GoForMike Event & Festival Hullabaloo. Words by Mike Mauer.

8 Bulletproof Display Ad ideas for your Festival Marketing Strategy


Display sometimes gets a bad rap, but with a little strategy, you could see some really great results.

Here are 8 high performing ideas I’ve used on nearly every festival I’ve worked on:


AKA How to Use Display to sell tickets. Connecting your Google Adwords account with your Google Analytics account will allow you some powerful targeting options:

Highly interest visitors

What qualifies a website visitor as ‘interested’? For me, it’s someone who spent 3+ minutes on the site, visited the Lineup page, and the Tickets page. These ads are huge converters for me.

VIP ads

Target Website Visitors who also have a high net worth with beautiful images of your VIP program. This one also works great for Facebook. Send them straight to a landing page with your glorious VIP program and collect those premium sales…

Abandoned cart ads

Target anyone who started their purchase process, but never finished. Super low hanging fruit and super effective.

Past attendees

Similar to custom audiences on Facebook, Adwords has “Customer Match”. Load in your buyers from the previous years with your best photos of years past and remind them of their good time (“Get back to a weekend of paradise”).


AKA How to find new people using Google’s vast Display network.

Companion Ads

Use keyword targeting to make sure you’re bidding on any articles with your festival name on it. It’s a high-quality, low-cost way to reinforce your brand. If the article is a list and mentions you alongside several other brands, a Display Ad could be a strong competitive advantage.

Competitor Ads

All is fair in love and war. Use keyword targeting to bid on articles mentioning your competing festivals. You’re targeting people already interested in festivals, so here’s your chance to win people over with beautiful Ad imagery.

Finding High-Performing websites to advertise on

Step 1: Create an ad group around general interest targeting (e.g. Country Music Lovers). Keep the bid low…this is your “idea bank” campaign, not your money maker.

Step 2: Run a placement report after one week, take the highest performing websites and put them in an ad group targeting those specific websites. Rinse and repeat every week until you are targeting only the highest-performing websites.Boom…instant high-performing Display ads…

Cheap high-quality placements

Priced out of placing a direct Ad Buy on a publication or blog? Chances are those publications are running on the Google Display Network, so just load that specific page/website into your “Placements” section of your campaign and get inexpensive ads on the website placed on a site you were just priced out of.


Got any other ideas? What’s worked for you? Holler in the comments below.

About the author

Mike Mauer

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hey there! I'm a marketer of 16+ years that's been helping produce and promote events across North America for just as long. In 2019 alone, I handled events totaling 1,250,000 tickets. I've been lucky enough to be featured in Billboard, Pollstar, and earn recognition from FlyCon as the "Most Data-Driven Marketer."

I also have a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Hope you enjoy my random musings about events, marketing, and anything else that pops into my head.

Come say hi on Linkedin ยป

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GoForMike Event & Festival Hullabaloo. Words by Mike Mauer.

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