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The Phantasmagorical Marketing of FantaSanremo

The most anticipated Italian music kermesse of the year is just days away. The Sanremo Festival, now in its 73rd edition, will take place on the stage of the Ariston Theater between February 7 and 11, 2023, while #Sanremo2023 has already been a trending topic on Twitter for days.

For the past few years, the enthusiasm for artists’ performances with their new songs has been joined by a particular fervor for FantaSanremo, a fantasy game created on the model of fantasy soccer by a group of friends who are fans of the Italian Song Festival. Having 100 baudi, the official FantaSanremo currency, in the days leading up to the festival, game participants can compose their own team with five of the competing artists, one of whom is named captain. Starting on the first night of the music kermesse, users can compete with each other in the FantaSanremo World Championship with the goal of earning the most points (bonuses) and thus winning ETERNAL GLORY. This year’s registrations already total 1.5 million, but it is estimated that the number of members will exceed 2 million by mid-February.

Given its growing popularity, it is interesting to note that in addition to being a playful pastime for viewers, FantaSanremo is also a curious case study from a communication point of view and a true marketing phenomenon from which the Sanremo Festival benefits. FantaSanremo entries, in fact, anticipate the Italian song festival by a few months, creating and maintaining the hype around the event. Fans of the Festival appreciate its playful side and, animated by a spirit of competition, take part in it; this leads them to follow the unfolding of the event in its entirety in order to cheer on their team It follows that FantaSanremo becomes a tool with which one manages to keep the viewer glued to the television screen even in the deadest moments of the evening. In other words, it makes it possible to increase viewer engagement.

Also testifying to the game’s success is the fact that FantaSanremo has attracted numerous official sponsors of the caliber of Lavazza, Pandora and TicketOne over the past few editions, allowing the platform’s creators to cover the project’s costs while attracting even more subscribers through lavish prizes.

The virality of the FantaSanremo phenomenon is certainly fueled by effective communication. The latter highlights the simplicity of the format, as reflected in the Twitter bio “One team, five artists, one captain!” FantaSanremo is, without a shadow of a doubt, a game that allows anyone to participate: in fact, it is enough to register on the official website and be guided by the extreme clarity of the instructions. All this is accompanied by a very simple, informal and fun language, both in the communications through the official website and on the dedicated social channels, dotted with memes and hashtags, resources that are now indispensable in online communication strategies.

The game, in this way, allows Rai to reach a high audience and, above all, to expand interactions with the young and very young. A target, the latter, which often prefers other types of entertainment than TV.

FantaSanremo, therefore, now part of the identity of the Sanremo Festival, presents itself not only as a goliardic pastime that makes the festival itself more engaging in the eyes of viewers, but also as an excellent marketing gimmick to take a cue from!


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