Italian liqueur brand Amaro Montenegro is bringing international travel to consumers in America with a traveling pop-up bar experience, “Bar Monte,” that is targeting food and wine festivals across the country. The scaled-down sampling program is anchored in a tricked-out trailer pulled by a classic wood-paneled vintage Jeep Wagoneer.
The tour launched in June at UNwineD in Panama City Beach, FL, and has already made stops at events in Brooklyn, NY and Nashville, TN. Next the mobile bar will move to Austin, Texas; Los Angeles, Miami and Seattle with a final stop at the April 2022 Après Ski Cocktail Classic in Aspen, CO.
“The key to our marketing strategy in light of COVID challenges is to create programs that are perpetually flexible, mobile and scalable,” says Jean Reid, marketing director–Americas, Gruppo Montenegro. “People have been alone so much in the last year, and the way we built this experience, it really encourages people to engage safely with each other in real life.”
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The bar features a pickup window and, inside, copper accents, metal piping and culinary accents like herbs and dried oranges that conjure scenes from Italy. Field staff and brand ambassadors offer consumers samples of Amaro Montenegro, either on the rocks or as flights of three different pre-batched cocktails. On a digital message board affixed to the exterior of the trailer, staffers could plug in a custom message via an app that welcomed consumers by name. Consumers were then encouraged to take and share photos of themselves at the bar across social with #MakeItWithMont. A nearby socially distanced, European café-style seating area features custom playing cards, butcher paper and branded markers for doodling and a game area with bocce ball and cornhole.
The Bar Monte footprint is scalable, and engagements will shift throughout the year. The program’s staffing requirements are lean, too, with a tour manager and two bartenders leading the on-site activities. The brand will measure the tour’s success by analyzing sales, number of daily visitors, samples served, consumer feedback, social and digital media impressions, and p.r. coverage and reach. Agencies: The Experiential Group, Brooklyn, NY; Hudson Trailer Company, Washingtonville, NY (vehicle build).
Photo credit: Patrick MacLeod, Laurie Dicus