By Ian Neubauer
Start-up spirit company ASM Liquor has hosted a ‘tasteless’ themed cocktail party in Sydney that is the latest instalment of a low-budget guerrilla marketing campaign designed to take on the big boys of the liquor world by any means necessary.
Held at Paddington’s Captain Cook Hotel, the event saw invitees and bar staff dressed in rubbish bags and smudged make-up in accordance to a ‘white trash dress code. Entertainment included a twister room run by a little person, a contortionist squeezing herself into a box, a male stripper, life-size sex dolls hanging from the rafters, back-to-back screenings of Baywatch and a giant penis ice sculpture.
ASM co-owner, Simon Sibia, whose last job entailed selling T-shirts at Wimbledon in the UK, said the company had decided to focus on high profile, low cost events to raise its profile.
“We’re just a small business and no one would notice us if we did mainstream marketing, so we’re better off doing something different. Good PR and word-of mouth spreads faster than big money advertising,” he said.
Sibia attributed the success of the night to the lateral thinking of Believe Advertising, which has engineered a series of controversial events to promote ASM’s spearhead product, Vodka O.
The campaign included a March event held in a Sydney church that was chided for commercially hijacking the Easter holy week by presenting a faux-baptism of female ‘virgins’, drag queens dressed as nuns and farcical renditions of the Lord’s Prayers.
But Believe Advertising director, Adrian Falk, said he was unrepentant for his sins and that last night’s event was testament to his bad taste.
“I wanted to throw a party for VODKA O that highlights the brand’s point of difference while also hosting an event that continued to surprise and entertain guests consistently throughout the evening,” he said. “From the food to the entertainment and decorations, every detail of the event was designed to thrill and shock while still relating back to the brand.”
However, ASM’s next event will be somewhat more subdued. It is sponsoring Christian Palmer’s highly anticipated art exhibition ‘Angels, Spirit and Landscape’ at the Michael Commerford Gallery next Tuesday (August 26) from 6:00pm with Vodka O cocktails for all.
“We thought we’d try doing something cultural,” Falk said.
The ASM portfolio includes Vodka O, Jinn Dry Gin, Tequila Blu, Kinkynero Rum, Kinkylux Rum and Naked Scot Scotch Whisky. A bourbon product will be launched later this year.
ASM Liquor co-owners (from left to right) Julian Moss, Ben Anderson and Simon Sibia get trashed at Vodka O’s ‘tasteless’ party in Sydney last night.