NEW YORK: For one night last week, the Snapple Beverage Company occupied one of Manhattan's most prized pieces of real estate - the lights atop the Empire State Building.The building's lights shone "Snapple yellow on August 13, the second day of the beverage group's annual sales meeting. New York's Conventions Exhibitions Meetings and Events committee awarded the privilege to Snapple to thank the company for bringing its meeting to the city, still recovering from the economic fallout after September 11. The building's lights had shone red, white, and blue continuously since the terror attacks, and continued to do so following the Snapple tribute.
A message on the Empire State Building's website said that the famed structure had set aside its policy against advertising to recognize Snapple.
Although now headquartered in White Plains, NY, Snapple was founded in New York City 30 years ago, and says its roots played a key part in deciding to hold its annual event in Manhattan. Seven hundred Snapple employees were expected to attend the gathering at Chelsea Piers, where such notables as former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Wendy "the Snapple lady joined them.
"Typically, we look at several locations throughout the US to hold this event, but this year we thought that holding it in New York would be a meaningful statement, said Steven Jarmon, Snapple VP of communications.
The last company to enjoy such a PR coup was Microsoft in 1995, when it saw the building's rooftop lights shine blue to mark the launch of Windows '95. The night of yellow lights resulted in a spate of print and broadcast stories in the New York media.
"The coverage has just been phenomenal - it's just beyond comprehension, said a giddy Jarmon. "Virtually all of New York TV news, newspapers, and radio picked it up."
The company continued its attempt to capitalize on the coverage by handing out 40,000 complimentary bottles of Snapple to thirsty passersby over a 100-block stretch of Broadway. Snapple's timing was especially fortuitous, as New York was hit by a record heat wave last week.