Campari supports the arts to reach its audience

LOS ANGELES: Spirit brand Campari is relying on its ties to the Los Angeles art scene for experiential marketing efforts throughout 2009.

LOS ANGELES: Spirit brand Campari is relying on its ties to the Los Angeles art scene for experiential marketing efforts throughout 2009.

According to Dave Karraker, director of PR and events for Skyy Spirits, which manages the Grupo Campari portfolio in the US, the Campari brand has supported the arts for nearly as long as the brand has been in existence, 150 years. This year, arts patronage has become even more important to its promotional efforts.

"Everybody realizes what's happening with the economy," said Karraker. "The biggest impact that would last the longest with the consumer is experiential marketing. Once we have them in our fold, those are the kinds of people that become huge brand ambassadors."

Campari brings its fourth annual House of Campari arts patronage program, First Look: An Exhibition of Emerging Artists from Los Angeles Galleries, to an official close on Thursday night after a two-week run in West Hollywood. (The exhibit will be open to the public through June 14.) This was also the third year of the Campari Commissions Initiative, which awards a grant to an artist featured in the previous year's exhibition.

Campari's support of the arts will last the year through its partnerships with art organizations such as Laxart in Los Angeles despite the exhibition's close, said Karraker.

The experiential marketing strategy also meets the needs of the unique beverage. An orange-flavored spirit spiked with herbs and spices - it's an acquired taste.

"With Campari, we have to sit down, explain it, and have them taste it multiple times to acquaint them with the brand," adds Karraker.

Campari has been working with The Rose Group since late 2004 on these initiatives. The firm provides media outreach services, manages the video that appears on the brand's YouTube page (linked to their Facebook page), helps manage the events, and handles the street teams that drive traffic to the galleries where the art is being shown.

"We feel like the emerging arts category is one that we can truly own and it makes sense for the brand," adds Karraker. "We're sponsoring important art events where people are walking away from the experience having enriched themselves."

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