As much as it is a venue for brokering movie deals, the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, is one of the industry's hotbeds for swag.
So while UPP Entertainment Marketing has created traditional gifting opportunities for The North Face and Lexus for the past several years, this year, clients and firm wanted to turn the concept on its (free) ski cap-topped head.
"We were working with three prestigious brands, all of whom have a strong focus on supporting environmental causes," says UPP president Gary Mezzatesta. The firm created an outdoor-inspired environment in which celebrities, filmmakers, VIPs, and media would be able to learn about and support The Conservation Fund and Bonneville Environment Foundation. "Instead of getting free products," Mezzatesta says, "guests could take out their checkbooks. You want to get a The North Face jacket? Learn how to be more environmentally conscious."
Built on the future St. Regis site, the retreat featured such activities as The North Face-sponsored environmental "fireside" chats and a silent auction. Shuttled up via Lexus Hybrid SUVs, guests included VIPs and media known for their "interest in environmental messaging and causes," Mezzatesta says.
"We got some great coverage - from very environmentally focused publications and blogs to more broad-based publications," Mezzatesta says. The Ice Lounge also raised enough money, he says, for The Conservation Fund to offset more than 10,500 tons of carbon dioxide by planting about 7,200 trees (18 acres) in wildlife refuges across the US.
UPP will continue to work with The North Face, Lexus, and St. Regis. "The resonance of what we created will live for quite a while," Mezzatesta says.
North Face, Lexus, St. Regis
PR team: The North Face (San Leandro, CA), Lexus (Torrance, CA), St. Regis Resort & Residences (Deer Crest, UT), and UPP Entertainment Marketing (Burbank, CA)
Campaign: The Ice Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival
Duration: January 19 to 23, 2007