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Why Dos Equis' Rose Bowl Activation Includes a 36-Piece Robotic Brass Band

Working with creative agency MKG, the beer brand is using the attention-grabbing stunt to engage college football fans this season.

Dos Equis has been bringing its robotic brass band to college football games throughout the season. The jukebox is fully fabricated with working instruments and takes the shape of Dos Equis’ XX logo.
Dos Equis has been bringing its robotic brass band to college football games throughout the season. The jukebox is fully fabricated with working instruments and takes the shape of Dos Equis’ XX logo.
Photo: Courtesy of MKG

Last month, beer brand Dos Equis hosted a full-blown tailgate wedding outside of Texas A&M University's Kyle Field—and somehow, that wasn't even the buzziest college football-themed activation the company has built this year. 

Working with creative agency MKG, Dos Equis has unveiled a state-of-the-art robotic brass band jukebox in the shape of Dos Equis’ XX logo. The 36-piece, 8-by-10-foot band is fully fabricated with working instruments; it has traveled to football games every Saturday throughout the Sun Belt Conference and will cap off the season with an appearance at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2022.The 36-piece, 8-by-10-foot band has a custom-made backend that manages the song queue.The 36-piece, 8-by-10-foot band has a custom-made backend that manages the song queue.Photo: Courtesy of MKG

David Butler, senior creative at MKG, said that standing out in the college football space can be a challenge for brands. "As Intersport, Dos Equis' sports strategy agency, pointed out early on in the ideation process: College football fans already think tailgating is perfect," he explained.

To gather some insight into what would work, the teams spent time interviewing football fans about what they love about game day. "We heard over and over again how much people love the energy the band brings to the experience—so much so that many were listening to fight songs and school songs during the tailgate," Butler said. "That felt like a genuine place where we could add value: Instead of hearing a brass band through a dinky Bluetooth speaker, what if we really turned up the volume on game day by bringing the band to the tailgate?"

The resulting robotic band was designed by MKG and fully fabricated with working instruments. "Being a sound-driven activation, building it was quite a challenge," said Butler. "The entire piece is pneumatically driven, so to make sure the noise doesn't interfere with the song, we had to retrofit an ultra-quiet system that's typically used in dental offices."

Check out the band in action below (swipe to the second slide):

For song requests, the team built a custom-made backend that manages the queue, he added. "Originally it was going to pull submissions directly from Instagram, but after factoring in brand safety and the cellular connectivity issues at large sporting events, we moved to manual moderation," Butler explained.

To add more branding moments and engagement opportunities, the robotic band is accompanied at games by a full-service Dos Equis bar, an oversized foam finger, and a media partnership with Fox that has on-air talent Mark Titus and Charlotte Wilder interviewing fans on-site.To add more branding moments and engagement opportunities, the robotic band is accompanied at games by a full-service Dos Equis bar and an oversized foam finger for photo ops. Dos Equis also has a media partnership with Fox where on-air talent Mark Titus and Charlotte Wilder interview fans on-site.To add more branding moments and engagement opportunities, the robotic band is accompanied at games by a full-service Dos Equis bar and an oversized foam finger for photo ops. Dos Equis also has a media partnership with Fox where on-air talent Mark Titus and Charlotte Wilder interview fans on-site.Photo: Courtesy of MKG

Butler noted that leaning in to what your audience wants is crucial for creating an effective brand activation right now. "Whether it's a quick-hit PR stunt or a season-long tour, the key is finding an insight that will resonate with consumers and building the creative around that," he said. "It can be tempting to chase trends, innovative tech or lean on flashy tactics, but all of that will ultimately fall flat if they don't serve an insight—especially in a space with a strong culture, like college football."

VENDORS:
Design and Production: MKG
Lead Technical Agency: Deeplocal
Animatronics: Weigl Control
Fabrication: Visionary Effects
Musical Composition: Plan8
Sports Strategy: Intersport'Whether it's a quick-hit PR stunt or a season-long tour, the key is finding an insight that will resonate with consumers and building the creative around that,' said MKG's David Butler about what works at brand activations now."Whether it's a quick-hit PR stunt or a season-long tour, the key is finding an insight that will resonate with consumers and building the creative around that," said MKG's David Butler about what works at brand activations now.Photo: Courtesy of MKG

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