Now more than ever, companies today must strive for what the Harvard Business Review calls “intangible value,” which is to say that a huge part of company value, in addition to the talent of its workforce, is brand trust and recognition.
Marketers today are tasked with engaging their audience in a personal and memorable way. And while traditional ads are a great way to keep your brand fresh in a consumer’s mind, it’s experiential marketing that provides some of the longest-lasting relationships between brands and consumers.
And what is a better experiential venue than the hippest film festival on the east coast?
The Tribeca Film Festival has made a huge splash in the little over a decade it has been in existence. Founded in 2002 to revitalize Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood after 9/11, it has since generated at estimated $725 million in economic activity for New York City.
Although still in its infancy compared to established giants like the Cannes Film Festival in France, more than 450,000 people attended screenings, panels, talks and free community events last year. It’s a crowd of movers, shakers and influencers. This year by working closely with sponsors like AT&T and United Airlines, the festival is providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity for attendees and companies alike.
So what are some of the notable marketing initiatives at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014?
#1 AT&T Brings Movies to the People
AT&T managed to snag the position of top sponsor from American Express in 2014. One of their key promotions is their “Film for All” program, where AT&T offers free screenings at the festival for one day, and dishes out free tickets to tons more. Expanding on their “films for the people” theme, AT&T reached out to its fans on Twitter to see what films “every New Yorker should see.”
#2 United Airlines Upgrades It’s In-Flight Entertainment
United Airlines partnered with the film festival this year as a sponsor. As a result, United will be offering “special in-flight content curated by Tribeca, including independent feature films, documentaries, shorts and other Tribeca Film Festival-related content.” They also hope to unveil content delivered to flyers personal devices, by connecting to the plane’s WiFi, passengers will be able in-flight content that will include many Tribeca selections.
#3 Lincoln Mines Its Fans’ Creativity
Lincoln Motor Company signed on a signature sponsor this year and created “Tribeca Interactive & Interlude: A Music Film Challenge.” Perhaps the most participatory of all the sponsorships, it invites “storytellers and content creators to work with Interlude’s interactive video platform to create a music film for songs” for artists like Damon Albarn, of Gorillaz and Blur fame. The winning entries will screen at the festival.
This variety of storytelling is integral to Lincoln’s image, Lincoln’s Marketing Communications Manager tells PSFK. “The progressive male and female luxury client crave to know the story behind the products and services they engage – they want to feel that personal connection.”
#4 Innovation Week
Trying to emulate the success of outlets like SXSW, the Tribeca Film Festival created its “Innovation Week” to connect the best and brightest, their businesses, and financiers looking to partner with the next best thing. One facet of Innovation Week is Storyscapes, a collaboration between the festival and Bombay Sapphire Gin. “It bringbrings together five distinctive transmedia projects by artists and digital media innovators from around the world. This year, the stories are all around us, brought to life by innovative storytelling techniques that engage us on the new and different sensory levels.”
While certainly not a “branded experience” in the same sense of our previous mentions, the event creates a forum for other branded experiences to happen. It’s open call to “Anyone with a story” to tell is certainly something we here at the Altitude Group can get behind.