American Marketer


Thompson Hotels, Lollapalooza combine to target affluent music lovers

August 1, 2012


Thompson Hotel Group and music festival Lollapalooza are partnering for the first pop-up shop concept called LollaShop that will offer exclusive experiences and a first look at the Thompson Chicago property opening next year.

The LollaShop will include VIP listening parties and performances in the Thompson Hotel Lounge, which will also offer a preview of the new Thompson Chicago. Thompson is hosting the only VIP hotel lounge at the festival likely to increase engagement and awareness for the group.

"In anticipation of the 2013 launch of Thompson Chicago, we created a Keith Richards-inspired lounge for the first-ever LollaShop," said Stephen Brandman, New York-based co-owner of Thompson Hotels and CEO of Commune Hotels & Resorts.

"The lounge offers a preview into the personality of Thompson Hotels," he said.

Festival fun
Lollapalooza is Aug. 3-5, but the LollaShop opened July 27 and will end Aug. 6, one day after the festival ends.

The LollaShop will be open to the public and will serve as a unique extension of the festival. There will be exclusive brand experiences and products such as fanny packs, T-shirts and hats.


Consumers can also participate in signings from festival performers such as Yuna and JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. During the actual festival, artists will be signing T-shirts and posters that are sold at the LollaShop.

The Thompson Hotel Lounge is adjacent to the LollaShop and is designed as a modern rock lounge. This space will serve as a sneak peak into the new Thompson Chicago.

Thompson Hotel Lounge

VIP events including listening parties and performances will take place in the lounge.

In addition, Yoga classes at 9 a.m. will be led by instructor Margo Kellison. The classes are free, but space is limited and attendees need to RSVP at

In addition, the LollaShop Lottery will take place July 27, July 30 and Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. for three pairs of daily tickets to Lollapalooza.

LollaShop is open Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. and festival days 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Lollapalooza is marketing the shop on its Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as its Web site. It seems as if Thompson is letting the festival build awareness, since the hotel group does not seem to be doing much marketing for the lounge.

Shop and rock
Thompson’s exclusive sponsorship of the LollaShop will ensure that consumers learn about the upcoming property as well as the hotel group in general.

Indeed, getting a look at the Thompson Hotel Lounge will give guests an idea of the general design of the upcoming Chicago hotel.

Quite a few luxury marketers are using music as a way to connect with customers. Since luxury and music are both subjects that consumers are passionate about, intertwining the two can allow brands to connect with consumers on a new level.

For example, London-based retailer Harrods targeted younger consumers by creating a series of events that culminated in a fashion and music festival last month.

The retailer incorporated youth-oriented brands and festival music for The Harrods Festival of Fun to encourage male and female consumers to try on apparel, beauty products and accessories in its Way In, Designer Studio and Men’s Denim Lab departments (see story).

Also, premium tequila company Dobel is collaborating with musician and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell for a multichannel campaign spanning print, social media, television, sponsorships and digital advertising to promote its Maestro line (see story).

"Music has always been a big part of the Thompson brand and Lollapalooza represents a cultural cross-section that speaks to our customer," Mr. Brandman said.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York