Events + Social Media Connect Odwalla To Young Actives

How does a brand become part of the lives of young, health-oriented consumers who spend more of their time engaged in outdoor activities and the social scene than watching the tube?

For Odwalla, the healthy smoothies and fruit juices brand acquired by the Coca-Cola Company in 2001, close integration of social media and targeted events is paying off, according to Chris Brandt, VP, marketing for the brand.

While Odwalla's marketing mix includes some traditional media advertising, as well as PR and in-store POS, a primary thrust in recent times has been making a splash at festivals that draw large numbers of young actives, and using social media to engage them before, during and after those events.

"As a brand that was actually created by three musicians in 1980, music and out-of-the-ordinary experiences that showcase the uniqueness of Odwalla and its fans are a natural focus for us," sums up Brandt. That "uniqueness" message is the core of Odwalla's current umbrella campaign, dubbed "Campaign Against Ordinary," which was launched in March, along with a redesigned, heavily interactive Facebook fan page.

A prime example of the strategy is underway now, as Odwalla gears up for the Aug. 14-15 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Odwalla's on-site presence will be anchored by a "Fresh Experience Lounge" – a 40' X 40" tent that's hard to miss. Once inside, attendees are immersed in a fanciful, "fresh"-themed world that includes a colorful, 3D, upside-down ceiling landscape featuring a cow grazing near a pond.

Lounge visitors can sample the brand's large range of beverages and nutritional bars, use on-site computers for social media networking/email, enjoy DJ's and other entertainment and, if so inspired, get up and advocate the brand on a podium, or give an impromptu performance of their own, using provided musical instruments/amplification equipment.

A core component of the social media tie-in is a "Living Flavor Vending Machine (LFVM)" -- a large mobile stage that looks like a vending machine, installed within the lounge. Between July 12 and 29, Odwalla ran a "Rock the Bay Ticket Giveaway and Contest."

The contest encouraged fans to submit videos, through a "Fresh Stuff" tab on Odwalla's Facebook page,  that showcase their talents (any act that's "unique, positive and entertaining"). The winners will perform live on the LFVM stage during the Outside Lands event, and also receive two VIP event tickets.

Contest entrants were also encouraged to ask friends to check out their Facebook-posted videos and in turn share them with others. Brand fans not inclined to perform could enter a sweeps, also through the "Fresh Stuff" Facebook tab, for a chance to win a pair of Outside Lands tickets.

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