When it comes to music festivals, bands are not the only groups competing for the audience’s attention. Brands are also prevalent throughout the festival dominating nearly every inch of the festival grounds. With a quick glance at the festival map, you’ll be quick to notice State Farm’s Good Neighbor Hangout and AT&T’s Gigapower Gallery as prime examples of ACL marketing amongst other branded landmarks.

Perhaps the most obvious form of marketing present at ACL is the naming rights to the two main stages featuring the headlining acts of the music festival. The Samsung stage hosted The Foo Fighters, Drake, The Strokes, and Florence and the Machine this year while the Honda stage featured Disclosure, deadmau5, and The Weeknd. Although we may not have explicit data on the impact of naming these main stages, the Google Trends tool allows us to use Google searches as a gauge of audience interest in each company during the festival. For the purposes of this analysis, we’ve narrowed the data to the specific region of the Austin area to isolate the immediate impact on Google searches directly from ACL festival attendance.

Samsung saw a peak in Google searches during both weekends with Saturday and Sunday being especially successful with nearly 100 searches on both days, well above its average of 46. The weaker impact on Google searches occurring on Friday may be attributed to lower festival attendance in general and lower interest in the bands performing on that day. Honda also saw its searches peak during ACL weekend reaching a zenith of 100 searches on Saturday of Weekend 2. These results show evidence of short-term marketing success through consumer engagement via Google for the brands. However, when comparing this data to a wider time period, the impact of marketing ACL dulls in comparison to the effects of new product announcements such as Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and Honda’s annual new vehicle lineup.
While the stage naming rights may not have as large an impact as other marketing campaigns for the brands, simply being a part of the festival experience for ACL fans maybe be enough to make it worthwhile.

Article by Jesse Huang

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