Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Zippo opts for a more useful sponsorship experience at Voodoo

Zippo helped attendants of the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans navigate the city in style this weekend thanks to a partnership with Uber, straying away from out-dated promotional pushes. 

Uber customers could ride for free in the custom Zippo Car on the day of the event by selecting Zippo Car through the Uber application, taking them directly to the festival. While in the car, customers received free Zippo gear.

"The Zippo Windproof Lighter has long been a staple of the music festival experience, used to signal an encore or show appreciation for a band or musician," said Lucas Johnson, Zippo global brand manager. "We're proud to partner with Uber to celebrate Voodoo Fest attendees and music fans around the world, continuing our commitment to offering truly one-of-a-kind experiences through our Zippo Encore program." 

Zippo Car
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, festival-goers who opened up the Uber app around New Orleans? French Quarter were treated to another option in addition to the standard Uber Black and Uber Pool cars ? the Zippo Car.

This car, a 1947 Chrysler Saratoga, was branded with Zippo logos and graphics and was filled with Zippo-related gear, including Zippo Windproof Lighters.

Uber users who were on their way to the festival could select this special car service and be driven around the city and to the Voodoo festival in back of the Zippo Car. The ride culminated at the Voodoo Uber Pickup Lot located near the festival.

Riders will also earn exclusive lighters designed specifically for this promotion and score tickets to the festival.

The campaign was launched in part by Zippo Encore, a group within the larger Zippo company that focuses on marketing in relation to live music events. Zippo Encore was created, in part, to take advantage of the strong connection between Zippo lighters and concerts, emblemized in the ritual of raising a lighter during a song at a live event.

Branded rides from ridesharing apps have been a small but growing use of marketing since Uber first shook up the car service industry a few years ago.

Honda unveiled a similar service earlier this summer for the Austin City Limits festival, offering free rides through the ridesharing app Ride Austin to festival goers through its Hail a Honda campaign (see story).

These kinds of partnerships work symbiotically for all involved. The ride sharing service, in this case Uber, sees more transactions and possibly downloads as some might install the app just to take advantage of the free ride, Zippo gets brand recognition and a chance to engage with consumers and the Voodoo music festival gets more attendants transported safely to the event.

Uber has also made more long-term partnerships with brands such as Sears, who have integrated its Shop Your Way mobile rewards app with Uber, giving Uber riders Shop Your Way points for hailing a ride (see story).

These kinds of partnerships can put brands that might not have the widest of audiences or see everyday interaction, such as Zippo, which prides itself on the long lifespan of its products, in front of customers using a widely popular app such as Uber.

The benefits come to both ? and the user gets a free ride out of it.