Key Marketing Lessons from Travis Scott’s Fortnite Concert
The phrase “new normal” is having a moment. As the outside world slows to a crawl in the name of flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19, many of the things that define our daily lives have either changed significantly or paused indefinitely.
But through all this, our desire for social connection and the joy of shared experience has remained the same. And when in-person events simply aren’t an option, we turn to meet those needs.
Case in point: Multi-Platinum-selling rapper Travis Scott’s virtual concert experience held 100% within the video game Fortnite was attended in real time by more than 12 million people.
If you had to re-read that sentence to make sure it was actually in English, it’s ok, you definitely aren’t alone. But while Travis Scott and Fortnite are both primarily known staples of Gen Z online culture, the results of this innovative experience are something brand owners and marketers of any age should know and possibly even emulate.
On Thursday, April 24, 2020, pop culture demigod, marketing maverick and Houston native Travis Scott took over the popular online game Fortnite with an innovative concert experience.
As players roamed the open world of Fortnite, avatars decked out in custom Travis Scott gear, a purple streak of light ripped through the sky, careening toward the in-game concert stage and materializing into a Godzilla-sized avatar of Scott as it reached the ground.
Accompanied by a swirling psychedelic skyscape that would make Pink Floyd blush, Scott proceeded to “perform” some of his most popular songs before premiering his newest single, The Scotts, featuring internet rap pioneer Kid Cudi. In the end, the experience played out somewhere between a music festival and a music video; a simulated gathering fueled by shared excitement and community spirit.
Though in-game concerts had been held before, none of them had quite the astronomical impact of Scott’s Fortnite takeover.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
- 12.3 million live viewers
- 4 scheduled encore performances
- 7.45 million first-day streams of The Scotts, the single debuted during the concert
- 100,000 sales of The Scotts single in just 2 days
- All of Travis Scott’s previous albums re-entered Billboard’s top 10
- A sold out first wave of tie-in products
While all of these figures are remarkable, it’s the last three that marketers should be mindful of. Feeling the buzz of this free community experience, people opened up their wallets and spent their money on things they could have gotten for free.
The Scotts is available to stream on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and anywhere else you can think of, but that didn’t stop digital, vinyl, cassette and even CD singles of the song from immediately selling out. And while you can attribute at least some of this runaway success to Scott’s larger brand appeal, the effect of the in-game concert is still undeniable.
If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t a multi-platinum recording artist with the pull to takeover one of the world’s most popular games. But that really isn’t the point.
As a more online, more distant “new normal” emerges, people are increasingly hungry for experiences that allow them to connect and share with the world around them. To tie things into classic Inbound marketing methodology, these connection-forming activations provide brands the opportunity to delight their followers — a critical aspect of client retention and evangelism for your brand and product.
You don’t have to have millions of fans to offer your friends, followers and customers engaging experiences and new connections. There are several ways you can delight your audience and increase your online staying power, including:
- Webinars and live chats: Now more than ever, people are sitting at home looking for something to do, skills to build and connections to make. Whatever your company offers, there’s likely some knowledge or resources you have that your audience would love to share and engage with. Are there questions you are frequently asked? Is there a community cause you’d like to get behind? Do you have relationships with influencers, experts or local celebrities? Any and all of these are potential interaction points that you can use to create meaningful, interactive experiences for your audience to enjoy.
- Facebook Groups: In between all the paid ads and memes, social media can still be used for real community building, and Facebook Groups are one of the best options available to brands looking to increase their footprint. Creating a Group that’s related to your product, service and/or roll in the community puts you front row and center in an enjoyable space that’s free to run and beneficial to your followers. Best of all? Every new member represents a new potential customer.
- Challenges and initiatives: There’s never a bad time for brands to give back. Putting your name and your resources behind a cause that’s meaningful to you and your fans is a great way to foster connections, build a community and do great things in the process.
The right partners.
You don’t have to be married to a Kardashian or have Platinum plaques on your wall to build a meaningful online presence. That said, making the most of your brand’s digital life isn’t always easy. Working with a digital partner who understands you, your goals and your values can help you identify and seize new opportunities to delight your target audience and turn followers into fans.
At Baal & Spots, we’ve helped brands ranging from music festivals to law firms form real connections online, and we’d love to do the same for you. See how we’ve done it, and reach out to start a conversation today.