Brands Use Social Exchanges as Currency at Coachella

This past weekend was the conclusion of Coachella, the popular music festival that stretches over two weekends each spring. Every year, the event draws in a crowd just shy of 100,000 young and hip festival-goers per day, making it a highly desirable venue for brands. Fighting to stand out in such a crowded space, marketers are finding new ways to entice consumers to buy their products. One of the most highlighted tactics from brands this year: using social exchanges as a form of payment instead of traditional money transactions.

So, how did this play out? Cupcake Vineyards, an official wine sponsor of the event, sold $1 glasses of wine in exchange for a Twitter or Instagram post from the drinker. Sonic also used social sharing as a form of payment for their Instagram shakes. The fast food brand created a completely integrated social shopping experience specific to the platform, exclusively during Coachella to promote the drinks. The shakes were designed purposefully for Instagram (insta-worthy recipes in square glasses), made available to order on the platform, delivered to festival attendees within minutes and finally, “purchased” by sharing a photo on Instagram.

As brands continue to explore new platforms for retail opportunities, will this alternative to “selling” products on social become more prevalent? What new forms of payment will we begin to see?

Photo Source: Coachella