Bud Light psychs out EDM fans with social experiments

Millennial test subjects were given a chance to win tickets to Tomorrowland

Shane Schick June 22, 2016

The Tomorrowland electronic dance music festival is only a few weeks away, but Bud Light Canada is helping ensure some of Canada’s most passionate EDM fans will be on the ground in Belgium through a recruiting effort involving live social experiments.

Working with its agency partner Anomaly, Bud Light launched the campaign by putting up postings across Toronto with a call for test subjects in an EDM research project. There was no branding on the posters, just an e-mail address along with a promise of compensation for their time.

Those who responded to the ads found themselves in a white-walled facility where they were left on their own to listen to EDM music or answer questions about it. Depending on how they answered, coloured lights started flashing and a confetti cannon went off, informing them they were going to be among the lucky few attending Tomorrowland, which kicks off in Belgium on July 22.

“The opportunity to go to Tomorrowland comes once in a lifetime, and we wanted to find people who really feel it in their blood and in their bones,” Nick Skotidas, brand manager for Bud Light Canada, told Marketing. “Tomorrowland isn’t just about partying – it’s an opportunity where everybody gets to come from around the world and gets excited about this music.”

The experiments included leaving subjects by themselves in the room as EDM music played, and seeing how could not stop themselves from getting a groove on . . .

. . . seeing who would be brave enough to break the rules and turn up the volume . . .

. . .  and asking subjects to take a polygraph test about how far they’d be willing to go to see something like Tomorrowland.

“This became very real and raw,” Skotidas said. “When the one subject turned up the volume and saw objects being knocked off, he jumped up from his seat. When Amy, in the polygraph test, saw the confetti canons go off, she was genuinely scared.”

The results will be a purely digital campaign, with the videos being distributed across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. They were cut into 15-second and 60-second spots and drove to online opportunities where others were able to enter to win Bud Light contests to visit Tomorrowland.

Bud Light, meanwhile, will be keeping in touch with winners when they’re enjoying the event in Belgium, taking them on helicopter rides and arranging meet-and-greets with EDM artists – all of which will turn into additional content.

“They’ll be immersed in so many activities,” he said. “We want to see their full experience.”

Veritas handled PR on the campaign. Mosaic handled XM and UM handled media buying.