Citi is often recognized in the events world for its entertainment platform, but an important part of the brand’s mission is to enable growth and economic progress in the communities it serves. That’s where Taste of the Nation, which benefits the No Kid Hungry campaign, comes in. Citi has served as co-sponsor of the ticketed event series since 2014, helping to fight childhood hunger and deliver memorable experiences to its cardmembers in the process. This year’s iteration, held April 17 in New York City, included a VIP cardmember lounge featuring a host of culinary-inspired touchpoints, as well as an interactive photo activation open to all attendees.
Inside the lounge, mixologists crafted specialty cocktails, then directed cardmembers to Citi’s living garnish wall to hand-pick their beverage’s finishing touch. Attendees could also enjoy a cocktail via a molecular mixology experience featuring drinks served in the form of molecular spheres, and passed around on tasting spoons. Citi also tapped into its relationship with No Kid Hungry chefs to partner with Trigg Brown of Win Son, and his business partner Josh Ku, who whipped up Taiwanese cuisine on-site. And then there was the fan favorite—a live chocolatier 3D-printing chocolates in the shape of the New York City skyline and Citi’s logo.
Of course, Taste of the Nation is about more than food, so Citi also placed DipJars (small, cashless donation devices) throughout its footprint to make contributing as effortless as possible. Attendees dipped their credit or debit card into the machine, and $5 was automatically donated to No Kid Hungry.
More on Citi’s Taste of the Nation Activations:
- Citi Ties Giving into Hashtag Use at Taste of the Nation
- Citi Gets Social at Taste of the Nation Events
“One hundred percent of the event proceeds benefits No Kid Hungry’s campaign,” says Colleen Crawford, global consumer marketing svp-brand strategy. “But we wanted to take it beyond the ticket purchase, because once you’re in the event, people are really inspired and they want to keep giving. So we wanted to come up with an easy way for them to donate while there… We had [a device] on the bar, so you’re getting something from the bartender and instead of tipping, you’re dipping for charity.”
Outside of the VIP lounge, Citi opened up a GIF-style photo booth to all attendees to boost awareness of the campaign on social media. The setup featured larger-than-life silverware and an enormous chandelier designed with whisks rather than light bulbs (nice). Attendees were encouraged to share their photos on social media using #CitiGiving and #NoKidHungry for a chance to win prizes.
“Our goal is to foster emotional connections with our cardmembers and deliver the experiences that make people feel good and optimistic about what’s next as we come together to support this cause that we care about and our customers care about and our employees are passionate about,” says Crawford. “The Taste of the Nation series really delivers on that, bringing together chefs and mixologists, and they’re all in support of this one cause. It lets us bring together that access as well as the purpose-driven work that we want to offer up and have for our cardmembers and our employees to tie back to our mission.” Agency: SoHo Experiential, New York City.