By Brittany Peitsmeyer Posted March 20, 2009, 12:35 PM EDT
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA Spring break is in full swing throughout Miami, with thousands of college students flooding the city's hotels and nightclubs. In an effort to capitalize on the increased population, Brazilian flip-flop brand Havaianas opted to host a free daytime pool party yesterday at the Shore Club pool, with games, music, and gifts.
“Flip-flops are a staple in a college student's everyday life,” said Havaianas marketing director Frank Weil. “Spring break is a great time to for us to stage an event that gives back to our target market and says, 'Despite the economy, it's still okay to have fun.'”
Nearly 1,500 revelers turned out—500 more than Weil expected—despite rain showers that arrived mid-day. “We organized teams of street ambassadors to patrol prime locations in Miami for three days leading up to the event, handing out wristbands and recruiting people to attend on Wednesday,” said Weil. The company also used its Web site and Facebook to recruit attendees.
Tony Berger of the New York-based Relevent Group created Havaianas-themed Twister and limbo games and littered the pool deck with branded umbrellas, beach balls, and flip-flop-shaped rafts. Berger also used solid-colored Havaianas as pegs to support the limbo pole and in place of the traditional circles for the custom Twister board.
Actor Rob Buckley and reality TV star Whitney Port of The City played dual roles as hosts and referees—while also encouraging guests to participate in the games, which included pool relay races later in the day. DJ Ruckus provided background music from a Havaianas-branded booth.