Smirnoff Creates Comic Book Setting for Industry Party With Graphic Illustrations, Brand Ambassadors

By Susan O'Neill July 20, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

Smirnoff Experience "Graphic" Party
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For the latest installment in a series of events called the Smirnoff Experience, the brand called on Mosaic Experiential Marketing to create “Graphic,” an intimate industry party for 300 guests with a performance by DJ Deadmau5 at Andrew Richard Designs on Monday. The concept for the event was a night lived inside the frames of comic book illustrations.

“We run a series of events for [the brand] called the Smirnoff Experience. The target market is 19 to 29, and the focus is on music. Last year we did 16 consumer events across Canada. We had four themed concepts and the premise was using emerging and established artists. Music brings the Smirnoff brand to life,” said Daneta Budalich, a senior account manger with Mosaic. “This is the first closed event for core Diageo customers [bar and restaurant owners] and local influencers. We really wanted to push the creative envelope for this one.”

The concept, inspired by the work of artist Roy Lichtenstein, emerged in a brainstorming session, Budalich said. “The idea is to step inside the frame of a comic strip and see what it's like,” she said. “We're bringing to life the story of the evening in an illustrated way.”

The theme began with a printed invitation designed like a comic book. “The very first frame was someone opening an invite, so immediately you're in the story. That story continued through projections at the event, and the girl in the comic, Scarlett, was brought to life by our brand ambassadors,” Budalich said.

Graphic illustrations affixed to the windows on the exterior of the venue depicted the character arriving at a party, mimicking the arrival of guests on the red carpet. Projections on the windows in the venue's loft space depicted a party scene and changed throughout the night, continuing the story. “We're really just replicating the environment,” Budalich said.

In addition to the themed setting, the evening included a two-hour set by DJ Deadmau5. “The whole strategy [for the Smirnoff Experience] is to have an intimate event with a big DJ. It's a unique experience for Deadmau5 to play a smaller event,” Budalich said.

In lieu of handing out gift bags at the end of the evening, Mosaic is compiling a comic book with graphic illustrations of guest photos taken throughout the night. The comic books will be delivered to attendees within the week.

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