The MiO Squirtcar: Turning a Streetcar into a Moving Concert

Kraft MiO set out to make a meaningful impact on its target audience – Millennial males – as the title sponsor of Toronto music festival, North by Northeast (NXNE). Initially, Edelman was asked to simply amplify MiO’s presence at an existing venue. We saw a greater opportunity to turn the sponsorship into something newsworthy and original that everyone would talk about. We did just that by creating a venue unlike any other – a streetcar, turned music hub, featuring artists handpicked for their uniqueness.

Transforming a public transit vehicle into a concert venue entailed navigating numerous logistics, including plotting routes – and rerouting them on the fly – in busy traffic, sorting out extensive permits and, of course, installing a topnotch sound system on a cramped moving vehicle.

Additionally, Edelman undertook a major creative effort. Born in-house, the MiO Squirtcar was a holistic effort. We conceptualized look and feel, developed a visual language and engaged in-house art directors and independent illustrators to bring it all to life. Also, the team brought in the video production team and a pair of daredevil freelancers who rode bikes, hung from bridges and drove chase cars to capture the event.

Moreover, Edelman worked closely with NXNE to handpick the acts that would best capture the brand’s ethos – “make it original.” To do this, we tapped an Edelman writer, who also happened to be a professional music journalist, to scout the perfect musicians to perform in the MiO Squirtcar.

Ultimately, the MiO Squirtcar ran for four wildly successful nights of shows, with onlookers staring agape as it passed by, music fans running alongside it to get on and riders dancing and partying throughout the night.

The results of this truly cross-teNXNE MiO Squirtcar Lizzoam effort – featuring members from tech, digital, creative and earned media – exceeded client expectations. Over the span of four nights, 1,000 attendees viewed the shows, and of that number, 40 reporters were in attendance. The MiO Squirtcar, in conjunction with other festival activations, secured 31.6 million social media impressions, 30 million paid impressions and 403 earned media impressions, greatly increasing brand relevancy with Millennial males, dominating social media and making a gigantic impact with media.

The MiO Squirtcar was featured in the following publications: The National Post, Toronto Star, Yahoo, Now Magazine and The Globe and Mail, as well as many others nationally and internationally.


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