This Weekend: Ford Fiesta Sponsors Live Video From Bonnaroo Music Festival

June 11, 2010
YouTube's Bonnaroo page, sponsored by the Ford Fiesta

YouTube's Bonnaroo page, sponsored by the Ford Fiesta

So you were planning a weekend trip to the beach, but the thought of getting tar balls caught in your thong has made you reconsider. What to do? Thanks to Ford Motor Company, you can kick back and enjoy great over 30 live concerts from one of the country's largest music festivals -- and all without leaving the comfort of your own air-conditioned, oil-free living room.

In its continuing effort to reach the Fiesta's target demographic of 20-and-30something tastemakers, Ford has partnered with YouTube to stream live concerts from this weekend's Bonnaroo music and arts festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Starting today at 12:15pm CST, Bonnaroo's YouTube page will host a barrage of live performances by acts ranging from Norah Jones and Dave Matthews to Jay-Z and Jimmy Cliff to LCD Soundsystem and Gaslight Anthem. Which is to say: nearly everything but Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band -- and even they might show up in someone's encore.

Naturally, Ford was thoughtful enough to invite YouTube's parent company to the party, too. Google will circulate the event throughout the company's mobile, search, and contextual advertising networks, so between now and Sunday, anyone looking for information about Bonnaroo will likely see at least one ad pointing to the festival's YouTube page.

Our take? This is a big win-win for both Bonnaroo and Ford. Bonnaroo earns greater awareness across multiple demographics, including many it might not otherwise reach. Furthermore, by giving YouTubers a taste of the Bonnaroo experience, it whets fans' appetite to attend the real thing next year. (Some might argue that the live stream will cut ticket sales, but time and again we've seen that festival-lovers don't just go for the music, they go for the entire social experience.)

For its part, Ford earns even more brand awareness for the Fiesta -- as if the success of its Fiesta Movement campaigns weren't already enough. In fact, it may help broaden the Fiesta's notoriety, since our completely unofficial office poll reveals that Bonnaroo's lineup can reach a slightly older crowd (by which we mean late 30s/early 40s) than the one Ford generally targets for this compact model. And let's not forget that festivals are typically a good match for advertisers anyway, since fest fans tend to possess a hefty chunk of disposable income.

It's also a big win for music-lovers -- especially those stuck at home, all cocoa buttered-up with nowhere to go. We admit that watching the fun on YouTube may not seem as much fun as crowdsurfing with thousands of complete strangers. But on the upside, your living room is always clothing-optional, which is more than Bonnaroo and most beaches allow these days.

For dawdlers and curious types, here's quick video overview of the whole shebang:

[MediaPost, YouTube]

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