See How These Auto Brands Went Off the Beaten Path With Their Events

With the cancellation of the New York Auto Show, car companies are being forced to get creative to showcase new vehicles.

To introduce the new Cadillac LYRIQ, the auto brand hosted a culinary experience called the LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen presented by Cadillac at Vespertine in Culver City, Calif.
To introduce the new Cadillac LYRIQ, the auto brand hosted a culinary experience called the LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen presented by Cadillac at Vespertine in Culver City, Calif.
Photo: Courtesy of Cadillac

Earlier this month, the New York International Auto Show, which was slated to take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from Aug. 20 to 29, was canceled due to the increasing number of cases involving the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Because of that, many automakers such as Infiniti and Hyundai had to rethink how they unveiled and promoted new vehicles, which typically debut during the annual event.

For example, from Aug. 18 to 20, Infiniti revealed its 2022 range of luxury SUVs and crossovers including the new 2022 QX60 and QX55, the QX50 and the updated 2022 QX80 through an art installation at the Oculus Transportation Hub in New York City. The installation was designed by artist Daniel Wurtzel, who is best known for his kinetic sculptures and installations using air and lightweight materials.

'We reached out to and chose Daniel Wurtzel, a New York-based sculptor and artist, to celebrate our growing lineup of SUVs and crossovers at Oculus via a beautiful display of design and art that captures the hallmarks of our brand—daring, forward and human—called 'Sine Wave,'” explained Phil O’Connor, director of marketing communications and media at Infiniti."We reached out to and chose Daniel Wurtzel, a New York-based sculptor and artist, to celebrate our growing lineup of SUVs and crossovers at Oculus via a beautiful display of design and art that captures the hallmarks of our brand—daring, forward and human—called 'Sine Wave,'” explained Phil O’Connor, director of marketing communications and media at Infiniti.Photo: Courtesy of Infiniti"Our Oculus activation dates coincided with the NYIAS media day and opening of the show, and gave us three full days of commuters passing by the cars during their commutes. We chose to keep those dates as we felt it gave consumers who may have been disappointed about the show’s cancellation to have the ability to still see Infiniti’s new 2022 crossover and SUV line in a convenient, socially distanced manner," explained Phil O’Connor, director of marketing communications and media at Infiniti. 

He added that the downtown space was chosen "because of its iconic design and prime location, allowing many consumers the chance to see, touch and feel these vehicles first hand in New York, our largest market. More than 23,000 people passed by our display and about 40% of them engaged with our vehicles."

O'Connor said that the brand will continue its experiential marketing efforts, taking the new QX60 on an 11-city U.S. road trip, beginning this fall through the end of the year, with stops including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia. Each stop will feature static displays like the one at the Oculus, where consumers can experience the vehicle firsthand and speak with product specialists. 

To introduce the new Cadillac LYRIQ, the auto brand had decided to forgo the trade show in New York and instead host a unique culinary experience on Aug. 15 called the LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen presented by Cadillac at Vespertine in Culver City, Calif. The fully immersive dining experience featured a collaborative five-course menu, inspired by the electric vehicle, from chefs Niki Nakayama of n/naka and Jordan Kahn of Vespertine, which is known for its innovative food as well as architecture.

“The imaginative design and intricate details of Vespertine made for a great fit, presenting a multilevel journey through its dynamic environments, and made for a perfect setting for an immersive dining experience,” explained Jake Avnet, CEO of Indigenous Media and 60 Second Docs, the team who captured the process, including menu ideation, execution, event setup and guest experience.

After receiving a detailed walkaround of the new vehicle from the Cadillac designers, the chefs developed the tasting menu over the course of six weeks. Dishes included luminescence of melon, kohlrabi, black carrot and horseradish, which was inspired by the translucent glow of the car's front grill and lighting, and wild turbot, praline of Sichuan pepper and porridge of yeast beech mushroom and tapioca, which represented the LYRIQ's energy by creating a tingling sensation.

This almond and tomato dish was inspired by the LYRIQ's wheel design.This almond and tomato dish was inspired by the LYRIQ's wheel design.Photo: Courtesy of CadillacThe 150-person guest list followed health and safety protocols, according to state and local guidelines, including providing proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results, completing health questionnaires and taking temperature checks. A COVID-19 compliance team worked to make sure all of the guests and staff were in compliance. 

As part of its recently announced global brand partnership, The Macallan and Bentley hosted events during Monterey Car Week, which took place Aug. 5-15. To increase consumer awareness around the partnership, The Macallan served up one-on-one whisky education and tastings to VIP guests inside The Macallan Dram Locker room at the Home of Bentley, located in Pebble Beach, as well as at a luxe beach dinner.

See more from the events below.

As part of its recently announced global brand partnership, The Macallan and Bentley hosted events during Monterey Car Week at the Home of Bentley, which is located in Pebble Beach.As part of its recently announced global brand partnership, The Macallan and Bentley hosted events during Monterey Car Week at the Home of Bentley, which is located in Pebble Beach.Photo: Courtesy of The Macallan

The Macallan served up one-on-one whisky education and tastings to VIP guests inside The Macallan Dram Locker room at the Home of Bentley.The Macallan served up one-on-one whisky education and tastings to VIP guests inside The Macallan Dram Locker room at the Home of Bentley.Photo: Courtesy of The Macallan

Select VIP guests and members of the media were served a four-course family-style dinner with specialty drams and cocktails by The Macallan.Select VIP guests and members of the media were served a four-course family-style dinner with specialty drams and cocktails by The Macallan.Photo: Courtesy of The Macallan

The new Cadillac was both the inspiration for the menu and the showpiece for the event.The new Cadillac was both the inspiration for the menu and the showpiece for the event.Photo: Courtesy of Cadillac

Guests dined on a collaborative five-course menu, inspired by the electric vehicle, from chefs Niki Nakayama of n/naka and Jordan Kahn of Vespertine, which is known for its innovative food as well as design. Pictured: A dish of wild turbot, praline of Sichuan pepper and porridge of yeast beech mushroom and tapioca, which represented the LYRIQ's energy by creating a tingling sensation.Guests dined on a collaborative five-course menu, inspired by the electric vehicle, from chefs Niki Nakayama of n/naka and Jordan Kahn of Vespertine, which is known for its innovative food as well as design. Pictured: A dish of wild turbot, praline of Sichuan pepper and porridge of yeast beech mushroom and tapioca, which represented the LYRIQ's energy by creating a tingling sensation.Photo: Courtesy of Cadillac

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