Odwalla Campaign Mixes Juice, Live Music and Facebook

High-end juice maker Odwalla is starting a new marketing effort, called “Campaign Against Ordinary” that it has designed around live music and Facebook. The intention appears to be getting consumers associating the drinks with popular musicians, thereby giving the product broader appeal.

The focus will be its “Living Flavor Vending Machine,” a play on words that actually means “part innovative sampling booth, part performance stage and part advocate podium,” rather than an actual vending machine, according to Odwalla’s press release. It will “feature DJs, musicians, films, filmmakers, storytellers and open mic auditions” — and users will be able to audition on Facebook to appear in it, starting later this year.

The company isn’t providing us with any details beyond the release, though, so here’s what else we know. The Coachella music festival, happening April 16-18 near Los Angeles, will host the first part of the campaign. But the full concept won’t go live until the other two festivals it’s planning to be at, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands.

Odwalla is drumming up immediate enthusiasm on its Page by giving out free tickets to Coachella every day ahead of the festival. The contest was recently announced in a Facebook status update where fans could click on a link to Odwalla’s web site to enter.

Overall, the company has just over 19,700 fans on Facebook and has already begun to promote the Coachella festival, as evident with one of several status updates today, “In honor of Coachella, tell us the best concert souvenir you’ve scored: Signed drum stick? Set list? Pic with band? Can’t discuss it – my mom might be reading this?” Regular status updates, fun in tone, have generated dozens of comments/likes and fans seem pretty enthusiastic about the product. Compared to many brands, it’s off to a good start in terms of building buzz on its Page.

Everything related to the campaign is being promoted in its Fresh Stuff tab, along wth its new Pink Poetry drink. The company has also created several photo albums of its line of drinks and uploaded four videos, most of which are commercials.

Odwalla will eventually add a feature to its Page that allows fans at Coachella with “particularly interesting or unusual talents” to upload videos to Facebook for a chance to perform at the “machine” during the following music festivals, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands.

The Facebook-live music concept reminds us of a campaign we wrote about earlier this month where Levi’s cross-promoted its presence at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin to Facebook. A long-time sponsor of a popular side-stage at the festival, this was the first year where it used Facebook to promote bands and the rest of the event — and with good early results, from what we saw.

Odwalla also notes that “the campaign will be supported by Facebook advertising, in-store POS materials, and public relations activities.” Levi’s told us that one lesson from its experience is to focus advertising on the week before the event, as this will get viral buzz building among users via Facebook’s news feed and other features. This may be Odwalla’s strategy and we’ll be watching to track the campaign’s progress.

For more on using Facebook together with events and bigger marketing campaigns, be sure to check out our Facebook Marketing Bible.