Brand sponsorships are nothing new. Today, everything is 'presented by X' or 'brought to you by Y'. There's the Pepsi Halftime Show, The PGA Tour Championships by Coca-Cola, the Procter & Gamble People's Choice Awards. Even college football fields are painted with logos games are named after their sponsors, such as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (aka, the BCS Championship Bowl game). As consumers, we're used to being inundated with advertisements. However, with the ever-growing digital world, social media presents advertisers with new and unique ways to interact with consumers and fans.
At this year's SXSW, Lady Gaga teamed up with Doritos to encourage fans to tweet #boldstage in order to gain access to her show. Aside from the monetary value of advertising as SXSW, this simple social media campaign offered fans a chance to actually engage with the artist and brand they love so much. The ability to tweet something and receive a gift in return gave the public a special opportunity to be a part or something they ordinarily wouldn't have the chance to participate in - simply because they were online followers. Ultimately, this type of interaction is far more valuable for the brand than a logo on a football field because it creates loyal customers who will keep coming back for more.
Also looking to engage fans, Bud Light launched their #upforwhatever campaign while celebrating the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII. One lucky fan that tweeted the special hashtag would be randomly approached and offered the chance to go on an adventure of a lifetime hosted by Bud Light. Unbeknownst to the winner, this entire evening, filled with celebrity cameos and rooftop concerts, would be candidly filmed and eventually turned into an official Super Bowl commercial. Additionally, Bud Light held an online sweepstakes where winners were treated to a room at the Bud Light Hotel (a branded cruise ship on the Hudson) and a two-day concert event in New York City. Major recording artists, including Foo Fighters, Aloe Blacc, Zedd, Zac Brown Band, Walk The Moon and Imagine Dragons performed over the course of the weekend amidst millions of Bud Light logos.
An interaction with fans that goes above and beyond the norm, the makes the public feel heard and appreciated, is worth more than any dollar amount in the long run as creating loyal fans and customers is really what will define a brand's/artist's success. Although it seems we may never be able to escape corporate branding, it's reassuring to know that mega brands are investing in not only entertaining, but engaging with consumers who have made them what they are today.