Part I: Take the Time to Think Through Art Direction

Published by O Hello Media

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Brands we see rising to the top are those who engage their audience through an integrated marketing plan wherein all layers of marketing work in unity to achieve the same goal. As soundly engineered as “the catapult” ball retriever from The Sandlot; each part of the system plays a key role in moving the needle (or in this case, the ball).

Brands we see rising to the top are those who engage their audience through an integrated marketing plan wherein all layers of marketing work in unity to achieve the same goal.

The appropriate order of operations


There is a purposeful order of operations in place to achieve the results you’re looking for, and so just as the marketing machine must begin with a set of guidelines, so too must we apply the same strategy to photography & videography coverage for your brand activation. 

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Cue the shot list, right? WRONG. In comes the proverbial BEAST (yes, another Sandlot reference) to snatch up that baseball because one key element was missing for success:


A shot list can not be developed before the guidelines are in place, which is exactly the purpose art direction serves. These guidelines are the most valuable when they are clear, intentional, aligned and strategic. To help you think through how to begin this process, we’ve outlined some thought starters and considerations for what exactly art direction means and looks like as it pertains to photography & videography for your brand activation:

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Tips for developing art direction

1. Review your brand standards

What does your brand look like visually? We’re not talking about your brand colors or fonts, but more so how does your brand translate into an image? Is it vibrant? Warm and approachable? Electric and bright? If you were to describe your brand as a person, what would he or she look like? What kind of facial expressions does he or she convey? These are questions you want to be thinking through as you define what the content from your event will look like so that it aligns accordingly and therefore appeals to your target audience to draw them in.

If you were to describe your brand as a person what would he or she look like?

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2. Think through environmental considerations

You have put a lot of thought into the design of your experiential activation but in many cases, the physical setting and/or location is a byproduct of other factors such as foot traffic or involvement as a sponsor of a larger event. Those environmental factors have a huge impact on the final content. Make sure you’re looking at the lighting conditions, such as natural vs. artificial light as well as the time of day for the shoot. Guide your content creator on the best camera settings and supplemental equipment to achieve the lighting conditions that will ultimately produce content that aligns with your brand standards.

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3. Identify the story you want to tell through the images or footage captured

Our team at O Hello Media takes an editorial approach to content capture, as this enables us to truly tell an authentic story of the consumer experience at your brand activation. Perhaps, however, it makes more sense for your brand to create more ‘influencer’ style shots that are posed, curated and hyper stylized. Think through how you want your photographer or videographer to approach their capture and interaction with your attendees, as each form of documentation will tell the story in a different perspective.

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4. Assess the content you already have

This could be the only activation as a part of your campaign, or it could be one in a series of many. In either case, take a look at the content you already have to maximize the final product output produced by your photographer or videographer. For example, if you already a great library of hyper-stylized images featuring consumers sampling your beverage product, perhaps this shoot should focus on more organic content of consumers reacting to your product.

The end result

As an experiential marketer, you know that your cog in the machine is the emotional trigger. You create opportunities for your on-site audience to feel a deep-rooted connection to you as the brand. The photographer or videographer then must rise to the challenge and ensure the real emotion experienced on site translates into imagery or footage. 

Using all of the factors outlined above, well defined art direction will allow for the purposeful, strategic and brand-focused attention to detail you put into the physical experience to carry through to the content produced.

Which Music Festival Should You Go To?

No matter what type of music you like, there is something special about gathering and enjoying it with other people – sometimes thousands of them. Festivals bond people together like no other. Whether you’re running from one set to another, testing out the delicious food vendors, or trying to find Jessica who you lost in the beer garden, there’s nothing like music festival atmosphere. Take this quiz to find out where to find your people:

Festival Friday: The Value of Experiences

Across industries, the refrain echoes: Millennials value experiences more than goods. The numbers support this claim—JP Morgan reports that “they pay more for travel, entertainment, and dining than their parents and grandparents do.” Far from the worn-out tropes about avocado toast, the Millennial cohort is quickly becoming the predominant generation for buying power. And festivals remain a hot ticket item for experience-collecting Millennials, even as their average age and budgets increase.

Experiences make all people happy, and Millennials represent the first generation in modern times that is not projected to have a material increase in economic prosperity relative to their predecessors. That has led the generation to embrace and redefine the idea of what makes a life rich, leading to a wholesale shift in spending habits. This change in values is closely correlated with the rise of apps and services that allow users to share rides, apartments, and many other commodities that used to require ownership. Ownership is less popular than ever, while shareable experiences are valued at all-time highs. Forbes recently wrote, “Why do millennials value experiences over things? Because it makes them happy. And they aren’t wrong—studies have found that spending money on experiences brings more lasting joy than spending money on things. Experiences are also more shareable, which is important to younger generations.”

Rise of the experience economy. 

The experience economy has radically redefined the relative value of experiences in relationship to long standing economic indicators. Millennials buy homes later and less often than their parents and are far more willing to spend money on experiences. As a result, experiences speak more to the Millennial consumer than traditional aspirational advertising or milestones. 

The Pineapple Agency knows the value of a shareable experience, which is why we have created unforgettable moments like the Under Armour Drone Drop in San Francisco and Hansen’s Fresh Coat Mural Festival in downtown LA. It’s easy to assign a price to a banner ad or television commercial, but the value of people choosing to spend their time and share their experiences on social media is truly priceless. By delivering limited-edition Steph Curry sneakers from drones in San Francisco, The Pineapple Agency helped Under Armour generate 16 million social media impressions and 119 million media impressions by giving away 30 pairs of sneakers. Those metrics are unheard of in a pre-experience economy marketing landscape.

Under Armour Drone Drop

Festivals are the epitome of experience. 

In the experience economy, festivals rank at the top of the ladder. Starting with music festivals like EDC, Coachella and Bonnaroo which quickly ignited a global boom in music festivals, we have now seen a boom in immersive multiformat festivals that include everything from yoga classes to cooking workshops to fire performances. Music festivals combine the huge reach of beloved musicians with all-day or weekend-long attendance, which creates a need for everything from food to places to rest, relax, and engage in between the concerts. The HP Antarctic Dome at Coachella is an immersive theater that combines radical infotainment with a much-needed air conditioned respite from the desert sun. In a setting where a place to sit and cool off is worth its weight in gold, suddenly a branded experience feels more like a gift than an interrupt advertisement.

Music festivals matter to Millennials, and instead of ridiculing the shift in values across demographics, we should spend time understanding the sea of change in how a vibrant life is defined. Business Insider reports,  “nearly one-third (32%) of millennials who attended a music festival in the past year took on debt to do so, a new report from CompareCards by Lending Tree found.” Viewing experiences as valuable as home or automobile ownership is a way of life for many Millennials, which means that brands can create high engagement levels by adding value to festivals they are already attending or providing their own immersive experiences.

Music festivals are cultural currency. 

Music festivals are ingrained in modern culture. Coachella is a household name, and many of its competitors are, too. Not only does this mean that a branded experience at Coachella is the new “Super Bowl ad,” it also means that an entire cohort is primed to highly value unique experiences. Whether your brand is looking to pull off an unforgettable installation at EDC Las Vegas or wants to create its own experience to support a new campaign, The Pineapple Agency knows that you can’t put a price on a memorable experience. Thankfully, we know how to deliver high value experiences.

Graphic representing how an activation goes viral

How Does Something Go Viral?

How Does Something Go Viral?

One of the many questions we get asked by our clients is: how do we get our campaign to go viral?

There have been many books, papers, and blog posts written about how does something go viral and others fall flat (in fact there’s even a mathematical function about it). To be honest, there’s no surefire guarantee that your content will go viral. However, there is one thing that can give you the best possible chance: killer content. If you truly want something to go viral, then the content must be interactive, exciting, relatable, and engaging. This may seem pretty easy to do, especially if you have a sexy product like an energy drink or the latest digital accessory, but what if your product or service is not-so-sexy?

That’s the beauty of Experiential Marketing

It can make any product or service leave a lasting impression, because that’s what an experience does, by definition. At the Pineapple Agency, we love to create immersive, unique experiences and activations that create an emotional connection between brand and consumer. Our killer content is the aggregate of videos, pictures, and social engagement that has been captured from our unique activations. This content can be repurposed to create commercials, digital/print advertisements, or full-fledged traditional marketing campaigns utilizing multiple marketing distribution channels. In order to have the best chance of going viral, the content should be:

  • Engaging (visuals, audio, etc.)
  • Able to attract consumers on as many channels as possible
  • Easily shareable
  • Personalized and/or relatable on an emotional level
  • Meaningful, and helps your audience become more educated and/or helps them solve a problem


Just because your content satisfies these requirements doesn’t necessarily mean that your content will automatically go viral and hit millions of people, but they will give it the best chance to be shared by your most sought after prospects. Even if your content does not reach virality this time around, you are still creating content that your audience desires, as well as continuing to establish your company as a credible authority in your field. Regardless, you want to be educating your prospects so they are more equipped to buy your product/service and want to share your company with as many people as possible.

One of our projects that went viral within the Colorado area was Terminal Kings: a public art project commissioned by Denver International Airport (DIA). Over a ten day period 10,000 people packed Denver’s City Hall event center to watch graffiti artists David Cho, Highraff, and Sam Flores paint three of the largest hand-painted murals that would be displayed in the airport. During what was the most highly attended non-permanent art exhibit in Colorado for that year, The Terminal Kings social platforms saw staggering increases in the number of followers and almost every major news outlet in Colorado picked up on the project, thus creating additional viral buzz for the Denver International Airport, which was already infamous for the large, creepy, and potentially haunted Mustang sculpture displayed along Peña Boulevard. The project was turned into several pieces of content and eventually served as the backbone for the overall marketing campaign for DIA’s Terminal Kings public art project. To find out more about the Terminal Kings project, please see our case study on the project here.

Considering an experiential activation for your company?

Let’s chat.