Bombay Sapphire’s Tribeca Film Festival NYC Activation


In 2012 the upmarket gin brand extended its official sponsor status of the iconic Tribeca Film Festival with a suite of initiatives all aimed at enhancing the film fan’s experience.


The spirits sponsor’s work ranged from classic premium brand hospitality and traditional ticket giveaways, to online utilities, Twitter-based interaction and Foursquare integration.


But perhaps the most compelling initiative was its backing of a Tribeca Film festival ‘Imagination Series’ initiative to give aspiring film makers the opportunity to make their own short film.


The competition is backed by Oscar-winner Geoffrey Fletcher and Fletcher himself created a short film script for the budding directors to work with. From 8 May, wannabe directors can upload their own interpretation of Fletcher’s script at www.imaginationseries.com.


Fletcher then heads a global judging panel that selects five winners who will then go on to product and direct their own films which will be shown at a ‘star-studded’ international première early next year.


On the digital front, Bombay Sapphire’s objective was to help attendees make the most out of what the festival had to offer by offering prizes, maps and schedules, information on films and related events in exchange for film goer check-ins on Foursquare and social interaction on Twitter and Facebook.


Useful content was made available on Facebook for those fans who have ‘Liked’ the brand and it was here that users could find the central landing page for the brand’s four part campaign.


Film lovers could enter a ticket giveaway, follow the Tribeca Film Festival on Foursquare, follow Bombay Sapphire’s coverage on Twitter and explore/use the interactive Tribeca map.


Of course, as with most upmarket brand event sponsorships, there was also a physical hospitality side to its activation. Its own ‘Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination’ brand HQ was a blend of supper club and cocktail bar. It aimed to be a unique film buff experience and also offered exclusive invites to events, screenings and after parties, as well as hosting the closing night party.


The ‘House Of Imagination’ approach followed a similar path to a 2011 London-based Bombay Sapphire hospitality initiative.



Other aspects of the brand’s film festival leverage included a bottle of Bombay Sapphire East in the official Tribeca Film Festival gift bag (by Built) – which also other sponsor swag such as a voucher for a one-night stay at New York’s Conrad Hilton, a limited edition set of draught glasses designed by graffiti artist Eric Haze from Heineken, a tin of ground Illy espresso coffee, a bottle of SmartWater, a bottle of wine from Wines Of Argentina and a set of Coca-Cola bottles.




The young film-makers initiative is a positive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered by the brand and helps further solidify the relationship between Bombay Sapphire and the film space.


But Facebook was seemingly the hub of the brand’s festival leverage, actually none of the elements or activities were actually built inside Facebook. It was merely a staging post directing web visitors to other platforms once they’ve got their Like.


Some may feel that the compulsory ‘Like’ was a slightly cynical contact building mechanism that was actually a barrier to engagement. Other may argue that using Facebook as a hub and yet not building the digital work in it is a less smooth and seamless experience than cold have been possible.


Sadly, we can’t comment on the in-person hospitality experience.












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