When Pernod Ricard asked bars across New Zealand to come up with a way to engage customers with Absolut Vodka a group of AdSchool students at Media Design School took up the challenge – and won.
The AdSchool group - Owen Bryson, Anna Paine, James Burton, Jonathan Swan, Andrew Younge and Rory Dunleavy - won $1000, which they are putting towards their end of year show, and team leader Bryson will travel to Sweden to participate in the Absolut Academy Pro.
The event took place at Racket Bar in the hip Britomart precinct of downtown Auckland. A giant hourglass (made from Absolut bottles) counted down the Absolut Hour each Wednesday for a month while punters enjoyed drink specials and signature cocktails. Customers were also encouraged to scribble an idea down on a canvas so prominent Britomart artists could turn it into a work of art.
Only during the Absolut Hour could customers put their visions forward and become a part of the project. Those who took part received an Absolut Hour gift pack and an invite to the reveal party. The gift pack included a signed and numbered limited edition print of that week’s artwork.
“People liked the idea before it manifested,” said Owen Bryson. “It gave them a chance to become a physical part of Racket Bar. The most rewarding part came from returning customers’ comments like ‘Hey, see that acorn? I did that!’ or ‘My bat made it through!’. Adding this sense of ownership was integral to the idea.”
The concept helped boost Wednesday night business and attracted new customers to the bar, according to bartender Finn Hogan.
“I noticed that customers were immediately drawn to the hourglass, which gave me the opportunity to sell them an Absolut cocktail. Customers looked forward to seeing what the artists would do with their drawings. When we exhibited the final piece in Racket for the last week, people were genuinely delighted to see their contribution come to life,” said Hogan. Students will celebrate their win at The AdSchool end of year show on November 14 alongside industry guests.