With Austin now awash with tumbleweed post SXSW all eyes turn towards the beaches of south east Florida as 350,000 fans descend in Day-Glo attire on downtown Miami for a week off frenetic nightlife during Miami Music Week.
With fans clambering to soak up sets from Deadmau5, Afrojack, David Guetta and Hardwell, the global assent of the phenomenon that is EDM (Electronic Dance Music) continues at a rapid pace. Naturally, the brand environment has been quick to tap into this surge of interest over the last few years, as they look to strike an alignment with what is arguably the most passionate of music genres.
Fan attendance has doubled at the Ultra Music Festival since 2012, extending it into two weekends of music and mayhem. Here we look at some of the brands that are using EDM as a route to connect with new, highly charged audiences during one of the world’s most prolific and renowned electronic dance music spectacles.
COVER GIRL - EMPOWERING FEMALE EDM FANS
The P&G owned American cosmetics brand is making good use of its latest brand ambassadors, Australian female music producing duo Nervo, during Miami Music week, as it teams up with Elektro magazine for party at the SLS Hotel on Hyde Beach. The event features the EDM sensations - cited as actively changing the male led face of dance music culture - plus a host of special guests.
Covergirl’s VP and General Manager, Esi Eggleston Bracey stated that they are always on the lookout for “fun and fierce women” to act as ambassadors for the cosmetics company, with Nervo actively “bringing the heat and energy of EDM” to the brand.
Nervo twin sisters, Mim And Liv, regulars on the club scene and songwriters to boot (they penned David Guetta’s Grammy award winning song “When Love Takes Over”) offer plenty of traction for brands looking to align with the more glamorous side of EDM. Their prior modeling career and ability to make waves in the fashion world as well as the dance arena makes them natural choices for beauty brands eager to connect with young, style conscious fans.
SMIRNOFF - CHAMPIONING EMERGING DJ TALENT
Smirnoff is making a big splash in Miami, from presenting the 28th Annual IDMA Red Carpet Reception at the Winter Music Conference to hosting panel discussions on the collaborative role brands can play in EDM culture.
One of the key promotions in Miami was the WMC 2013 DJ Spin-Off, a tie in with Smirnoff’s 3rd series of Master of the Mix (a reality TV show celebrating DJ culture that is currently airing on VH1). The Spin Off itself sees burgeoning DJs plying their trade in both Beat Matching and Scratching competitions in order to impress celebrity judges Kid Capri & Rich Medina for the chance to walk away with state-of-the-art equipment courtesy of Pioneer.
"The Smirnoff brand has always played an integral role in the music, DJ and nightlife culture and we are proud to use the "Master of the Mix" platform to continue to build that legacy in promoting social responsibility and great nights out,” said Erin Chin, Senior Brand Manager, Smirnoff.
HEINEKEN – GETS EDM FANS DOING THE VINESTEP
Heineken, as the official beer sponsor of Ultra Music Festival, set up a prominent installation at the heart of the event with Heineken House, an audiovisual experience that converts the “beer line into the festival destination”. Those entering the air-conditioned venue could order drinks via iPad stations and watch live feeds of all the Ultra festival action complete with LED light shows and fog machines - a far cry from standing in a mundane beer queue.
"You know that moment where you’re that guy who’s told to go buy beer and you have to wait in line and it’s not a great experience? Well, we wanted to really flip that on its head,” said Colin Westcott-Pitt, Heineken's VP of Marketing.
The brand also created a number of interactive elements to deepen its relationship with dance fans at the event, including the Ultra Remix App, letting fans try their hand at mixing personalised tracks, and #VineStep a dedicated site to capture the buzz around the 6-second video craze.
MOTOROLA – TURNS TRAVEL INTO A PARTY
Similar in concept to the Catch a Chevy promotion at SXSW, Motorola joined forces with Sol Republic headphones to offer Ultra Music Festival attendees a helping hand at navigating the festival site, serving up a complimentary shuttle service with a difference.
Tapping into the desire for exclusive experiences the shuttle serves as "a nightclub on wheels" with the vast buses acting as a mobile venue. Featuring an eclectic mix of DJ talent the energetic ride ensures fans miss none of the festival action while they are travelling.
On board extras include mobile charging facilities, headphone demos and the ability to win a range of prizes by tweeting #SOLdierShuttle
MIO ENERGY WATER - UNLOCKING NEW MUSIC
Steve Angello, DJ, producer and founder of the Size Records dance music label, has teamed up with MiO Energy Water to create a bespoke track inspired by the product.
The new track, set to be released via a dedicated online platform, will have its debut during a Myspace Secret Show in Miami, where fans uploading photos of themselves “unlocking the night” to the hashtag #MiONights will be among the first to hear the new EDM creation.
Attendees at the event will be invited to sample a variety of MiO energy flavours (plus a unique mix created by Steve Angelio himself) and snap themselves in an Instagram photobooth. A specially developed video to accompany the new track will only be showcased online when enough photos have been submitted,
The promotion taps into the desire among EDM fans to be in the know when it comes to the latest tracks, empowering a community to work together to channel exciting new music content.