As a lover of beer and music, Toronto’s Festival of Beer (TFOB) is one event that I never miss. I’ve been attending the event for a number of years and as both a guest and a marketer, it’s been satisfying to see the festival evolve. In addition to new brews and an increasingly impressive musical lineup, TFOB has brought something new to keep me engaged year over year; and with nearly 40,000 people in attendance, engagement is critical.

Over the past several years, TFOB has become an important event for our clients. We have a large, targeted audience to work with, and the better part of a day to have them engage with our clients’ brands. In 2018, we had three large activations at TFOB. That number may double for 2019.

The Palm Bay Refresh Station:

TFOB takes place in July. It’s hot, and while we all love beer – sometimes we need a break from it. The Palm Bay Refresh Station offered consumers (with the focus on women) the opportunity to refresh themselves from the scorching July heat. Complimentary deodorant, sunscreen and dry shampoo offered a moment of personal refreshment, while our ice-cold Palm Bay slushies provided a cool treat to cleanse your beer-soaked palate.

The Jameson Caskmates Games Lounge

Jameson Caskmates is a wonderfully smooth Irish Whiskey that’s aged in craft stout-seasoned barrels, adding rich flavours of coffee, cocoa and a gentle hint of hops. It pairs exceptionally well with beer and we wanted to tell that story to beer drinkers.

We also recognized that our target consumer is likely to enjoy a pint and a dram together at home with friends – either watching the game on TV, or playing cards and board games.

The Jameson Caskmates Games Lounge offered TFOB guests a chance to get out of the sun and play a few rounds of cards (with a beer + Jameson Caskmates), simulating a typical consumption occasion. Jameson was poured into a “hitchhiker” shot glass, which conveniently hung from the side of the beer mug, giving the brand a strong visual presence throughout the festival.

Fireside Cannabis

With the legalization of recreational cannabis owning the headlines last summer, we wanted to make sure that TFOB attendees had Fireside in mind when the big day arrived on October 17th.

In an effort to position Fireside’s “vibe” and usage occasion, we setup two firepits surrounded by Muskoka chairs. Guests could grab a S’mores kit, pull up a chair, and enjoy the unmistakable sounds and smells of the fire. We even left a couple of guitars out in case someone wanted to jam.

Our on-site promotion helped us capture consumer data in exchange for chances to win some great Fireside-branded gear. Guests feeling creative could create a charm using beads and branded “wood cookies” to hang off their beer mug, or challenge a friend to a game of Giant Jenga.

We’ve found a great partner in TFOB. They’ve allowed us the opportunity to keep their audience engaged by bringing unique experiences to the festival, while also allowing us to tell our client’s stories in a meaningful way.

If you would like to discuss how Influence can create a great consumer experience for your brand at TFOB, please feel free to send me a note.

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