Smart women have known for years that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Now it seems that marketers have awakened to that knowledge, too, and are incorporating sweet indulgences like wine, chocolate, gourmet dishes and even helpful tips into events that offer attendees a respite from their busy lives.
Dove Chocolate in March partnered with women’s website iVillage and Gallo wines, among other sponsors, to create an Afternoon of Indulgent Moments. The four-hour event, handled by Precision Event Group, Los Angeles, and held at New York City’s Chelsea Market, offered women a feminine, relaxing, friendly and sophisticated environment that served as an oasis from the stresses and challenges of city life.
The 5,000-square-foot space featured four “moments of indulgence.” A chocolate and wine sampling paired Dove Milk Chocolate Promises with Gallo’s Red Rock Merlot and Dove Dark Chocolate Promises with McWilliams Shiraz. A second moment featured five-minute hand and arm massages; the third was an opportunity to kick back and relax in a tranquil lounge setting, while the fourth offered touch-ups by Bobbi Brown make-up artists and Lea Journo hair stylists.
A female acoustic guitarist played relaxing music as butlers passed trays of Dove Promises Chocolate-based desserts accompanied by recipe cards. A Dove-branded gift bag contained a chocolate-brown scarf, Dove candies, a Lea Journo discount card and an iVillage-branded lip-gloss.
“Everyone in our busy, hectic lifestyle deserves moments of ‘me’ time, to really have indulgences,” says Lisa Chen, communications manager at Mars Chocolate, which owns the Dove brand. “We want to be a part of those moments, whether it’s a massage, a hair- or make-up refresher, those times when you have a Dove chocolate or a glass of wine and take time out.”
Women also got to take time out during Real Simple magazine’s Fifteen Minutes and You’re Done events, held in April in Chicago’s Union Station and New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. The 15-minute segments featured fashion shows, food and lifestyle experts to help women make the most of their time. Besides the advice, New York City’s event featured 15-minute performances from “Hair,” “Mamma Mia,” “Rock of Ages” and other Broadway shows. In Chicago, dancers from the Joffrey Ballet created flash mobs throughout the day. Eight advertisers, including Aveeno, Bed Bath & Beyond, Hyundai, Haagen Daz, Lindt and SoyJoy tied into the events as sponsors.
“We wanted consumers to experience our brand live in a fun and free event dedicated to giving women more of what they want most—time,” says Michelle Lamison, director of integrated marketing at Real Simple (Michael Alan Group, New York City, handled).
And, on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, what could be more welcome than the Tabasco Hangover Headquarters, a branded kitchen trailer that popped up in various locations in New York City on March 18th. Tabasco partnered with celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel to create a Tabasco-inspired menu of hangover remedies that included Hash & Egg Sliders, Double Smoked Bacon Pizzettas and Virgin Bloody Marys (Agency: MRA, St. Clair Shores, MI).
The trailer set up shop near Rockefeller Plaza in the morning and the Financial District at lunchtime as passersby lined up for complimentary gourmet food, bottled water and mini Tabasco bottles.
“This year Tabasco created the Hangover Headquarters as a means of interacting directly with our consumers in a fun and unexpected way,” says Jan Carroll, senior brand manager at Tabasco. “Providing passersby with complimentary food and drink, all of which are said to be hangover cures the day after St. Patrick’s Day, allowed consumers to see and taste Tabasco in a fresh context. The initiative was greeted with enthusiasm by the public and media and ultimately was a success for our brand.”
Now, that’s really sweet. EM