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August 6, 2020

Drive-In Experience for Experiential Marketing

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and live events came to a screeching halt this past spring, event venues, artists and the music/live entertainment industry has found a way to pivot and get music fans what they’re craving- a “live” show. Drive-in theaters have officially made their comeback during the pandemic as a safe way to experience a concert while maintaining social distance and following the guidelines during COVID-19.


Who would’ve thought what began in 1933 as a way for patrons to enjoy the latest flick from the comfort of their own vehicle would be the current way to experience a concert in 2020? 


With the help of Ticketmaster, Encore Drive-In Nights is pulling together performances by some of the world’s most iconic music stars and filming exclusively for drive-in theaters across North America- sporting the tagline- “Drive-In. Rock Out.” As a major country music fan, when I saw Blake Shelton was “performing” at our local drive-in alongside Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins it was worth giving it a shot! After dropping a cool $115 on a ticket for our car, my husband and I packed a cooler and our kids and hit the drive-in! Now coming from my background in experiential marketing, I went into the night thinking, this is either going to be super fun or majorly suck, there was no in-between.


Like everything these days, it was important to check out the guidelines before arriving. Parking was spaced out to be every other spot, so your vehicle had plenty of room on either side. We were allowed to be outside our vehicles and were easily able to maintain social distancing from other patrons. Once the sunset and the show began, there was even a surprise opener (Parmalee) just like there would be when going to a live show. To my surprise after each song, the crowd would cheer and sing along to every line. Like any live experience, a crucial factor is interacting with the audience and although it wasn’t a live show, the banter between Shelton and his bandmates pulled out laughter from the crowd. Overall, I’d say it was a great experience.


Now whether or not the drive-in concert is going to last in the long run, for now, it’s a great placeholder that opens up a lot of opportunities for brands to intercept consumers in a safe and healthy way! From swag bag distribution to closed container sampling, the opportunities are definitely there, and consumers are craving these experiences.

And as a full-service execution partner, Hype! is ready to activate! All it takes is a call, a quick email or even fill out our proposal request to get the ball rolling.


As they say, the show must go on!