Going bigger with activations: TIFF’s repeat sponsors

L'Oreal, Bell and RBC are among the long-time festival sponsors that are upping their involvement with digital and interactive activations at street-level.
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Between L’Oreal bringing red-carpet glamour to the masses and Bell erecting  a four-storey interactive space at David Pecaut Square, the returning sponsors for the Toronto International Film Festival are not coasting on the work of years past.

“We’ve got research that shows TIFF audiences know the difference between official sponsors and the companies that try to ambush or get in some way without investing the time and money,” Franca Miraglia, director of sponsorships for TIFF, says about what motivates sponsors to come back year after year.

One of those major sponsors is L’Oreal. In addition to its co-sponsored “Eat Red, Wear Red” initiative with Jackson-Triggs at the TIFF Gala, the company is hosting a two-floor activation at David Pecaut Square – one for VIPs and one for the general public. There, attendees can make use of iPads loaded with the company’s upcoming Makeup Genius virtual reality app. Using the technology developed by the same effects company that worked on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, users can apply L’Oreal products or looks to a photo of themselves, choosing from pre-loaded products or by scanning looks and using products that are in print and broadcast ads.

L’Oreal is also going to have a beauty correspondent at screenings, interviewing stars for videos on the dedicated red carpet section of L’Oreal’s YouTube page and will feature tutorials on how to recreate looks on the company’s Get The Look website. The website will also have regular editorial features on the day-to-day style at the festival.

Hugo Thibault, communications and digital director at L’Oreal Canada, tells MiC that the company has research that shows sales of its products go up during TIFF, which keeps it coming back as a sponsor. This boost comes from seeing the red carpet looks, but also having more events to go out to. L’Oreal is hosting one of its own with a product launch party on Sept. 8 hosted by brand spokesperson and actress Julianne Moore.

Bell, the lead sponsor of TIFF, is bringing back and expanding its Blue Carpet activation from last year’s festival. This time, Bell is constructing a four-storey building in David Pecaut Square, which will feature a mobile spa, technology demonstrations, an interactive green-screen and a DJ performing on the rooftop that overlooks the red carpet for all gala events.

Nearby, RBC is setting up a “prize cube” made of LED panels displaying content from TIFF and RBC’s social media accounts. Periodically, the cube will send something down the prize chute, ranging from popcorn to Festival tickets to gift cards.

Long-time sponsor Hugo Boss is providing TIFF pocket squares in-store, at the TIFF Shop and at gala events for $45, with all proceeds going to the TIFF Pocket Fund. The organization raises funds for kids and schools in underserved communities to attend TIFF screenings and learning programs they might not otherwise be able to.

Also on the fashion side, Yorkdale Mall is sponsoring the Red Carpet Look of the Day on the TIFF website, and will have an on-site display at the mall recreating looks using its retailers.

Grolsch, which is now sponsoring the festival’s People’s Choice Award, is expanding last year’s Grolsch Open House in a more accessible location, which provides food, beverages and seating next to Rdio’s musical performance for those that need a break, while still being right next to the excitement of the red carpet at the Lightbox. Grolsch is also bringing back its fleet of branded eco-cabs from last year’s festival, a second option for those that need a fast transport between venues.

Audi and Visa are the other major sponsors returning this year.

Check out MiC’s coverage of the new sponsors activating at this year’s festival.

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