By Anna Sekula Posted January 29, 2009, 12:07 PM EST
NEW YORK Consumer confidence may have hit a new low, but experiential marketers haven't given up yet. Less than two weeks ago, Godiva brought back its chocolate-themed lounge for In Style's Golden Globes after-party, and the company's latest bid for attention took place yesterday at the press unveiling of a chocolate-covered suite inside the Bryant Park Hotel. The candy-laden room—where the winner of Godiva's Valentine's Day competition will stay for a weekend—is a concept the company introduced last year. To beef up this latest effort, the chocolatier partnered with designer Jonathan Adler.
“For us the three days leading up to Valentine's Day are the biggest selling days of the year,” said Godiva president and C.E.O. Jim Goldman. “Last year [the promotion] was a huge success, and when you have a huge success, you try to top it. Jonathan Adler brings it to the next level.”
Designed by Adler and interpreted into chocolate by Los Angeles-based producer Larry Abel, the suite features a lavish display of Godiva products—integrated into various elements of the room and its furnishings—as well as pieces from Adler's housewares collection. Whimsical components like long-stemmed roses and a chess set, are intended to be played with. “Chocolate is fun, not serious,” said Goldman.
Having built a similar setting last year, Abel’s team came prepared for the unusual challenges the suite presented. Aside from making sure the chocolate didn’t melt, the crew also made last minute touch-ups to the design during the three-day setup. (Temperature changes caused the candy to expand and contract, and pieces molded together with little more than chocolate paste would sometimes come flying off the wall.)
In addition to the hotel stay, the promotion’s winner will receive a private chocolate tasting at Godiva’s Rockefeller Center boutique and a year’s supply of chocolate.