How to Activate at Art Basel without a ‘VIP’ Experience

Three Insights on Activating at Art Basel without a ‘VIP’ Experience

Three Insights on Activating at Art Basel without a ‘VIP’ Experience

Between the world class art and parties, standing out at Art Basel is a tall order. For Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, introducing consumers in the Miami Beach market to its independent hotels across the world, including its Royal Palm South Beach Miami property, required a dose of color and characters—something the brand is known for. Teaming up with Pantone to launch its Color of the Year, Living Coral, the two brands created The Pantone Pantry by Tribute Portfolio experiential activation. The installation offered an exploration into Living Coral—and plenty of Instagrammable moments.

From surprise-and-delight to consumer-friendly design to strategic partnerships, here are three key insights that helped drive the program’s success.


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FORMING PERFECT PARTNERSHIPS

For Diana Pavlov, senior director-global entertainment marketing at Marriott International, partnerships were a powerful way to layer on experiences within what was a small-scale activation.

“I sit across many brands and I really enjoy working with authorities in different spaces, with Pantone being the authority in color and Tribute growing to be the authority in travel, and then, our partnership with LSD, the group behind Sia, Diplo and Labrinth, to add their psychedelic pop-art in the space, so it was a meshing of these different industries and authorities across different cultures and platforms,” Pavlov says.

In fact, the experience received an unsponsored post from Sia herself. Talk about a partnership that keeps on giving.

 

RETHINKING SIZE AND SCOPE

And all of those layers, Pavlov says, meant that the 10-foot by 20-foot installation outside the Royal Palm Beach Miami hotel was a gift that kept on giving for attendees.

“You don’t need a massive footprint [at Art Basel], you just need something that can be unraveled, and that’s what we saw the guests doing, whether it was opening pantry cabinets out of curiosity and having these surprise-and-delight moments, unraveling what the color story is, unraveling what their personality meant and how it connects to our hotels in the Tribute Portfolio, observing that process was the most exciting part for me,” Pavlov says.

 

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Inside the Pantone Pantry, artful moments included a drawer filled with reams of glittery confetti.

 

CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

It’s an art festival, of course, so brands need to infuse a little inspiration and creativity into any experience they activate during the event. The Pantone Pantry by Tribute Portfolio had so much to explore and photograph that attendees came back for second and third looks.

“Everyone we invited to the media preview night were actually lingering around longer than we asked them to because they really wanted to document the space,” says Amanda Nichols, global brand director for Tribute Portfolio at Marriott International. “We had so many people come back on day two to get photos in the daylight and people were taking time to make sure they captured the content in the right way and that it connected to them, personally, not just that they were there on behalf of the brand.”

Photo credit: @WorldRedEye

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