When Pernod Ricard asked bars across New Zealand to come up with a fresh way to engage customers with Absolut Vodka, a group of AdSchool students at Media Design School took up the challenge – and won.
A giant hourglass (made from Absolut bottles) counted down the Absolut Hour each Wednesday for a month while punters enjoyed drink specials and signature cocktails. Customers were also encouraged to scribble an idea down on a canvas so prominent Britomart artists could turn it into a work of art, with a catch – only during the Absolut Hour could they put their visions forward and become a part of the project. Those who took part received an Absolut Hour gift pack and an invite to the reveal party.
Owen Bryson, Anna Paine, James Burton, Jonathan Swan, Andrew Younge and Rory Dunleavy won $1000 for the idea, which they are putting towards their end of year show, and team leader Bryson is set to travel to Sweden to participate in the Absolut Academy Pro.
“People liked the idea before it manifested,” says Bryson. “It gave them a chance to become a physical part of Racket Bar. The most rewarding part came from returning customers’ comments like ‘Hey, see that acorn? I did that!’ or ‘My bat made it through!’. Adding this sense of ownership was integral to the idea.”
The concept helped boost Wednesday night business and attracted new customers to the bar, according to bartender Finn Hogan.
“I noticed that customers were immediately drawn to the hourglass," he says.
"Customers looked forward to seeing what the artists would do with their drawings. When we exhibited the final piece in Racket for the last week, people were genuinely delighted to see their contribution come to life."