Firefly Music Festival took place in Dover, Delaware from June 13th to June 17th. Musical performances for this weekends event included Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and more. In addition to the festival, over 70,000 festival goers camped on the grounds at Dover Downs. With that many people setting up tents and camping, a festival needs to have a solid infrastructure to support this pop up accomodations. Food vendors and adequate bathrooms are not all that is needed to support patrons at a festival that allows camping on the grounds. One of the key facilities for a camping festival is a shower. While some campers may bring their own solar showers or just not shower at all, if the event wants clean attendees then having adequate washing facilities is a must.
This year Firefly teamed up with Irish Spring as their Official Grooming Partner to enhance the shower experience for festival goers. They supplied body wash to over 400 showers throughout the weekend as well as walked around the campgrounds passing out body wash to people. In the shower areas there was also “Irish Spring” signage throughout the facilities. In addition they also held a special event Friday morning that featured a free shower. Usually showers cost $5 except during the peak hours of 8am to 11am during which they cost $10. The only catch to the free shower was that it would be with other people, 396 other people to be exact. On Friday June 15, 2018 Irish Spring attempted to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ for Most People Showering Simultaneously (Single Venue).
Campers lined up at the Hub, a central location in the campgrounds, as early as at 9:30am (a half hour before the event). They achieved this goal and exceeded the previous record by 65 participants. Festival Goers gathered in their bathing suits in a custom built shower while DJ Jim Pierson played some beats. As required, they all bathed for a total of five minutes together, officially breaking the record. Andy Glass, an adjudicator for Guinness World Records, was in attendance to ensure that the record was properly broken. He was there to verify that over 331 people had enough room to lather, rinse, and bath themselves for at least five minutes. Not only did those who participate get a free shower and a chance to break the record, they also had the chance to meet “Bachelorette” winner Shawn Booth, who’s engaged to former “Bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe. He got down and dirty with attendees before ceremoniously turning on the water for the epic group shower.
Irish Spring combined product placement, celebrity engagement, and a unique activation to engage festival goers with their brand at Firefly Music Festival. By placing product in all of the showers, the brand not only provided those bathing a useful product to help clean the wear and tear of the festival off their bodies but also gave them a chance to try the product first hand. By bringing on a celebrity to join the fun, they drew a larger crowd that may have come just to meet him in person. The larger the audience the higher chance of breaking the record, which was the whole purpose of the event. His presence also added to the number of impressions for the brand during the event via his own social media.
Breaking a Guinness World Record is nothing new to the marketing world. In fact, 48 out of the top 100 global brands in 2015 used this tactic to promote their brands and marketing campaigns. Setting a world record is a unusual and interactive way to generate brand awareness amongst consumers. Not only do they remember setting a world record but they also keep in the back of their minds the company that aided them in achieving this goal. It is likely that most of the participants at Firefly had never even been a part of breaking a world record before but now thanks to Irish Spring they are forever a part of history (until the record is broken again). The key to a successful campaign involves a few key factors. The first is getting the Guinness World Record organization involved. They even have an entire department dedicated to aiding brands in creating experiential marketing campaigns. Guinness World Record Live can provide a full turn key service offering project management, record selection and testing, staffing, and other services to help create the best overall experience. Brands can not only use the power of the Guinness World Record name, which holds a 97% recognition in the United States and United Kingdom, but they can also use their creative team to develop an eye catching record breaking event. They have a database of existing and new records as well to help aid in the creative process.
Irish Spring created a memorable event for festival goers by allowing them to be a part of breaking a world record. They also provided a useful service in the form of a free shower. In addition to the buzz created onsite, the event also got a lot of exposure online. Various news and media outlets (enough to fill up at least the first three pages of a Google Search) picked up the story, generating a lot of free press for Irish Spring. Their name was splashed across the headlines for being the coordinator of breaking this record. They also leveraged the hashtag #IrishSpringxFirefly to generate and track more impressions online.
Overall, the record breaking campaign appears to be widely successful in spreading the Irish Spring name. By utilizing a celebrity appearances they were able to gather a crowd large enough to break the Guinness World Record of Most People Showering Simultaneously (Single Venue). The brand was also able to put their product in the hands of consumers while also creating a unique and memorable experience. Irish Spring leveraged their sponsorship as the official Grooming Partner of Firefly music festival to generate a marketing campaign both in person and online since it garnered a lot of attention from various publications.