What we learned from our activation with eos and Mariah Carey
Written by Kevin Renwick & Mitchell Papazian
What makes a great brand activation?
Does it “push boundaries”? Is it the first of its kind? Does it need a celebrity?
Brands like to use these buzz words as campaign objectives. However, as these terms become increasingly watered down, the industry is saturated with ‘noise’. Each brand and marketer relationship is grasping at any new emerging trend like straws that will allow them to ‘stand out’ and steal competitive share of the market.
But as any experienced marketer understands, there is a fine line between finding an execution and curating a brand experience.
So, when we were presented an opportunity to be the first beauty brand to sponsor a Metaverse music festival that also featured Mariah Carey in Roblox’s Livetopia, we knew this was an opportunity to curate a true meaningful brand experience for eos.
eos have geared their marketing efforts to the Gen Z ‘Zoomers’. We know from our research that the gaming sphere is a source of entertainment and discovery especially within lifestyle simulation type games (Sims, Animal Crossing etc).
To develop this activation, we worked closely with a start-up called Relentlo, a ‘one to watch’ publisher that focuses on bringing brands to life in the Metaverse.
With the help of Relentlo, we were able to secure the premium presenting sponsor of the Mariah Carey Christmas Performance inside Roblox. This would allow us to build a custom storefront/playground players could enter as well as place the brand throughout the entire concert. From an eos themed stage for one of the four songs to wearable merch that can be purchased in-game.
To be forgotten or to be passed over are the two greatest fears of any partnership. We worked closely with eos’ brand and design teams as well as with Relentlo and Roblox to bring to life a truly ownable, powerful experience for our audience. So we began with two key insights from eMarketer:
- 41% of 18–34 year old gamers want to be rewarded for their time/attention.
- 47% of Gen Z and 71% of Millennial Gamers have made a purchase of Digital Merchandise during a live in-game event.
Using these principles, we looked at the eos store in terms of how we can make a bold, uniquely eos statement that invited ‘experience’. The client had the great idea of curating custom eos merchandise in the form of Avatar equipables that were all to be given away for free. This included an eos sphere shaped backpack as well as eos themed earmuffs.
This eos store featured two floors complete with levitating eos products, decorated walls, swag bins, a slide, a snowing Christmas tree and a hidden room with a secret in-game collectible for fans to discover. The store itself was inside a giant version of the iconic eos sphere. You could see massive lip balm from the horizon and you could even teleport directly from the concert venue promoting a custom eos branded concert countdown.
We wanted the eos store to be as big as the concert itself and branding was key. As the presenting sponsor in our earnest attempts, we worked with eos and the Relentlo team to ensure the eos brand was synonymous with the Mariah Carey Christmas Concert.
Beyond the store, we wanted our presence to be known within the Mariah Carey concert itself. This included brand placement within each stage. With a powerhouse that is Mariah Carey, we wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder. The success here was in the form of the eos branded stage. Vibrant, neon lights, an eos themed christmas tree complete with a spinning ‘eos’ neon sign and lip balm baubles. The song concluded with Mariah herself giving a recorded ‘thank you’ shoutout to eos for bringing the experience to life. The level of brand equity vs total investment here was extraordinary.
As our audiences teleported and flew from stage to stage, we worked with Relentlo to place the eos logo throughout the concert to consistently remind our audience that this experience was presented by eos to drive up not just Awareness but lean heavily into brand equity and favorability among the Gen Z Trend Diver audience.
All eyes were on the final results where in a moment of triumph, the eos store drew more than 2x visitors than Mariah Carey did for her concert. This was championed by an extensive organic social push by the eos team, promoting and encouraging their fans to visit with helpful tutorial videos. Through a 3rd party brand lift study, we also saw a huge increase in overall eos brand favorability as well as smashing the industry benchmark for Sponsorship Awareness.
As we continue to move forward, diving deeper into the Metaverse and emerging technology, we cannot achieve our successes without faithful and cohesive client relationships as well as a drive to constantly push into new territory beyond our comfort zone. As marketers, it is imperative to be constantly taking calculated risks and capitalizing on emerging trends being one of the first to build true integrated experiences vs simply ‘logo slapping’.