Wednesday, January 2

Tournament of Roses Parade

2013 Tournament of Roses Parade theme
One of our annual family traditions, like many of you I am sure, is to sit in our PJs all day on New Year's Day and watch television ... and eat eat eat!

Of course the day starts with a massive sleep in, but we always make sure we are up by 11:00am to start with day with the Tournament of Roses Parade.  It's honestly a National Treasure and an amazing feat of artistry and project management.  It's incredible.

I saw a different side to it this year, and something struck me that I hadn't quite calculated before.

It's actually a Parade of Brands!  Every float is sponsored and built by a brand!

Every year the Parade has a theme and then each brand interprets that theme with their own concept.  This year's theme was "Oh, The Places You'll Go."  I just loved seeing how each of the brands took that theme to a different place, yet tied directly to their own individual equity.  Each was a unique experience for the brand.

Honda sponsored the Parade, and presumably provided the "engines" to drive the floats along the 5.5 mile route.

Many of the cities in California had their floats ... as a way to promote their brand and get us all to visit their place.

The Association of Nurses to it to a "healing place."  Love it.

An early sketch of the Miracle-Gro float
The most elaborate, IMHO, was the one from Disneyland.  It was the biggest float of the day and seemed the most theatricall, which you would expect.

But my favorite, by far, was the float from Miracle-Gro.  It was called "Everyone Grows" which was a great use of the theme, great tie to the brand, and also a great nod to how people are feeling about the new year.  Especially this new year.  The float had a lot of mechanics, and showed empty pots going into one side of a greenhouse and then coming out of the other side with a fully grown plant.  Made me smile.

It was an amazing start to what I know will be an amazing year!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

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