By Anna Sekula Posted June 28, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT
NEW YORK Ever the experiential marketer, Absolut launched its latest vodka flavor with an event that put an apple orchard inside a studio-style west Chelsea venue. Held on Thursday, the introduction of Absolut Orient Apple at Center548 was produced by MKG and involved covering the entire third-floor space with sod, planting a handful of live trees on this surface, and depositing thousands of apples in wooden barrels scattered around the scene. Included in the immersive setting were plenty of activities for guests—with branded gear, of course—as well as live entertainment from DJ Justin Miller and electronic duo Holy Ghost!
Led by MKG producer Nicole Alexander, the event was designed to reflect Absolut's use of natural ingredients in the vodka and to integrate branding into an engaging environment. The setting itself—a whimsical take on an outdoor fruit grove at sunset—was an intentional reference to summer garden parties, implying the tipple is not just something to drink at clubs, but a spirit that can be used for cocktails served in more casual surroundings.
With these directives in mind, the organizers fashioned picniclike areas of rugs and cushions beneath the trees and around tree stumps, set up wooden park benches in other sections, and topped tables with pillar candles. The team stamped the words “Absolut Orient Apple” on the barrels of apples, custom playing cards, the front of the gold-tinted bars and DJ booth, and even on the stickers decorating each apple.
Adding to the festivities were a boccie court, equipped with glow-in-the-dark balls and lit with a branded projection, and a flip-book station that had guests lining up to pose for several photos, which were made into custom branded keepsakes.
Following DJ Justin Miller's set, Holy Ghost! took the stage to perform for the crowd.