Social Media Spotlight: Wrigley 5 Gum brings music fest to YouTube
No more standing in line for the bathroom at the annual sprawling music festival. Wrigley 5 Gum launched a Twitter promoted tweet this past weekend to direct fans to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s live broadcast on YouTube. The “CoachellaLive” YouTube stream might be the most advanced integration of social media into live music and sponsorship to date.
If you haven’t heard of the Coachella festival (some of us here at SMI hadn’t), don’t take it to be the run-of-the-mill music festival. It’s held in the middle of a desert valley in Indio, California, and it hosts some of the biggest bands from around the world in a three-day music extravaganza. Last year over 250,000 fans showed up. This year its expected to be even higher, including a surprise appearance by Paul McCartney.
In fact, a good number of attendees weren’t even at the festival. They were sitting back watching the show on Coachella’s live broadcast on YouTube, CoachellaLive. While the exact number of online attendees isn’t clear, the Coachella YouTube account has, to date, received near 2 million channel views, which is no small number. From what we can tell, all the performances are now available to view in HD in the channel’s video archive.
Coachella2011 isn’t the first time a music festival was beamed straight to YouTube, but it’s social push may yet set the bar for the concert-going season this year. Coachella’s seems to be especially made for the online social masses, turning a Southern California event into a global social happening. The channel is integrated with Twitter and Facebook Connect, so videos can be shared instantly with friends. Then, last Friday Coachella’s sponsor, Wrigley 5 Gum, launched a promoted tweet on Twitter for the CoachellaLive broadcast. The hashtag was shared hundreds of times over the weekend, making it one of the top discussion topics as seen in the graph below.
How did the brands fare? Coachella saw massive gains in their social followings, as can be seen on the graphs below (Facebook left; Twitter right). From April 1, its Facebook fans grew about 10 percent to 208,000, and its Twitter followers grew about 16% to top 87,050 this morning. The sharp increase in the end corresponds with the festival and its promoted tweet.
And for sponsor Wrigley 5 Gum? Its Facebook page saw an impressive gain of about 100,000 fans for a total of 4,438,000. The 5 Gum Facebook page is also full of wall comments about the live performances and the sponsored YouTube stream, so it’s no doubt that Wrigley’s already strong Facebook fan base helped ensure the success of the CoachellaLive broadcast.
Final Word: The CoachellaLive YouTube stream will probably set two precedents for future music festivals. The first is the scope and integration of the live stream into social media channels. Not only were global audiences able to watch the show, they were able to share their thoughts with fans on the scene. And those comments continue well into the morning after. The second is in the sponsor’s marketing strategy for the event. It’s hard to imagine that any live music sponsor would get as much from fans who didn’t actually attend the festival, but Wrigley 5 Gum clearly struck a cord with tens of thousands of people who couldn’t make it.