In the News: Waterford Recommits to New Year's Bash, Magazine Events Thrive and Falter

By Michael O'Connell October 28, 2009, 12:34 PM EDT

Waterford Targets More Marketing Mileage With New Year's Ball: Since bringing its signature bling to the New Year's ball drop in New York in 1999, Waterford has been an active partner in the globally watched event. But now the Irish crystal company wants more recognition for that contribution. An upgraded six-ton ball—made of 2,268 Waterford crystals and backlit by 32,256 Philips LEDs—will debut this December after a $2.5 million print advertising campaign. Waterford also committed to an upgraded sponsorship deal, in hopes that some of the one billion people who catch the ball drop this year will also notice who made it. [BrandFreak]

Events Boost Essence Image: Not all magazines are downplaying events, and Essence is even earning praise for them. The title was chosen as one of Advertising Age's top 10 for the year, and the trade credits the Essence Music Festival for being such an appealing brand to marketers. The New Orleans concert series, held over Independence Day weekend, saw 428,000 attendees—up significantly from the already impressive 270,000 it hosted the year before. [AdAge]

Lucky to Downplay Events After Recent Layoffs: Plenty of Condé Nast staffers received the proverbial pink slip this week, and one of them marks an end for many of Lucky's events. Special projects director Allyson Waterman—who we interviewed at the 2008 Lucky Upfront Suite—was let go this week. The magazine has reportedly cut back on events and plans to use other staffers for on-camera opportunities. [WWD]

Thrillist Junket Sends Guests to Hospital, Unemployment Line: Just over a week ago, email newsletter Thrillist and Jet Blue hosted various media professionals on a mystery trip to Jamaica—something the partners had previously done to Las Vegas. At a party at a Sandals resort on the last night, a lighting tower tipped over onto six of the guests. They were sent to the hospital, with the worst off of them receiving treatment for a broken collar bone. Then after a DailyFinance story questioned the ethics of the swag-filled junket, The New York Times fired freelance writer Mike Albo for his participation. [NYMag, DailyFinance, NYMag]

Marvel Eyes Empty Retail Space for Screening: Marvel Comics debuts its Astonishing X-Men motion comic in New York this evening—on the facade of the recently vacated Union Square Virgin Megastore. The film will be shown on a three-story screen covering the building while the brand hosts its first ever “Marvelfest” in Union Square Park below. Marvel artists and writers will be on-hand to meet with fans and sign comic books, and attendees are invited to compete in a costume competition. [NYP]

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