Lounge area and disco ball in H&M's Kiss for a Cause at Coachella.

Coachella Music and Arts Festival is known for its low-key sponsorship. Festival-goers barely know any are even there, which is how the festival promoters want it to be. The ones that do get the coveted sponsorship deal must come up with creative ways of integration. H&M, and their Kiss for a Cause campaign, was one such example of creative integration. Not only did it attract festival goers seeking shelter from the desert sun, but it was a creative hub, or rather, white brick-like igloo oasis for a cause.

The H&M Kiss for a Cause campaign is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Fashion Against AIDS. It’s part of several cause-related campaigns that the fast-fashion retailer does—and does well. In this case, the sponsorship’s interactive component included taking Instagram images of oneself kissing another. This was prompted by H&M’s campaign to get people commenting, and #kissforacause, which was then posted on their website. For those on-site at the festival, the ethnically diverse group of activation people would print the instagram images and poster them around the inside of the H&M igloo for everyone to see, creating a fun wall that looked like old-school Polaroids. For those not at the festival, they could participate (and still can) by sending in their Instagram kissing shots. For each shot chosen, of which there are now thousands, H&M donates $1 to Fashion Against AIDS.

On-site activation people from H&M getting participants to take an Instagram image.

The concept also fit appropriately into the Coachella scene with a large disco ball, various board games, hand sanitizer station and faux FAA tattoos, plus a flatscreen showcasing the latest Kiss for a Cause collection: a mix of Native American inspired prints on summer shorts and tops, neon colors mixed with angular black and white leggings, accessories, and message-graphic T-shirts. However it was clearly created as a massive lounge, which as most people who attend Coachella know, is a much-needed set-up.

The fashion and accessories collection for Kiss for a Cause goes on sale April 26, 2012, of which 25% of the proceeds go to Fashion Against AIDS. Being at Coachella marked a perfect launching pad.

Cool give-aways, hand-sanitation area, candies, faux tattoos.

Overall, the execution of the campaign was well-done. The interactive component, awareness and educational effort combined with connecting H&M with a good cause with great style in a highly attuned atmosphere for the demographic, scene, and vibe, is an excellent example of how a brand can work with non-profits to create a win-win-win situation: For the brand, non-profit, and the individual participating.

For more information about youth culture preferences and H&M from our Spring Youth Culture Study 2o12, email info@labelnetworks.com.

Fashion Against AIDS gets 25% of proceeds from upcoming H&M collection.


Inside the H&M igloo at Coachella.


Polaroid-like Instagram images postering the walls.


Instagram #KissforaCause was part of the interaction.


Backgammon among several board games participants could chill-out and play.