Senior Vice President of global business development of Rock in Rio, event’s core benefits suit perfectly with the brand slogan “Best or Nothing”.
Originally held in Brazil, the festival was moved to Las Vegas on May 15th this year and provided its participants with two weekends of various music and musicians like Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and rock headliners like No Doubt, Metallica and Linkin Park. Since its first edition in 1985, Rock in Rio has sold seven million tickets and franchises in Brazil, Portugal and Spain. This year, the festival attracted 82 000 attendees. What is important from the perspective of the sponsor is the diversity of participant’s demographics and the international character of the festival which brought rock enthusiasts from 47 states and 20 countries.
Mercedes not only provided the festival with financial assets but presented the brand in an unconventional and interesting way. For instance, it sponsored the Evolution Stage. Additionally, for the first time in America, Mercedes built the Iron Schöckl- a steel structure used to make an off-road test for the cars- and allowed festival guests to ride in the brand’s G550 SUV to the highest point of the metal mountain like in a roller-coaster. There were also four vehicle displays organised in the festival grounds and a brand centre on site with immersive experiences like photo activations.
Zimmer says “In learning more about the festival, we knew Rock in Rio was about creating the type of special, once-in-a-lifetime memories that people will carry with them for the rest of their lives.” Mercedes-Benz understood that being present and having an important budget are not enough to be noticed and remembered. The brand succeeded in creating a feeling of brotherhood between themselves and music spectators and an unforgettable experience for the attendees.
To learn more:
Study shows millenials’ opinion of brand thats sponsor music festivals
Why Mercedes-Benz Sponsored the World’s Largest Music Festival
Study: Sponsoring A Live Music Event Makes Millennials Trust And Recommend Your Brand