Editor's Note: Wake Up Call

I don’t know about you, but I have the habit now of looking for wide-format signage whenever I’m out and about. This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a tourist in my own backyard, spending a “Girls Weekend” in the Big Apple, and I couldn’t help but be amazed at all of the different types of signage there was. From vehicle wraps to building wraps and creative transit shelters to POS and POP signage and floor graphics in stores.

But what I was really impressed with was a special VIP ticket package that I purchased for Maroon 5’s Overexposed tour—and how the band and Live Nation really encouraged engagement from their fans—which is becoming more and more important to brands. According to Carol Spieckerman, president, newmarketbuilders, retailers and brands have grown comfortable with the idea that not every path taken by consumers is a path to purchase. They are encouraging engagement, because they have the capability of tracking engagement activities, and marrying that with point-of-sale data and path-to-purchase data. They are developing the capability to combine all that to get a much better read on what consumers intend to purchase in the future.

Using specific hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, fans were encouraged to share their images from their concert experience. Additionally, as part of the VIP ticket package, printed products predominated—from the event signage for the special pre-show party to a special printed backdrop where fans could get their pictures taken by a professional photographer and with their own cameras if they chose. Specially printed VIP passes allowed access to certain areas. Fans also received tour lithographic prints, a unique printed tour t-shirt and tote bag, and a commemorative ticket which featured a lenticular image on one side. One thing that would have made that commemorative ticket even cooler: integrating an augmented reality component that linked to a video or message direct from the band.

While I didn’t spend any money at the concert itself, I had such a positive experience engaging with the band, the fans, and the brand that I know I would spend more money the next time they come back to town.

A brand win, don’t you think?

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