Mardi Gras season is upon us, and while many individuals are looking forward to the festivities and parties that come with this holiday, many companies and brands will look to capitalize on this opportunity from a marketing standpoint. Mardi Gras is a New Orleans tradition that draws people in from all around the globe, and the holiday typically brings in an attendance of 1.4 million people to the city. As a result, many companies try to take advantage of this golden marketing opportunity, but are these companies maximizing their marketing potential with the holiday? Here’s a guide to help companies achieve the most effective marketing campaign for the 2018 Mardi Gras season.
1. Go for a Mardi Gras theme and strategic product placement
Perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to market your company during Mardi Gras is by simply adding a Mardi Gras twist to your company’s brand. Red Bull, Bud Light, Korbel, Taaka, Blue Bell, Dixie, and Popeye’s all create a Mardi Gras campaign around the entire carnival season. Any brand from restaurants to boutique clothing stores to artists can market their brand specifically for Mardi Gras. Perlis is just one of many brands that sell purple, green, and gold clothing for the season. One of our favorite examples for a way in which a restaurant could use this marketing idea is to serve beverages in special souvenir Mardi Gras cups (have you seen Superior Seafood’s?).
If you ever wonder why brands don’t pay to have their logo on floats in parades or why brands don’t pay to have their own Mardi Gras items thrown in parades, this is because New Orleans has an ordinance that prevents such actions. Mardi Gras cannot be commercialized in any way whatsoever during parades, but there are other events associated with the parades that are acceptable to promote your brand, like the parade extravaganzas. There are three large extravaganzas per Mardi Gras season for Endymion, Bacchus, and Orpheus, and sponsors are invited to participate.
2. Create a strong Mardi Gras social media campaign
Strong social media campaigns are essential for any marketing efforts, but creating a clever social media campaign centering around Mardi Gras would bring a lot of attention around your brand. Citizens of New Orleans love to be creative with Mardi Gras. For instance, if you own a restaurant that is part of a chain, you have a great opportunity to connect with locals more and attract them to your destination by creating more of a New Orleans vibe. A simple yet effective method of getting more people to buy into your brand would be to add King Cake menu during the Mardi Gras season. Perhaps you could tie in a social media campaign with this King Cake idea that promises customers a free slice to those who post a picture of themselves at the restaurant with a customized Mardi Gras hashtag. Whatever your idea is, be mindful that there are plenty of social media campaigns revolving around Mardi Gras, so it is important to be creative and unique with your ideas!
3. Use the parade grandstands to your advantage
Furthermore, there are also grandstands along certain parade routes for the Downtown, Uptown, and Metairie parades. While the rights for advertising on the grandstands at these parades are somewhat exclusive and costly, many companies buy out portions of the grandstands and use them to host clients. Often times, companies place a company logo on the stands and offer additional small items to clients such as plastic cups with the company logo or even company beads. While the expenses err on the more costly side, this is a wonderful opportunity to prove your worth to either current or potential clients and show them an enjoyable experience.
No matter what you do for Mardi Gras, your company can capitalize on the influx of tourists coming into the city, create brand awareness, and further engage in the culture of the city of New Orleans!
For information about how BMF can help create effective marketing for you, contact us at (504) 524-3342.
LinkedIn: Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald