6 Surprisingly Elegant Ways to Serve Carnival Food

Ted Baker's circus-inspired party for its spring/summer collection served artfully presented funnel cakes, popcorn, corn dogs, and other fare.

By Anna Sekula March 7, 2014, 7:30 AM EST

Photo: Erik Valind

Ted Baker Spring/Summer 2014 Launch Event
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With the cold weather almost over, plenty of marketers are already planning spring and summer events with outdoor spaces and warm-weather themes in mind. For those organizing carnival- or circus-inspired outings, Ted Baker's New York event on February 27 not only had plenty of decor ideas, but also an unexpectedly stylish selection of carnival-style fare as well.

The evening affair at the High Line Hotel's Hoffman Hall was carefully designed to match the campaign for the fashion retailer's spring/summer 2014 collection, which has the tagline, “Get in on the Act,” and the look book for which was shot at Giffords Circus in England. The catering from Creative Edge Parties continued that narrative by serving items like corn dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy in a way that mirrored the whimsical tone and color palette of the campaign as well as the brand's distinct style. For instance, funnel cakes were attached to an elegant parasol and servers were instructed to carry themselves as if walking a tightrope, while a tiered tray of mac 'n' cheese bites was designed to look like spinning plates.

Such visual and entertaining food presentation also played into a strategy Ted Baker looks to implement in its various marketing initiatives: making content shareable. And with many editors in attendance accustomed to tweeting and posting pics to Instagram, elements like the cotton candy tree and contortionists in apparel from the line were swiftly posted to various social media platforms.

Ted Baker hopes to engage an even wider audience with the launch of a digital campaign today. Styled after the Zoltar fortune-telling machine made famous in the film Big, the “Zolted” game will allow online users to take a quiz to be assigned a circus character and enter to win a trip for two to London. The brand will also release videos of performers from Giffords Circus and invite fans to share Instagram videos of themselves recreating the acts. The first 50 to do so for each act will be given a limited edition tote bag.

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