In this new era of thrift marketers are scouting out off-the-beaten-path venues like unsold homes and local cafés where they can throw their events and skip the expense associated with custom-built environments. An added bonus with these unconventional spaces is that the target demo often comes with the package.
From April 2 to 5 lifestyle brands like Lancôme and Nespresso were two of 22 brands participating in the Retail Therapy pop-up event handled by New York City-based agency Grace Group/Pop-up Tart Productions inside the Miraval Living apartments for sale on New York’s Upper East Side. The brands personalized seven model apartments on the 28th floor without the expense of building out an entire venue. Nespresso created a pop-up café in the reception area. The event exposed potential homebuyers to the luxury apartments and the brands to high-end consumers that would normally purchase their products.
To make real estate/brand pairings a success it’s important that the brands have a simpatico with the consumer that would buy that piece of property. Italian automaker Lamborghini made an organic pairing with a $32 million Italian villa for sale in California’s tony Bel Air neighborhood. The partnership culminated in a Taste of Tuscany event held on April 30 and included local upscale cheese and wine shops and jewelers who came on board with their invite-only guest list. The vibe was less hard sell and more customer-appreciation event which brought in the right kind of consumers for Lamborghini.
The house featured an expansive motor court where Lamborghini parked three of its cars including its Gallardo Coupe which had just hit the market. The automaker invited exotic car enthusiasts to the event (they didn’t have to own a Lamborghini) to show off their most prized motor possessions. Twenty auto buffs attended one behind the wheel of a Bentley once owned by Frank Lloyd Wright. The authentic car camaraderie toned down the sales aspect of the event and upped the attendee experience. Part of the event included a 20-minute test drive in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Repeat events are in the works for the East Coast and the South (Rebel Industries Los Angeles handled).
“Our objective was to partner with other luxury brands who have similar high-end clientele and introduce them to our products ” says Pietro Frigerio coo at Lamborghini America. “We wanted to provide a venue for attendees to try out the car in a setting where they could really understand the Lamborghini brand. We’ve gained some great partnerships and relationships from the event so we are excited to see what may come of it.”
Homes for sale aren’t the only unconventional spaces on companies’ radars. Cabot Creamery is setting up shop this month at Ted & Honey café in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn NY where its target (women ages 25 to 45) visit daily (so do celebrities like Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gabriel Byrne). The small café takes advantage of the nearby Cobble Hill Park to extend its events outdoors. Owned by New York City-based handling agency LeadDog Marketing Group (we’ll get to that in a sec) the café will be used as a test kitchen for Cabot which is considering doing additional programs at cafés near parks and in distinct neighborhoods throughout New York City. The beauty is that Ted & Honey can save LeadDog clients’ money since it’s owned by the agency leaving more room for experimentation and less need for negotiating construction budgets or dealing with landlords.
Cabot’s objective is to integrate the brand organically into consumers’ lives. For example café goers will be able to borrow a basket filled with Cabot goods and a checkered red and black blanket (the brand’s colors) for a picnic in the park. The chef at Ted & Honey Chris Ted Jackson once named “Top Chef” in Pittsburgh and featured on the Food Network is another draw as a knowledgeable spokesperson. In this case he shares the values of the brand focusing on locally grown and organic foods. The Cabot experience will also include cooking classes for the whole family wine and cheese pairings and special Cabot meals on the menu.
“Because Cabot and Ted & Honey share a similar demographic and commitment to locally sourced high-quality healthy food the relationship with the café allows Cabot the unique opportunity to have intimate interactions with the right people in the right environment ” says Diana Meehan director of marketing promotions and events at Cabot Creamery. “The goal is to show customers that Cabot should be in their refrigerator not just in the sandwich they buy at Ted & Honey. That kind of sustained consumer access and conversion opportunity is unprecedented.”
An added bonus is a cooperative staff at Ted and Honey. Chef Jackson’s sister (she’s “Honey”) is married to LeadDog ceo Dan Mannix and runs the front of the house. It’s a recipe for success. em