Event 360: Brands debate authenticity and audiences in Brand Slam

Vodafone, NFL and Fentimans shared their activation strategies, challenges and outcomes at Event 360, Event and C&IT's annual summit of inspiration and insight, being held today (25 May) at Building Six at The O2.

NFL: sharing activation strategies at Event360
NFL: sharing activation strategies at Event360

Daniel Underwood, brand manager, sponsorships and partnerships at Vodafone and Jordan Waid, vice president, brand experience EMEA at Freeman XP, spoke about how to create authenticity within a brand experience, highlighting Vodafone's activation plans at the forthcoming Capital FM Summertime Ball 2016, taking place at Wembley on 11 June.

As headline sponsor, Vodafone has created a platform, Future Breakers Live, which will showcase up and coming unsigned musical talent. Underwood explained how the three-year initiative, launched in February, has given Vodafone a platform to use at future events and created an environment to make its target audience feel special.

"We wanted to define a credible and relevant role for Vodafone at the Summertime Ball and drive mass awareness and engagement, as well as connecting with our audience in a new way," explained Underwood.

Future Breakers Live will also include a dedicated area at the venue where Summertime Ball visitors can gather and share experiences before and during the event.

At Fentiman's, Jaala Pickering, event marketing manager for the premium soft drinks and mixers brand, explained how a small budget can pack a big punch. Last year Fentimans's launched a living, botanical pop-up cocktail bar on the top floor of L'Escargot in Greek Street, the oldest French restaurant in Greek Street. 

"We got partners on board and gave space to fashion and sports brands, which helped us reach a whole new audience," explains Pickering. "We invested a few thousand pounds in the activation - all of which went on the build, and the PR results went beyond our expectations."

NFL marketing and events manager Steve McEwen spoke about how to reach out to new audiences and using data effectively. The brand, which has done one-day takovers on Regent Street, created a mobile ‘NFL Fanpass’ as a data capture tool. This was used to register for the event, while visitors also had to tap the pass to parcipate in brand activations. In the first year of its Regent Street experience, McEwen said 40,000 had signed up for the fan pass, and in the second year, this had increased to 45,000 sign ups. 

"We created a mobile fan pass to capitalise on massive traffic at an event and attract new fans," said McEwan. 

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