affinity audience targeting

Success Story: Summer Camp Music Festival and Affinity Audience Targeting

Marketing, Case Studies

Google remains the top driver of organic festival discovery, which makes it a priority for festivals to concoct a Google Adwords strategy to sell more tickets. It can be tough to identify exactly who to deliver your paid search to for a music festival - that’s where affinity audiences come in.


Affinity audiences make sure your display ads attract thousands of highly engaged fans guaranteed to give you the loudest encores. Using a searcher’s patterns to gauge their interests, likes, and traits, affinity audience targeting is the next level when it comes to making sure your Google display ads appear on the right websites and apps. This takes your strategy beyond the search engine.

Search ads have been the traditional way to spend Google Adwords budgets, but the Rockhouse Partners team wanted to bring a more more visual experience to their paid ads without overspending. The team partnered with Summer Camp Music Festival to come up with a high-impact Google Adwords strategy. This strategy had to be cost-friendly while also targeting their specific midwest audience interested in music festivals. 

The Challenge

Summer Camp Music Festival is the biggest music festival in the midwest during Memorial Day Weekend. Over 20,000 festival goers attend the three-day festival to see 100 bands spanning EDM, rock, and hip-hop. The festival needed a better way to reach their digital audience, sell more tickets and grow their community of festival goers.

Summer Camp Music Fest 2017 - Instagram

What We Did

Created an action plan and ad budget for display marketing to capture pre-event buzz.

  • The RHP team compared traditional keyword targeting for display ads with affinity targeting to come up with the best way to make Summer Camp’s display ads attract more ticket sales. Ultimately, affinity audience targeting proved superior by maximizing the effectiveness of the ad budget and zeroing in on the key interests of Summer Camp Festival goers.  

Identified and grew Summer Camp’s in-market audience using Google Analytics’ affinity audiences.

  • With a very specific niche to target, we selected affinity audiences that were very similar to Summer Camp’s primary audience. Some attributes that we looked for were geography, music interests, event search habits and websites visited. This strategy helped Summer Camp focus on a specific group of people that were more likely to actually attend the festival in the same geographic area as Summer Camp Music Festival

Regularly monitored display ad performances and adjusting pricing.

  • Online behavior is constantly changing, and tailoring the perfect audience requires regular monitoring and adjustments to increase the effectiveness of your ads. Rockhouse Partners tested the effectiveness of several different display ads and how their audience was interacting with each ad.  This helped push the most effective ad to our target affinity groups.

The Results

  • 1.75 million impressions from display ads.

  • 10,000+ clicks on display ads

  • 41x return on Adwords spend

  • Over $20,000 in ticket sales

Want to learn more about affinity audience targeting?