Fill Up vs Cotton Fest: Brand Wars

The hip hop game has changed alot in the last 5 to 7 years. To the point where rappers are hosting their own shows in order to secure a bigger chunk of finances. One of the most prominent of these shows being Cassper's Fill Up and Riky Ricks Cotton Fest. These shows are quite different but are sure to have people talking whenever they arise. Fill Up is all about Cassper's one man show and breaks boundaries with its international standard stages and the volume of the audiences it attracts. Cotton Fest on the other hand is all about variety, promising a number of performers, fashion, photography and attracts a more diverse audience. 

Whether consciously or not, Cassper and Riky have used different brand strategies to market and promote their events. One, in my opinion, has more potential for longevity and the other is more reliant on another brand for its lifespan. 

Cotton Fest

Riky Rick decided to go design what appears to be a full on brand identity system and not fully rely on his own music brand to carry the festival. A playful, bright and funky identity inspired by monopoly with a quirky, hip-hop twist. Sure he heads the marketing campaign but its created in a way that Riky could later step back and use someone else to head the marketing of the next event. 

Riky has opted for the "slow and steady wins the race" approach. Though it started small it's steadily growing and might get to the 10s and 20 thousands in a few years. It has the potential to also be sold or licensed to someone else once it has built a more powerful imprint in society.

 

Fill Up

Cassper opted not to create a standalone brand for his Fill Up series but create brand equity, using his musical brand as Cassper Nyovest to carry the events. His meteoric rise into the industry, game changing presence and go big or go home approach has translated into the "Cassper" brand and he uses that momentum to drive the Fill Up events.

The logo and graphics to promote the event change every year, making it hard to attach all the impactful brand attributes to anything but Cassper. A good example of this is illustrated when you Google either of the events and look at the image results. With Fill up, you see all the amazing pictures of the event and no sign of branding, with Cotton Fest a good part of the search results is the logo.

While this means great things for the event when Cassper's image is positive, it means the event might suffer if Cassper's image suffers before the event. For example, if he doesn't release his best music his public relations suffers before the event, then it will mean poor sales and sponsorship for the event. If he has a good year on the other hand it will mean the opposite.

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