the challenge

The founders of 80/35 had a vision: to create a nationally recognized music event and prove, once and for all, that Des Moines isn’t boring. But they had obstacles. As the first event of its kind – in a medium-sized Midwestern city – the organizers struggled to attract big-name acts and big-city crowds.

big idea

Our team gave life to this multi-day festival by building the 80/35 brand. We shaped everything from the name, look, and anything-can-happen personality to how we recruit stakeholders. Each year, we devise a fresh theme and dynamic tactics to promote 80/35.

real results

It’s been a smash hit. Backed by a strong brand with a smart strategy, the festival draws more than 30,000 annual visitors to Des Moines while attracting top-tier acts like David Byrne & St. Vincent, Nas, Wilco, Kesha, and the Wu-Tang Clan.

Brand Development:

Crafting an Iconic Personality

Our team heard Des Moines’ demands for something extraordinary and answered with a mash-up of music, creativity and culture. We helped elevate an iconic event from the shadows of downtown insurance buildings, giving young professionals and families another reason to move to the metro. The brand comes to life through targeted advertising and social engagement, driving ticket sales and boosting awareness.

Annual Promotion:

Bringing Back the Magic, Again & Again

Each year, we develop a comprehensive strategy with a rich, unique theme. This fresh creative works across multiple platforms to capture the imagination of both avid music fans and casual observers. With the magic of our creative and strategic tactics, the festival continues to attract 30,000+ attendees.

Gamified Promotion:

Enchanting Social Engagement

We engage our target market through guerilla tactics and gamified promotions, which sometimes involve the, um, leave-behinds of magical beasts. For the “80/35 Poop Scoop,” we placed colorful unicorn “plops” all around the Des Moines metro. Our audience hunted for the enchanted droppings and posted their findings on social media, increasing awareness and driving ticket sales for the festival. Plus, since most of the prized poo was hidden in and around 80/35’s partner organizations, the event’s sponsors got a magical boost.

Social/Broadcast Content:

Drawing a Crowd

The magic of 80/35 comes to life on social media and broadcast. Our videos, like the 10th Anniversary Puppet Show, capture the child-like wonder of the city’s biggest music festival, while building hype and driving ticket sales.