Have attended Life Is Beautiful since its inception in 2013, 4 years ago. This year, under new ownership, it is expected to be profitable for the first time. That means one thing: they’ve sold more sponsorships/the festival will be more commercial. That said, I had a great time and even the brands that I anticipated would be a bad fit, were terrific.
Here are the 7 brand activations that totally killed it!! What made them so exceptional was a combination of:
- Concept – creative, fun AND perfectly aligned with the brand
- Execution – with extraordinary attention to detail
- Interactive/shareable elements
BEST IN SHOW: Vita Coco Water
Huge footprint, 2 full city blocks. Their location, at the farthest end of the festival, could have been a negative but their enthusiastic staff fanned out throughout the grounds with water slide inflatables, coconut trees and free products which put the brand on everyone’s radar and brought in huge crowds to play at Vita-Coco Beach.
Vita-Coco VW van (with coconuts on the roof)
Charging stations (coming out of a tree!)
Corn hole (this is clearly THE game of festivals)
Sharing stations to post to fb, insta etc.
See below for Runners Up and Honorable Mentions (along with photos).
Dos Equis: Huge presence, all the bars throughout the site were branded XX Dos Equis. They also had a phenomenal 2-story open-air bar in a prime spot overlooking the entire festival and I was impressed with the number of tallboy XX beers I saw in the hands of festival goers.
Zappos: Everything was “powered” by them. They also had one of the most fun, creative and interactive experiences- hydro dipping – and they also offered free sno cones!!! Additionally, at the Art Crimes gallery building, they provided complimentary shipping for all art sales (and many of the $3K+ art pieces had been sold!!). And they offered a tech version of beer pong in the Kindland comedy/cannabis space which unfortunately was not working.
Chick-Fil-A: When I first walked into the gallery building and saw that the art show was sponsored by Chick-Fil-A, my heart sank. But I must say they were a very fun and popular addition to the festival. Their cow mascot was a huge hit!! And we learned that they are opening 3 Chick-Fil-A restaurants in the Las Vegas area over the next few months.
Kindland: All manner of brands proudly flew the cannabis flag at this sponsored space for comedy acts. It also served as a huge welcoming oasis to chill out. Brands featured included: the HighThere app, BluntBox.com, Zappos, and CannaRelief (the world’s first cannabis antidote “Real Science/ Real Relief.” We saw one comedy act – and it was awful!!!
(On a side note, an interesting turn of events, with cannabis a proud headline sponsor while Newport and Camel cigarettes had a totally shady, surreptitious presence – without their name even listed on the brand sponsors list. Also, I did not appreciate being harassed by their “security” who told me I could not take photos of the Newport “Pleasure Scene” trailer from across the street.)
VS. Newport “Paradise Scene”
Milagro Tequila Cantina: They had one of the best, most centrally located spots – grassy, chill and surrounded by the best art. They offered frozen and fresh cocktails and offered a variety of shaded seating.
Fernet Branca: This was a surprise addition since it is such an insider, bartender brand. Not sure how much business they did but it was a beautiful booth – especially at nite. Their booth also featured an ice sculpture – a very bold, optimistic move in the desert.