Chew On This: Did Trident Revitalize Fans at Pitchfork Music Festival?

Pitchfork Festival 2011 trident oxygen bar


Okay, now it’s time to share some more fan stories from Pitchfork Music Festival 2011! Check out the video above as we explored the Trident Vitality Lounge and had an ‘AWAKEN’ing session at the oxygen bar. Sorry for the shakiness of the video, I think they had the oxygen cranked up a bit to high while I was filming.

As you’ll see, we asked two fellow concert fans about how the oxygen bar session was impacting their Pitchfork experience.

And this was a great opportunity to continue our exploration of how our senses play a role during a concert, and how Wrigley’s 5 gum experience gave Coachella fans a chance to get interactive with their chewing gum.

And though it wasn’t nearly as digitally interactive at 5 Gum’s, Trident had a slightly similar angle at Pitchfork this year with their more physically and sensually-focused Vitality Lounge that offered fans free massages, relaxing couches to chill out on, and of course the oxygen bar.

What Was It Like?

Hanging out in the Trident Vitality Lounge was a very interesting and thought-provoking experience, so I dug a little deeper to find out more about oxygen bars and how they might impact our concert experiences, and if they really do have any medical benefits.

Did Trident Pass The Test?

And in this post we’ll also continue our experiments with brands who do or don’t engage concert fans.

That said, the minute I saw the booth at Pitchfork I was instantly curious to see if Trident was pushing the boundaries as a brand by making the concert experience more sensual and interactive for concert fans. And we’ll share our thoughts on that too.

What About Oxygen Bars?

First, let’s check out some info about medical benefits of oxygen bars.

According to this Askmen article, oxygen bars provide minimal benefits for fans and could actually do harm in some cases. The article does a solid job of explaining the facts and truth about oxygen bars and they sum it up by saying:

So the bottom line, according to the scientific data out there, is that though 20 minutes of pure oxygen isn’t likely to cause major damage, it won’t provide much good either. If anything, it will expose you to needless risks.

Oxygen bars have been around for awhile, so I took a look back in time to a 1997 CNN Health article that talks about the rise of oxygen bars and the growing trend of athletes using them and oxygen-enhanced bottled water.

The CNN article didn’t say anything about artists or fans using oxygen during a concert but imagine the effects would be the same.

You can learn more about the the company that makes the oxygen bars used at Pitchfork here, and read more about the history of oxygen bars here.

So Is Trident Pushing Boundaries?

Though it was a fun experience to try out the oxygen bar at Pitchfork, I don’t think Trident was exploring any new territory. And it didn’t help that the ladies working the booth didn’t know a whole bunch about the oxygen bars or the effects of them concert fans.

Yes, it was a nice thing to provide fans a place to relax and re-energize, but it would’ve been even better if Trident made a more personal connection between the live music experience and the Vitality Lounge.

And that’s one of the reasons why I asked Christia if she would have liked to try the oxygen bar out while she watched Battles play. By asking her that I was exploring the idea of Trident’s Vitality Lounge going beyond just being a service booth and evolving into a fully interactive concert experience that fans would appreciate and enjoy.

And that’s were Trident’s Vitality Lounge and most brand’s festival booths fall short. They either don’t make a lasting physical connection or they don’t focus too much on telling just the brand’s story, and not enough on telling or weaving in the fan story.

And that’s unfortunate because I chewed Trident’s Vitality gum all weekend long and loved it, just like Tune-Yards and TV on the Radio’s set.

But I can’t say the same for 5 Gum, which unfortunately loses it’s flavor pretty fast, like far too many of the sets at Pitchfork did this year.

It was also pretty annoying to keep getting asked by the AXE girls each time I passed by their big “Even Angels Will Fall” tent. It was funny though to see other Pitchfork fans playing games and using the Axe mini pump spray bottle to spray each other so many times that they reeked of AXE.

Why Don’t Brands Go Further?

But again, Trident, AXE and most brands I’ve seen at festivals unfortunately don’t make that personal connection. They don’t innovate in ways that matter emotionally. And they don’t make what their giving you — gum or deodorant samples — unique in any way.

Heck, it would’ve been interesting to see Trident or AXE create samples that had a unique Pitchfork logo or something that was sort of commemorative.

The One Thing Everyone Wants To Know

The last question, I’m still wondering about is whether or not fans who stopped by the Trident Vitality Lounge associated their memorable Pitchfork experience with their time in the Lounge?

And of course, the answer to that question is the ROI (Return On Investment) of why most brands spend the money to go to festivals.

And as it’s why, as Ad Age points out, Trident has a couple key objectives with their Vitality gum.

Also, the pellet-size gum, which comes in a box that “clicks” when opened or closed, is aimed at a slightly older demographic than 5, with the targeted audience being people in their 20s and 30s who are into wellness.

The message will focus “more on the experience associated with the gum,” said Mr. Maglaris, emphasizing that only one variety has the vitamin.

But will that experience be memorable for concert fans? Right now it’s not.

But it could have been if Trident, and AXE, focused more on telling a story and making a stronger emotional connection between their product and the concert fan experience.

There were over 18,000 concert fan stories that happened at Pitchfork 2011 and I didn’t see any brands making the most of the opportunity to connect their successful products in any memorable way.

Like I said, I love the Tune-Yards and TVOTR set, but when it comes down to it, I don’t associate my favorite Pitchfork musical experiences with Trident. The only connection that was memorable for me and Trident was talking with those two fans.  Beyond that what I was chewing was just something to keep my breath from smelling.

But enough about our experiences…

Were You There?

Were you at the Pitchfork Music festival to check out the Trident Vitality Lounge? We invite you to share your concert experiences in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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