In 1989, two brothers from Boston began selling t-shirts out of the back of a van, often sleeping on top of the shirts in the back of the van as they made their way along the East Coast. Even with their tireless efforts, business wasn't taking off. Then, five years later at a street fair, they began selling t-shirts with the drawing of a smiling stick figure with the mantra "Life is good'?, and all 48 t-shirts sold out in less than an hour. The drawing was named Jake; a happy little stick figure who simply just enjoyed life, and with that the "Life is good" brand was born ' standing for happiness and simplicity. Today, Life is Good has evolved into a lifestyle apparel brand dedicated to philanthropic causes such as the Life is Good Kids Foundation, created to help kids overcome life threatening challenges such as violence and poverty.
So why am I blogging about this company? Besides the fact a successful clothing brand was created from the drawing of a stick figure'?¦ Because this past September 11-12, Life is Good brought a 2-day music festival to the Boston metro area - http://www.lifeisgood.com/festivals/, and this new music festival represents an opportunity for brands to connect with charity-minded consumers in a family friendly environment.
The first annual Life is Good Festival was a family affair, held on the Prowse Farm in Canton, MA, only 20 minutes outside of Boston. With three stages, over a dozen musical artists, and various entertainment and family activities, the inaugural Life is Good Festival attracted approximately 12,000 consumers on Saturday and 15,000 on Sunday, raising over $600,000 for the Life is Good Kids Foundation.
The festival offered various food and drink vendors and a wide range of entertainment options, including games and interactive art activities presented by various sponsors of the festival. The major sponsors included Chase Freedom, Chipotle, Reebok, RCN, and Stonyfield Organics. Many sponsors' consumer activations were family oriented or dedicated to a philanthropic cause, for example UPS hosted a 9.11 Giving Tent where consumers could donate items for care packages for local troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the sponsors were also New England based companies like Reebok, the Cabot Creamery and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
In today's media-fragmented world, consumers are more receptive and engaged during one-on-one brand interactions set in a fun, relaxed environment. If your brand supports a childrens charity or certain philanthropic cause, next year's Life is Good festival may be a great way to connect with consumers in a fun, music-oriented environment.