How They Shook it at Austin City Limits Music Festival

Jeff StolhandProduction

Austin Video Production

Shake It For A Shake!

When outsiders think of Austin, a few things probably come to mind. Franklin’s BBQ. The Texas Longhorns. 6th Street.

And of course, ACL Fest – a two weekend affair stocked with a couple hundred bands from all over the world.

Like bees to honey, music lovers descend upon Austin to get in on the action. We’re talking hipsters and hippies, old school rockers and new school generation x’ers. It’s a melting pot of 450,000 like-minded souls, all looking to satiate their annual music fix ACL style.

All genres are featured – indie, rock, folk, rap, country, electronica – and festival goers are also treated to a true Austin experience: Food and drinks, an art market, tons of activities and even a side-spot where the kiddos can get in on the fun.

So if you want to run a promotion during the Austin City Limits Music Festival what do you do? How do you stand out? How do you rock the Kasbah, party all night long and drop it like it’s hot? Well you could start by using silly musical references … or maybe not.

In all seriousness, ACL Fest is a great opportunity to show off your brand. And that’s what Sonic asked Expressions in Video to do.

That’s right! Sonic! America’s Drive-in.

“Dude, Sonic!” That was the cry at UT when me and my dorm buddies needed a fast food fix. Mmmm … tater tots.

Okay. I digress.

Here’s how it went down. The good folks at Cohn & Wolfe contacted us with the task of promoting Sonic’s new line of cake shakes.

You heard that right – a Cake in a Shake. That’s like a taste bud party gone crazy!

The plan – 640 Cake Shakes, 25 pedicab drivers, two camera crews, a steady rig, a drone, and enough GoPros to make an X-Gamer blush.

The pitch – get people to Shake It For A ShakeI Our team engaged festival goers by offering free pedicab rides – and free Cake Shakes – with one caveat.

You had to dance.

Or, to stick with the vernacular of the campaign, you had to Shake It!

Sonic wanted real people tasting shakes, having fun, letting loose and letting us know what they thought about Sonic’s new cake shake lineup.

Shake it for a Shake -- Expressions in Video shoots promotional spot for Sonic during the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Shake it for a Shake — Expressions in Video shoots promotional spot for Sonic during the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Anyone who has attended ACL Fest knows that getting from decent parking to Zilker Park to enjoy the fest is a major task. So, free pedicab rides? Well yeah, baby.

Our producer utilized a combination of pedicabs outfitted with GoPro cameras, a mobile film crew and some off-the-wall pedicab drivers that could make your Aunt Myrtle laugh.

We also needed onsite editorial for immediate Twitter uploads. Shoot. Edit. Upload. All as quickly as possible. Sonic wanted regular Twitter feeds with video of the fun and excitement around ACL Fest and their new shake lineup.

Any time you couple cool gear with pretty people in a setting like ACL Fest, you’re bound to have success. We had camera operators hanging out of pedicabs following other folks slurping down shakes and having a blast. We even did some time-lapse and selfie-cam stuff with attendees, because we wanted viewers to really experience the festival first-person style. It was insane and hot and exhausting – and a helluva lot of fun.

Austin Video Production - ACL Fest

To pull this off quickly took a lot of prep. Pre-planning the style of the video, syncing and rigging cameras, about 60 YETI coolers stocked with frozen goodness… and an athletic crew.

Austin Video Production

The footage was hilarious and engaging. The result … a stellar branding campaign.

Here’s a recap of the recipe:

25 pedicabs.

640 free Cake Shakes.

Two film crews.

A cast of thousands from ACL Fest.

Austin Video Production

The results knocked it out of the park. People had a blast and Sonic shared their new line of cake shakes with the music fans at ACL Fest. Fans tweeted and retweeted racking up over 139,000 video views

That’s how you shake it at Austin-style.

Shake it, baby.