London Cocktail Week, the festival run by Drink.Up London, has kicked off in the expanded venue of The Old Truman Brewery in East London, with many brands creating bar and drink experiences. Campaign rounds up some of the top activations.
Schweppes has taken over the Coca-Cola London Eye for the week, launching a ‘Flavour Adventure’ experience, as well as having a presence at the Cocktail Village in East London. Consumers are invited up to the Eye Lounge, where they can find out about what makes the perfect mixer pairing. Rosalind Brown, marketing manager at Schweppes GB, said: “We are targeting everyone. London Cocktail Week gives us that ambition to be able to go through the mixologists as well as the cocktail lovers.”
The Absolut Porn Star Martini Townhouse is also outside the Cocktail Village, transforming a Victorian townhouse in Soho. The four-storey activation provides a multi-sensory journey, from a mist-filled Vanilla Forest to a bubble-wrap maze. Participants are then invited to learn how to make the Porn Star Martini. The townhouse is championing the cocktail’s ‘hero’ ingredient, Absolut Vanilla. Adam Boita, head of marketing for light spirits at Pernod Ricard, said: “People love experiences and we’re definitely seeing the experience economy, and London Cocktail Week taps into peoples’ thirst for new experiences and flavours.”
The concept of ‘Drinks at Home Perfected by Patrón’ is to educate and inspire consumers as to the versatility of the tequila, so that they can recreate the cocktails and impress their friends. The activation is hosting guest bartenders on different nights, such as Matt Whiley, owner and bartender at Scout. Whiley said: “It’s an opportunity to engage with consumers on a level that we don’t normally”. Matthew Sykes, director of international marketing at Patrón Spirits said: “For us as a brand it’s the perfect opportunity to reach the right consumers, trade and media who flock to London at this time. We don’t target a demographic per se, it’s more of a psychographic mentality… those who influence others, individuals who enjoy style”.
Peroni is the sole beer brand at London Cocktail Week with The House of Peroni, offering the ‘Aperitivo, Restyled By Peroni’ menu. The menu is a twist on the Italian aperitivo, using Peroni as a base. Gareth Morgan, brand advocacy manager for Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Asahi UK, said that The House of Peroni is the “home of emerging talent – this year we’ve supported 8 up and coming fashion designers and given them a platform to create their first collections which they will present at London Fashion Week in 2019”.
The London Essence Company
The Light House, again outside of the main Cocktail Village, is an immersive journey where light design meets low-calorie cocktails. Ounal Bailey, co-founder at WiseHead Productions, said that the idea behind The London Essence Company is that “you can have an amazing experience with the drink, but still have a low-calorie option”. The Light House aims to provide “an elegant experience during London Cocktail Week, appealing to the more discerning members of the public and also to the more discerning bartenders”.
Jägermeister, who is the official sponsor of London Cocktail Week, are running events and workshops at its pop-up in Big Chill, Brick Lane. The activation aims to open up the drink to everyone, moving away from the perception that it can only be consumed as a ‘Jager-Bomb’. Jägermeister’s UK brand ambassador, Florian Beuren, said: “We are a shot, best drunk ice cold, but there is so much versitility, history, and heritage to the brand”.
Fever Tree, the mixer brand, has partnered with Shoreditch basement bar Black Rock to open the Whisky & Ginger pop-up bar at the Cocktail Village, which brings a selection of whisky together with Fever-Tree’s range of ginger ales and ginger beers. Fresh oysters, soda bread and seaweed butter are also on offer for those who get hungry.