I am an avid runner and spend hundreds (don’t tell my wife but more like thousands) of dollars each year on race entry fees, shoes and specialist running gear.
As a runner I have always looked at the Color Run events as a complete waste of time effort and money!
Who in their right mind would pay about $60 to run 5k!
There are amazing organisations like ParkRun that host 5k runs every week in local parks for FREE! With the type of events I run a 5km run is hardly even a training session for most of my races so again it just felt like a complete waste.
Then, surprise surprise, my 3 teenage daughters got caught in the social media hype and just “Had to Go” so, this weekend I sucked it up, withheld my prejudices and took them along.
I fully intended on dropping them in the carpark, finding a cafe and telling them to come find me when they were done.
I am now the first to admit that I didn’t realise the magnitude of the event until I pulled up. There were thousands of incredibly happy people dressed in an array of costumes all out for a party.
In that moment I realised that ColorRun is an absolute marketing juggernaut and Marketing Consultant’s dream.
From the slick registration process through to the unicorn finishers medal and “finish line festival” this was not a run but an experience. As much as I hate to admit it I am a convert.
Even if just from a marketing fan boy perspective the event is pure genius.
Smiles for miles and thousands of people creating content for you and sharing the hype with hundreds of thousand of others.
I can now see why it is promoted as the “Happiest Race in the World” and my advice to anyone else that looks at it as a ridiculously overpriced fun run is to change your mindset.
Think “Round the Bays” with a whole lot more fun. The volunteers had been coached on how to pump people up as they come through each station cheering, whooping and giving as many participants high fives as they could.
Chalk dust, foam walls, bubble machines and music banging out party tunes the whole way around with a festival stage, DJ and party atmosphere at the finish line that Splore or Rhythm and Vines would be proud of.
This is not a running event but an experience for friends, friendship, fun and families.
As for a marketing strategy? Well if they can convert a die hard runner like me then I think they are in good hands for the future.