By Rosalba Curiel & Alesandra Dubin Posted September 8, 2008, 4:16 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES Last night's MTV Video Music Awards show at Paramount Studios presented musical acts including Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers, and Kanye West, and after-party hosts Pepsi and In Touch Weekly kept their events music-centric as well, in hopes of luring guests away from the lot, where MTV hosted its official after-party. Live musical performances were the focus at Pepsi's Blue Carpet Bash and In Touch's “Icons & Idols" party Sunday night.
Pepsi took over the Avalon Hollywood with its second annual Blue Carpet Bash program, which consists of a series of after-parties following events in the music industry, including the Billboard Latin Music Awards and the Latin Grammys. Pepsi multicultural marketing brand manager Angelina Ramirez oversaw the event, which presented De La Ghetto, producer Ryan Leslie together with rapper Fabolous, and Tyga paired with Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy on a stage awash in blue lighting and featuring a curtain backdrop decorated with a Pepsi Blue Carpet Bash gobo. Lighting in the brand’s signature blue hue also decorated bars, and—true to the event’s name—a blue carpet sat outside the venue.
Many of the guests who walked the carpet had won the opportunity to attend by entering a sweepstakes on Pepsi’s Web site, or by calling radio stations. Nevertheless, the company still hoped to lure more influential guests, inviting entertainment industry PR and marketing folks and, of course, hoping VMA celebrities would find their way to the event.
“Honestly, one of the reasons we activate this event in the way that we do is because we’re hitting markets where these large music events are happening, and we already know that there’s a lot of buzz and excitement,” Ramirez said. “If there’s an awards show, there are going to be celebrities in the market, so there’s a larger probability that they are going to go to our event.” Seeing as the majority of celebrities who did turn out—Young Jeezy, Warren G, Christina Milian, and JoJo—are in the music industry and were presumably in town for the show, the formula appeared to be fairly successful.
When it came to getting non-V.I.P. guests to stay put until the end of the event at 2 a.m., DJ Clinton Sparks and DJ Cubeechee spun high-energy sets before and in between performances, and host Eddie One, a DJ at Latino 96.3, enticed guests by revealing news of scheduled surprise performers, who turned out to be Grammy-nominated artist Mario and Keri Hilson.
Meanwhile, over on the Sunset Strip, In Touch Weekly hosted an after-party that also made a live show the most important element. The celebrity mag took over the area behind the iconic Chateau Marmont for its “Icons & Idols” event—a party which even got a nod on MTV's pre-show arrivals broadcast, when a reporter asked Paris Hilton which after-party she'd attend. Samantha Ronson spun, and the Veronicas, Leona Lewis, and headliner Good Charlotte performed for about 350 guests. Tigi Bed Head, Three Olives, and Burger King sponsored.
Organizers from In Touch tapped Vox Entertainment to handle the lighting and sound for the full-scale concert—plus the arrivals area on the property's back slope, which the team elevated eight feet above street level for a dramatic platform (and to make the necessary flat surface for the press line).
Since Classic's tent couldn't contain the entire guest count, intimate as it was, Vox sent a live IMAG feed from the performances to plasma screens in the Bar Marmont, which was also part of the party space.
“What made this party unique is the level of talent performing in such an intimate space,” said Vox's Josh Mele. “The stage itself was only two feet high, so to see [the performers] and to be almost able to touch them was a pretty cool feat in itself. It was a huge concert in a small venue and [In Touch] just said 'Hey, go do it.'”