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5 of the Best Instagram Trends from Coachella 2019

Dubbed “the Super Bowl of Instagram advertising”, Coachella is a melting pot of experiential marketing, exclusive parties, and branded events that everyone wants to be part of.

Each year, thousands descend upon Indio, California to attend Coachella — a place where creativity and music merge with influencer marketing and Instagram showreels. 

This year, we’re seeing some great marketing trends pop up on Instagram from Coachella’s sponsors, brand party hosts, influencers and attendees alike. And we’re certain they’re going to pave the way for Instagram trends for the rest of this year.

Why Brands Want to be Seen at Coachella

Almost 100,000 people walk through the gates of Coachella each day of the festival. And a huge portion of those attendees fit nicely within the millennial age bracket, with a higher than average spending power.

In fact, Time Magazine estimates that a typical Coachella festival-goer will spend anywhere from $627 on the low end to $2,347 or more if you’re flying in, to attend the festival.

And with a reputation of being ‘the place to be seen’ as the festival season kicks off, Coachella ticket holders are more than happy to share their experience online — at the time of publishing this post, there are 4.4 million posts on Instagram tagged with #coachella.

And that’s not even accounting for the multiple branded hashtags event sponsors and brands have used in the pasts. For example, Amex asked their brand ambassadors to use the #AmexLife hashtag to spread awareness about the exclusive perks available to American Express members during the festival in 2018.

It’s reported that American Express reached an audience of nearly 15.3 million and gained nearly 140,000 likes and over 400 comments across the campaign.

That’s a whole lot of potential customers and spokespeople for your brand or businesses. Plus, it’s worth noting that marketing your brand at Coachella, is not just marketing to the people who walk through the festival gates.

With Instagram marketing at Coachella, you’re able to reach out to an audience that physically can’t be there, but want to enjoy living out the experience through social media — by creating compelling Instagram content during the event, you’re able to convincingly market, and sell your product by tapping into a physically absent, but highly engaged audience! 

A presence at Coachella, whether that’s being an event sponsor, hosting exclusive influencer parties, or launching Coachella-based product lines, is a golden ticket opportunity for brand exposure and activation. Even Instagram, for the first time ever, wanted to have a physical presence at Coachella this year! 

But true to Coachella’s artistic roots, brands are consistently evolving and getting more and more creative with how they engage with festival goers, influencers and Instagram followers. Of course, not every brand can afford a highly coveted spot at Coachella, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take inspiration from their exclusive events and activation efforts!

We’re rounding up our favorite Coachella trends from 2019, and pinning them to our mood board for future collaborations, events, and social inspiration!

Coachella Trends #1: Photo and Video Collages Are Back in Fashion

Collages are in, big time at Coachella this year. And not just on Instagram Stories, but we’ve also spotted them popping up in Instagram feeds and even on IGTV content! 

For both photos and videos, we’re expecting to see this collage trend trickle into the Instagram landscape for the rest of 2019!

Check out the cute StoryLuxe templates created especially for Coachella in collaboration with Revolve, that allow you to capture multiple memories at once:

And with so much going on over the Coachella weekends, it’s understandable that influencers, brands and festival-goers alike, are looking for ways to share more content in one post!

This is one trend that is bound to stick around after the festival, so if you haven’t already started experimenting with your Instagram Stories designs, or using templates to share out your content, now’s the time! 

If you’re looking for some more inspiration on how to level-up your Instagram Stories content, you can check out our blog post on how to design Instagram Stories! 

Coachella Trends #2: Fashion Takes a Backseat for Tech

This year, we’re seeing tech brands step into the spotlight for the first time, while fashion skirts the social sidelines.

Festival sponsor Bose has taken inspiration from Coachella’s high fashion roots, and brought audio augmented reality experience to Coachella Valley with Bose Frames!

Bose worked to enhance the official Coachella smartphone app with new features specifically made for Bose AR — the world’s first audio augmented reality platform.

The integration means festival-goers can unlock exclusive audio content while wearing Bose Frames — it’s the first time Bose Frames and Bose AR will be integrated into a music festival, and people seem to be loving it!

Plus, other tech brands have returned for 2019 after a successful brand marketing exposure.

For the second year, HP was back to present a new technology activation, The Antarctic — a mind-blowing, 360-degree, projection mapped experience. At last years’ event, the screening gained over 101,000 viewers, so there was no denying that the crowds would rush to check out the latest project with between HP, Goldenvoice, and RÜFÜS DU SOL.

Finally, Childish Gambino teamed up with Google Pixel 3 to create an immersive experience combining music, art, and technology — all in one place between the Mojave and Gobi stages!

With the aim to promote the Google Pixel 3’s Night Sight, the custom installation is designed to let you capture insta-worthy photos and videos of the event in the dark.

Whatever industry you’re in, we’re expecting to see a lot more tech-focused branded collaborations coming up in Instagram marketing for the future. So think about interactive AR filters, branded Instagram stickers or GIFs, or more engaging and immersive Instagram video content for your future campaigns! 

Coachella Trends #3: Dedicated Spaces for Capturing an Insta-Worthy Shot

Apart from what stage you need to be at, and at what time, the main thing on a Coachella attendee’s mind is getting the best shot for Instagram.

And that’s why brands are going above and beyond to provide the perfect backdrop, beyond the iconic Coachella Ferris wheel!

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DAY 1 🎡🎶 #COACHELLA

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Apart from the return of branded events and tents, like Absolut Planet and Heineken House, some brands are working their aesthetic both inside and outside of the festival grounds to help promote their brand, and help their followers get the shot!

Of course, we couldn’t discuss Coachella’s Insta-worthy backdrops without mentioning Instagram’s Desert Chill House! For the first time ever, Instagram hosted its own branded house at Coachella on Saturday — partnering with artist D’ana Nunez of COVL (Craft Onward Versatility and Lifestyle) the invite-only house called Instagram Desert Chill, was the place to be!

The 1970s-styled experience took inspiration from the desert landscape to create abstract Western motifs. Made up of 26 individual shapes, the collection came together to create a colorful desert set held in a secret estate off the festival grounds, and provided awesome murals, pools and creative backdrops for photos and videos!

Similarly, off-site events took center stage for providing the best Instagrammable shots! Take a look at how Revolve has gone all out with Revolve Festival — a week-long, influencer-packed event filled with fashion, beauty and surprise music sets! The event is strictly invite-only and the exact location is revealed only for those with a confirmed RSVP!

On a slightly smaller scale, YSL has created a beauty pop up site that mimics a gas station where you can play with a makeup vending machines and try on different YSL beauty looks with its virtual mirror!

While, within the Coachella gates, you can pop into NYX’s Glitter Station to get your glam on with the help of the NYX professionals, or pop into the member’s only Marriott Bonvoy Lounge – the perfect backdrop for a laid-back, behind-the-scene Coachella shot!

Right down to getting your coffee fix, Coachella has made it insta-worthy! Check out how Peet’s Coffee has made a quick caffeine fix an opportunity for a photo-shoot with their cool, branded recharge station bus!

So if you’re planning a product launch, influencer or brand activation event in the near future, it’s worth thinking about setting the scene up for the perfect Instagram shot — if you can nail the backdrop for your attendees, you’re guaranteed greater exposure on Instagram!

Coachella Trends #4: Experiential Marketing Takes the Lead

Experiential marketing is a quickly growing trend for brands and business looking to expand their audience, but at Coachella, hosting an experiential event is key!

The theory behind experiential marketing is when you promote or marketing a product through experiences that engage the customer, it creates an emotional attachment to the product or service, so you gain a more loyal following.

According to Eventbrite, ‘experiences’ trump ‘things’ for millennials, as 3 in 4 (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable. And 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before.

So an experiential event at Coachella seems like the perfect pairing!

From #RevolveFestival hosting the biggest party outside of Coachella, to the NYX and Pantene beauty lounges, themed tents like Absolut Planet and Heineken House, there are branded experiences all over the valley!

One experiential marketing event we’re loving this year is Cupcake Vineyards Frozie Factory — the official wine sponsor will serve up the first-ever frozen selfies, which involves your selfie being printed on top of whipped foam in two distinct flavors, Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc Bellini!

And let’s not forget #MYCALVINS House — the pop-up event hosted by Calvin Klein to let festival-goers recreate shareable photo moments from the brand’s Spring 2019 campaign starring Shawn Mendes, Noah Centineo, Kendall Jenner, and A$AP Rocky!

Coachella Trends #5: Brands Collaborate to Host Stellar Events

According to a Nielsen study, 76% of festival attendees feel more favorably toward brands that sponsor a concert or tour.

So you can understand why so many brands and businesses want to be seen at Coachella, but sponsoring the festival or hosting exclusive events at Coachella come at a hefty price.

This year, we’re seeing more brands collaborate — potentially to share the cost, but also to share their audience base and target more followers.

For example, Levi’s has teamed up with Australian skincare brand Bondi Sands to sponsor the desert event Neon Carnival.

Revolve collaborated with StoryLuxe app to create custom made Instagram Stories templates specifically for Coachella, and teamed up with Virgin Voyages to host a cool hangout space for everyone at their festival! 

And OC-based, Prism Boutique teamed up with their favorite brands like Matisse Shoes, L-Space Swim and Day Dreamer clothing (that they carry in-store) to host a desert pop-up influencer event and store!

If you’re looking to host a special event, or create a buzz around your next product launch, consider collaborating with another brand or Instagram profile that complements your business. Not only will you be able to team up to share skills and costs, but you’ll also be reaching a new audience you might not have had access to before!

From branded collaborations, to once in a lifetime exclusive events, Coachella has it all. And for brands and businesses around the world, it’s a hotbed of inspiration for future marketing campaigns!

We’re excited to see what Instagram trends pop up in 2019 that were born from this year’s festival!

Did we miss any Instagram trends from Coachella that you loved? Let us know in the comments!

Written By

Nikki Canning

Nikki is part of the marketing team at Later and has worked in digital media in London, Dublin, and Sydney. She loves strong coffee, cuddly puppies, and planning her next travel adventure. Follow along on Instagram @nikkitravelled.