How Brands Market On Instagram At Coachella

Brands Marketing On Instagram At Coachella 2016

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5 Ways Brands Are Marketing On Instagram At Coachella Festival 2016

With its enormous, otherworldly sculptures, expansive desert landscapes, live performances by the world’s biggest artists, and thousands of fashionable attendees, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is arguably the most “Instagrammable” event of the year. For brands, developing a Coachella-centric Instagram marketing campaign to capitalize on the festival’s hype and reach millions of followers who are watching Coachella unfold through Instagram posts is one of the best ways to target new demographics and reinforce a company’s identity as a trendsetter (especially among the millennial set). Read on to see how global brands like American Express, Revolve, Birchbox, and Sonic Drive-In are marketing on Instagram at Coachella. 

For an overview of how brands are marketing at this year’s Coachella festival, see our article here.

Coachella 2016: The Perfect Place For Instagram Marketing Campaigns

While Coachella’s fashion-focused attendees make collaborations between retailers and fashion Instagrammers an obvious choice for trendsetting labels like Jimmy Choo, BooHoo, BCBG, and Guess (see example below), the festival’s gorgeous scenery, exclusive parties, and millennial masses are ideal for almost any type of branded or brand-sponsored Instagram campaigns. According to Digiday, nearly half of 2015’s 200,000 Coachella attendees were between the ages of 18–24, and because U.S. Millennials now account for nearly 50 million Instagram users (eMarketer), marketing to Millennials through Coachella-based Instagram campaigns and influencer marketing partnerships is one of the best ways to reach this often-illusive demographic.


Instagram Influencer Marketing At Coachella

For brands who don’t or unable to spend millions of dollars to be an official Coachella sponsor, collaborating with the world’s top Instagrammers is one of the best ways for companies to reach highly-engaged consumers and develop a brand identity that will benefit from Coachella’s trendsetting, fashion-forward reputation. Because the accounts of the most popular Instagram influencers are followed by millions (and have the potential to reach millions more through hashtag searches and Instagram’s geotagging feature), developing an Instagram marketing strategy around one or more of the following campaigns can yield extremely high ROIs, expand brand awareness to new markets, and sway consumer purchasing decisions. 

Top 5 Ways Brands Are Marketing On Instagram At Coachella

The following are some of the most popular ways that brands are marketing at Coachella. For a more comprehensive look at the five types of influencer marketing campaigns brands can run, see our article here.

1. Product Placements

Showcasing a brand’s product on an Instagrammer’s channel during Coachella (when engagement is guaranteed to be high) is one of the most common and effective ways that brands can marketing on Instagram during big, exciting events. Not only will the product be seen by millions, but the associations consumers will draw between the product/service and one of the world’s coolest festivals will yield immeasurable benefits when it comes to establishing a positive and relevant brand identity.

Live Lokai

Live Lokai collaborated with social media star Helen Owen to market their unique bracelets at Coachella. Containing water from exotic locales like Mt. Everest and the Dead Sea, Live Lokai’s colorful beaded bracelets helped Helen and her nearly 900K followers to find their balance. Given that Coachella features elements of New Age spirituality, Live Lokai’s message paired exceptionally well with Coachella’s ethos and likely appealed to Owen’s health-and-wellness-centric audience as well.

Hey @frank_bod, I think the pool at @foraycollective would make an awesome mud bath, what do you think? ??

A photo posted by Gabrielle Grace Epstein (@gabbyepstein) on

Frank Body

Beauty company Frank Body collaborated with Australian Instagrammer Gabby Epstein to show off their coffee-based skincare line at Coachella. Epstein’s self-professed love of coffee and her shared nationality with Frank Body (an Australia-based company) made partnering with the Instagrammer to market to her 1.3 million followers for her Coachella trip an easy decision for the beauty brand.

2. Sponsored/Hosted Events

Sponsoring or hosting a pool party, afterparty, or event at Coachella is a phenomenal way for brands to increase engagement and expand brand awareness, especially when coupled with Instagram influencer marketing strategies and a unique branded hashtag.

Re-United with this one. ❤️ @revolve #revolvefestival A photo posted by Negin Mirsalehi (@negin_mirsalehi) on


By inviting top fashion and beauty blogger/Instagrammer Negin Mirsalehi to their annual Coachella party and collaborating with the social media influencer on brand-sponsored posts that feature Mirsalehi wearing Revolve clothing, the retailer was able to capture the attention of Mirsalehi’s 3 million followers. Instagrammers Thássia Naves, Ashley Benson, SincerelyJules, and dozens of others also attended the star-studded event.


fringy things & drinks // @guess & @thezoereport #zoeasis A photo posted by Marianna Hewitt | blogger (@marianna_hewitt) on


Retailer Guess and lifestyle blogger and Instagrammer Rachel Zoe teamed up to host Zoeasis (#ZOEasis), a festival party that featured live music, a hair braiding station, and a plethora of Instagrammable backdrops. Popular Instagrammers like Marianna Hewitt, Natasha Oakley (tashoakley), Devin Brugman, and Louise Roe were also in attendance.

3. Channel Takeovers

All eyes are on Instagrammers during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, making this event the perfect opportunity to gain new followers and spread the word about a brand by enlisting a top Instagrammer to take over the brand’s Instagram channel for a day or for the weekend.


To give the brand’s 470K followers an authentic Coachella experience, beauty subscription service Birchbox enlisted Juliette Dallas-Feeney (jdalfeen) to Takeover their Instagram channel for the festival. In addition to providing beauty tips and a look at Coachella through Dallas-Feeney’s eyes, the campaign also featured joint brand collaborations with Revolve Clothing Company and check-ins with Instagrammers collagevintage and sincerelyjules.

4. Creative/Branded Hashtag Campaign

Creating a unique branded hashtag can increase brand exposure and generate momentum for a company and/or social media campaigns. This is especially true when brands partner with social media influencers at Coachella, like in the following examples:

Coachella got me like #?. @AmericanExpress helped me rise to new heights today ?. #AmexAccess #AmexAmbassador   A photo posted by Adam Gallagher (@iamgalla) on

American Express

One of Coachella’s official sponsors, American Express partnered with lifestyle and travel Instagrammer Adam Gallager (iamgalla) to share the brand’s hashtag campaign #AmexAccess with Gallager’s 1.7 million followers. The campaign, which encouraged attendees to log in to the Coachella app with their American Express information (which, in turn, made paying for things at Coachella easier) was also promoted by popular Instagrammers Sophie Elkus (creator of style and beauty blog Angel Food Style), Paolo Alberdi (lblankitinerary), Patrick Janelle (aguynamedpatrick), Jill Wallace (littleblackboots), and others

5. Giveaways

At Coachella, one of the most popular ways brands can inspire Instagrammable moments is by giving away things festival-goers actually need, like sunscreen, water, makeup, or air-conditioning. The following campaign from Sonic Drive-In, however, is by far the most creative example of a true Instagram giveaway at this year’s Coachella festival.

#SquareShakes are hot at Base Camp Coachella Valley! If you’re here, order yours through Instagram ASAP. ?? A photo posted by Sonic Drive-In (@sonicdrivein) on

Sonic Drive-In

To motivate Coachella attendees to spread the word about Sonic Drive-In and the brand’s new Instagram-inspired square milkshakes, the popular restaurant chain reportedly offered these unique creations to Base Camp campers for the price of an Instagram photo (#SquareShakes).

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