Smirnoff made me stand in the rain

Last night Smirnoff sponsored an event in Manhattan featuring KRS-One, Common, and Q-Tip, the three hip-hop artists that are headlining their new initiative, which PRWeek...

Last night Smirnoff sponsored an event in Manhattan featuring KRS-One, Common, and Q-Tip, the three hip-hop artists that are headlining their new initiative, which PRWeek reported on here.

The invite for last night's event said the doors would open at 7, but at 7:30, me and a gaggle of other people (all designated "VIPs," most seemingly affiliated with the companies handling the event) were standing on a crazy long line outside the venue in the rain. Not cool at all.

Once inside, Smirnoff made their presence very known with a spotlight image of their logo, the attractive waiters wearing Smirnoff t-shirts and serving Smirnoff drinks, and the Smirnoff logo on the microphone used by the performers.

OK fine, so this is a Smirnoff event (with a "drink responsibly" message that seems to be de rigueur among alcohol companies these days.) Think again. According to KRS-One this was "a cultural event," one where the acts just happen to say the word "Smirnoff" in every other sentence. To their credit, Smirnoff chose a nice trio of hip-hop performers to help with the initiative. But the hard-sell that they brought to the stage was a little much.

Overall, I would say it was a successful event, even if I do have a cold today. The parting gift bags had Smirnoff logos on them, but the only thing in mine was a bottle of water. Huh?

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