Wrapping up its seventh year, VidCon is an annual conference in Anaheim, California that celebrates the power of online video. In 2015, over 21,000 fans, creators and industry leaders united to network, learn and foster self-expression for the entertainment of the masses. This year, among an even larger sea of hopefuls talking into their cameras, big brands set out to attract the next big influencer.
Among them, Warner Bros. promoted its upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts with a spell-casting booth. NBC had a two-course American Ninja Warrior challenge complete with spinning logs and warped walls. Nickelodeon brought back its popular casting booth and had a special Legends of the Hidden Temple promotion, heralding the show’s return.
Netflix, meanwhile, offered couches, photo booths and interactive sets to promote its shows The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Fuller House, Gilmore Girls and, of course, Haters Back Off, an upcoming show starring YouTube influencer Colleen Ballinger-Evans. A day ahead of VidCon, Netflix also announced an untitled unscripted series about Vine star Cameron Dallas.
Hasbro was on-hand with game and toy demos, including the now-infamous Pie Face game, which took off after a video of a grandfather and grandson playing together turned viral. “What we’re seeing in marketing in general right now is, brands used to tell consumers what brands are, now consumers are telling consumers,” Victor Lee, Hasbro’s senior vice president of digital marketing, told [a]listdaily.
Nestlé attended VidCon to promote SweetTarts with an interactive booth. “Digital is obviously extremely important, and I think every brand really needs to be there now.” Meghan Erickson, Nestlé’s brand manager, told [a]listdaily, noting an immediate response from attendees. “We’ve already seen some tremendous numbers. I mean, these guys have millions of followers, so it’s really interesting to not only see the likes but it’s the shares and the comments. We want to engage with these people in a way that’s meaningful. That’s what’s important to us in building a long-term partnership as well as a connection for our consumers to SweeTarts.”
With YouTube stepping up mobile livestreaming and original programming, brands are quickly locking-in to captivate consumers.