According to Wireless sponsor Pepsi Max, more than a third of people lose their phones at festivals which is why the soft drinks giant used the music event to launch its ‘Friend Finder’ – a GPS-enabled blimp that floats over crowds finding and pointing at lost mates.
The campaign for this summer concert initiative, developed in harness with agency AMV BBDO, was spearheaded by a spot showcasing the flying-finding drone device in action at London’s New Look Wireless Festival 2015.
According to the ad, which was directed by M.O.D. of RSA Films (with special effects by Asylum), festival fans merely need to activate the made-up ‘Friend Finder App’ to summon the drones and help their missing mates find them again.
Except that the Friend Finder is fictional (although the promo film doesn’t specifically make this clear).
Part of the ongoing Pepsi Max ‘What If. . ‘ marketing concept, the cola brand created and launched three dummy drone ‘Friend Finders’ among the 45,000 Wireless Festival merely to illustrate what might happen if Pepsi could genuinely solve the problem.
The problem is genuine enough.
Finding friends (sand losing phones) at festivals is an ongoing challenge for music lovers.
But the solution is imagined.
Thus, this campaign reverses the more usual marketing relationship in which non-exostant problems are solved by genuine products.
When it announced its sponsorship of the festival Pepsi said ‘we want to maximise your festival experience by making one of the great summer music festivals, even greater’.
Whether a fictional quite enhances the experience is surely open to some debate.
But racking up 3,286,558 YouTube views in its first week shows that, despite being a fantasy, the film has generated plenty of viral traction
Pepsi Max began its New Look Wireless Festival partnership activation back in May with a social media ticket competition (in tandem with Papa John’s pizza).
— Pepsi Max (@PepsiMaxUK) May 22, 2015
At Wireless 2015 the brand also hosted the Pepsi Max Stage and the Pepsi Max Zone – offering not just big music names, but also on-site gaming experiences and prizes, as well as a chance to simply relax and watch live performances on the big screen (with a Pepsi Max of course…).
On the ground, Pepsi Max spotters roamed the festival looking for the most dedicated fans to give prizes that got them even closer to the action.
In addition to Pepsi Max, the fashion brand New Look is the headline sponsor of 2015’s Wireless festival (taking place on 3 to 5 July) and other partners include Somersby cider, Smirnoff, Black XS, Tuborg and the event is presented by Live Nation and Capital FM.
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