March 7, 2014: What Fans Will Do to See Lady Gaga, Is SXSW a Marketing Circus?, the 4 Ps of Event Marketing

March 7, 2014, 8:26 AM EST

1. GAGA JOINS DORITOS FOR “BOLD” EFFORT AT SXSW: Doritos has big plans in store for South by Southwest, Austin's big festival and conference that starts today. On March 13 the brand, which made a splash with a giant vending machine as a stage three years ago, will bring Lady Gaga to headline its BoldStage show. But fans won't be able to buy tickets—instead they will have to complete challenges, dubbed BoldMissions, like busking on the street using instruments provided by the PepsiCo snack company or jumping from 30-foot-high platforms. Fast Company: “If it sounds a bit crazy, [Frito-Lay vice president of marketing Ram] Krishnan thinks the brand has built up a reputation among fans to make it work. 'We’ve earned the right to do ambitious things like this because for the last eight years we’ve had a very consistent brand and I think people have come to expect certain things from us, in events, contests and social engagement,' he says.”

2. AVOIDING SXSW'S MARKETING CIRCUS: Speaking of the mammoth festival, has South by Southwest become too big of a haven for marketers? As the festival grows, so do the complaints that it's now more about lavish parties and less about business. Matt Mullenweg, C.E.O. of WordPress parent company Automattic Inc., told The Wall Street Journal, “It has gotten so, so crazy. Does anyone have fun at a 5,000-person party? ... Ten years ago, my favorite part of SXSW was the small dinners—people are trying to bring that back.”

3. THE 4 PS OF EVENT MARKETING: Janus Dialogs, a blog from Scott Schenker, Microsoft's general manager of worldwide events and Microsoft Production Studio—as well as a 2013 BizBash innovator—published its take on the classic marketing model of the four Ps. That includes a sense of place, a clear purpose, pride, and cross promotion. “Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising, and nothing says 'You don’t need to care' more than saying 'I don’t care.' The pride and passion of the host needs to shine from every corner and mountain top. How the temp staff greets the audience, how the cables are laid and how clean the venue is, how fast the social media comments are responded to.”

4. VIRGIN'S BUSINESS TRAVEL PUSH: In a plan to expand its flights to more business destinations from the Dallas area, Virgin America hopes to lure business travelers away from other competitors. Bloomberg Businessweek: “In Dallas, the land of big hats, big hair, and big ambitions, Virgin America is making an audacious pitch for business travelers. The upstart is betting that while Southwest Airlines may be the traditional darling in the area, corporate travelers will pay extra and switch carriers for a few frills, such as a large leather seat in first class and fancier food.”

5. SAMSUNG MOBILE'S NEW MARKETING EXEC: Just one day after Samsung Mobile drew buzz from a selfie by Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres, the Korean brand announced a new marketing executive. Vince Hudson, formerly with Procter & Gamble's beauty division, is now the vice president of marketing strategy and operations at Samsung Mobile USA, bringing a background of innovative marketing initiatives and programs. Ad Age:


ATLANTIC CITY:  A new Comic Convention is headed to Atlantic City this year. Conceived by Promoguys Marketing Group, the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con will take place May14-17 and include the 30,000-square-foot ACBC Cosplay Ballroom Party and a masquerade parade on the boardwalk.

BOSTON:  The New England Food Show will take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center March 16-18. Organizers expect some 350 exhibitors.

The Boston Flower and Garden show will take place at the Seaport World Trade Center March 12-16. The event includes floral design demos, contests, lectures, and children's activities.

CHICAGO:  The second annual Camp Kesem Family Night at the Museum is March 8 at the Field Museum of Chicago. The night invites families affected by cancer, and their supporters, to partake in an evening of activities that includes scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, and camp songs.

LOS ANGELES:  Los Angeles Times: “Days before the Los Angeles Marathon, organizers canceled a popular nighttime bicycle race along the 26.2-mile route because they did not obtain the proper permits.”

Judd Apatow will be the recipient of the PaleyFest Icon Award on March 10 at the Paley Center’s Beverly Hills location. The event will serve as the kickoff event for PaleyFest.

The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau announced six additions to its sales team on Thursday.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Floral designer Addie Flynn opened a new company, Kalla, that creates what it calls “floral couture” arrangements for same-day delivery.

NEW YORK:  The Electric Daisy Carnival announced the lineup of artists scheduled to perform at MetLife Stadium Memorial Day weekend. The festival will include about 70 artists, including Tiësto, Steve Angello, Cedric Gervais, and MK. Organizers will also debut the 100-foot animatronic Owl stage—unveiled to a sold-out crowd at EDC Las Vegas 2013—and a new and improved Electric Daisy art installation, which will stand 125 feet tall during fireworks displays.

The Apollo Theater will host Africa Now, a four-day festival showcasing contemporary African music, April 2-6. Africa Now will be anchored by a blow-out concert on April 5 featuring Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, Senegalese trio Les Frères Guissé, and reggae/Afrobeat collective Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Neurotechnology Industry Organization will host its NeuroGaming Conference & Expo in San Francisco May 7-8. The event will take place at a new venue, City View at Metreon. Game Politics:

SEATTLE:  Rental house Cort announced it acquired AA Party Rentals in Mountlake Terrace and Tacoma, Washington. AA Party Rentals, which serves the greater Seattle and Tacoma markets, will continue to operate independently.

TORONTO:  The 21st Century Music Festival will host a cocktail party on March 27 at the Royal Conservatory of Music's Conservatory Theatre.

WASHINGTON:  Port City Brewing Company will produce its first custom brew for chef Geoff Tracy, which will be served on draft at all of the chef's restaurants starting mid-April.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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