Martini & Rossi taps into '50s art to increase US cool factor

Martini & Rossi is launching a six-month US campaign in an effort to bring some of the "cool factor" its vermouth brand enjoys in Europe to the states.

Objective: Martini & Rossi is launching a six-month US campaign in an effort to bring some of the "cool factor" its vermouth brand enjoys in Europe to the states. It gained a licensing agreement with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts that enables it to use Warhol's name and art as inspiration for six new vermouth cocktails and revive the ad campaign he created for Martini & Rossi in the late 1950s.

"The agreement gives us the right to revive the artwork, put a modern spin on it," said Michelle Beauchamp, senior brand manager at Martini & Rossi. "[It] creates a... communications platform that [can be leveraged] and has muscle behind it."

Idea: Martini & Rossi, working with AOR Nike Communications, is reinventing the factory party made famous by Warhol's factory art studio parties. The first will take place in New Orleans July 16 during the city's weeklong Tales of the Cocktail event for the beverage industry and media, while a celebrity-hosted one will follow in New York in August to celebrate what would have been Warhol's 80th birthday.

"We're reinventing the modern cocktail to inspire use [of vermouth] outside a martini glass," said Stefany Cesari, account executive at Nike.

Tools: The PR team will provide 20 bars in six US markets with the tools they need to host their own factory parties, including an e-invite, vermouth recipe books, and local press outreach. The team is also reaching out to national trade and consumer media regarding the events.

Measurement: The success will be measured with media impressions and feedback from the retail outlets.

Organization: Martini & Rossi

Campaign: The MARTINI Factory

PR team: Nike Communications

Launch: July 16

Budget: Undisclosed

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