After waking up at 3:15AM this morning, driving 2 hours to Pasadena, and waiting in a 57 minute line for a cup of Starbucks coffee; I enjoyed two hours of full sunshine in the Grandstands on Colorado Blvd. That’s right, basking in the 80 degree weather at the 123rd Annual Rose Parade.
First let me say that the Parade was wonderful, and as a California native, it was on my bucket list. The bands were awesome, the spirits were high, and the floats were far enough away as to not set off my allergies. There were a total of 44 floats this year and 23 trophies (it is a competition after all). While there were floats that were obviously marketing their sponsor’s product (ahem – Paramount and XBox), others went more toward the theme of imagining – one included a wave pool for doggie surfers (that won the Extraordinaire Trophy).
The cities in the upper LA basin usually enter a float each year in support of the parade and to encourage tourism. With the budget cuts in the SoCal area, I sadly report that there were fewer cities represented this year than in all previous years. To give you an idea of the floats, La Canada had three pigs in a wooden rocket ship which won the Bob Hope Humor Award and the City of Glendale had a pretty elephant harnessed to a carriage, but both had nothing to do with the events of either city.
The City of Los Angeles, in stark contrast, chose to promote the new (and amazing) dinosaur exhibit at the LA Natural History Museum. The float prominently featured the LANHM building, the logo, and three fantastical dinosaurs (also the only of the parade). The float went on to win the Crown City Innovation Trophy for best use of imagination and innovation to advance the art of float design. Not only advancing the art of float design, but advancing art itself – even if it is prehistoric.
My question is: How many of you saw the dino’s this morning?
That’s effective marketing.