ULTRA Bus Activation


To create brand awareness and connect with core fans, the SOL REPUBLIC Team promoted free bus rides to ULTRA music festival in 2013. ULTRA music festival is one of the most popular Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals in the world visited by hundreds of thousands people. To get to ULTRA by taxi or car is expensive and time consuming. By providing a free bus service we were giving fans a way to get there in a fun and exciting way while creating some recognition for a young brand. The unique experience of the bus included SOL REPUBLIC give-aways and a live DJ playing for the ride over.

Event Registration

Goal 1: Quick and painless process to register users

Solution - Used Eventbrite registration platform to have a quick registration process. The form was embedded on the SOL REPUBLIC site as vanity url. Several promotion tactics including social media, music bloggers and cross artist promotions to get the word out about the unique opportunity.


Goal 2: Create a relationship with users for future marketing, events and sales activations.

Solution: Upon completing Eventbrite registration, user was sent a follow-up email with an invite to join soldierofsound.com, our community rewards platform. Email contained a promotional offer to receive 1500 points on registering and activating SOLdier of Sound account. Point redemption allowed for receiving a free t-shirt or sound track headband for headphones. 


3 weeks

  • 15,000+ sign-ups for ULTRA bus. 
  • 12,000+ SOldier of Sound account (created) 
  • 7500+ activated SOLdiers accounts (activated) (requires email confirmation to activate)

Learnings: While we saw a  saw strong success with event registration, conversion of bus registrants into active SOLdiers of Sound was not as as successful as we hoped. In the future, it would be have helped to outline the additional benefits of becoming a SOLdier. We did trying sending reminder emails to unactivated accounts but did not see that move that needed. A mobile application or text messaging activation could also be a way in the future to improve conversion rates


Transportation Logistics

Issue 1: Where do we pick up bus registrants.

Solution: Working with the city of Miami received permits to use existing bus stops and hotel-pick-up locations.

Created a google map of the locations that was on our site to show where the points of pick-up and drop off would be.


Issue 1: How do we check if user is signed-up to ride the bus.

This was before eventbrite had an app to check-in, therefore we had to use google docs to check-people in. It was not the most efficient process but while people were waiting in line we could check-off their names. Additional due to poor cell reception we had paper registration for new registrants to sign-up for the shuttle that had just heard about.

Issue 3: How do you communicate with fans on where the bus is going to be

Solution: Used a platform called Celly. that allowed users to sign-up to group chat by messaging. @UltraSOLdier to 23559. Through the platform we could answer questions and provide updates on delays and estimated arrival times of buses.

Used cel.ly to communicate bus arrival and departures

Used cel.ly to communicate bus arrival and departures

Pick ups had signs to indicate where users can get on the shuttle.

Pick ups had signs to indicate where users can get on the shuttle.


Estimated 7500+ people rode the bus. Brand awareness lift was considerable. Saw spike in overall traffic and sales. Received mentions in several prominent music and tech blogs.