Fest Best: 3 Takeaways From WayHome’s Marketing

It’s festival season! My personal favourite season of the year, and yes, it’s a legitimate season unto itself. Chances are that you’ve heard of WayHome by now. Either you’re going yourself or you know someone who is going and can’t stop counting down to when they’re going to #findtheirwayhome with their #wayhomies.

If you’re in Toronto, you’ll likely spot one of their ads around the city or you’ve seen one of their pop-ups. Their branding is so distinctive that it’s hard to miss and the hype is real.

But what makes their marketing so buzzworthy and what can you take away from it?

Never underestimate the power of a great event.

When WayHome was first unveiled to the public, it all started with an event. There were posters around the city telling people not to come to The Great Hall on a particular day at a particular time. There was also coordinates written around the outside, which people quickly decoded to be for Burl’s Creek, an area just outside of Barrie, and the general consensus was that this was going to be an event to announce the rumoured musical festival put on by the people who do Bonnaroo. Following all of the rules only gets you so far in life and everyone who disobeyed the posters and showed up at The Great Hall was given an envelope labelled “do not open.” The full lineup was announced and then anyone who hadn’t opened their envelopes was rewarded with a lifetime pass* to the music festival. You have to know when to follow and when to break the rules for the maximum reward.

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*This is the part where I have to give a shout out to the guy who opened his envelope early and posted the contents on Twitter, whom I basically owe my own lifetime pass to.

A little mystery never hurt anybody.

…unless you’re playing Clue. But in general, a little mystery and some clever puzzles are so enticing. WayHome kept the mystery alive this year by releasing their lineup through 360° videos. Viewers moved through a series of images that were clues to the artists that are slated to play. Immediately my Twitter was full of people throwing out guesses as to who was going to be there. Were those Sia wigs or a Lucius haircut? What on earth did that skull with plants represent?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZQZ0u2dnLg?showinfo=0]

Don’t be afraid to try something new!

It was exciting watching people to come together to try and decode everything. Not only did the folks at WayHome spark a lot of conversation around trying to decipher the artists, but they made use of a relatively new and underused medium to do it and it was probably the first exposure to 360° video that many people had. Now with both Facebook and YouTube on the 360 video train, it’s popping up more often with some great executions, like this video from Google Play Music or the cast of Hamilton rehearsing for the Tony’s. While you can view these videos on a desktop, the real experience comes in when viewing them on your mobile and can easily move around and explore the videos more thoroughly. With an increase in traffic coming from mobile these days, making the mobile experience more engaging is key.

Let’s be real, we all want the kind of buzz that WayHome has gotten from the very beginning so go on and take a page from their book.

Brittany is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at 88 Creative. You flail with her over music festivals on Twitter here.