Asahi: Silver + Black

Last night I scurried along to the Melbourne launch of Silver+Black; an exhibition and retail initiative hosted at 1000 £ BEND.

Firstly, what a fantastic exhibition; secondly, what an amazing branding opportunity for Asahi. Kudos to the Liquid Ideas team for pulling off a great event with free flowing Asahi beer, delicious canapés (steamed eel – yum) and a jam packed crowd enjoying the space, the art and the atmosphere.

The Asahi event is just the tip of the iceberg; lately wherever you look there are interesting campaigns for alcohol brands using creative and memorable approaches to spread the word. Heineken tricked ardent AC Milan fans into attending a classical music/poetry performance instead of watching a Championship League match. Southern Comfort recently brought New Orleans to Australia by sponsoring a tour of the Polyphonic Spree and New Orleans Bingo! Show. What was particularly impressive about this tour was the way they decked out audience members with complimentary feather head gear, fedora hats, face masks and Mardi Gras beads. Walking into Melbourne’s Forum Theatre and seeing a sea of feathers, masks and fedora hats was jaw dropping, and the atmosphere created by adding a simple touch of fancy dress was electric!

Asahi’s Silver+Black merges art, fashion and design in a retail space with limited edition objects of desire, some of which will be available for purchase. The curated selection of work acknowledges the Japanese ‘wabi-sabi’ spirit of finding beauty in imperfect things.The standout of the exhibition is clearly the Karakuchi Project; a global art project where artists visually interpret the Japanese characters on the beer’s label.

As you may have guessed, I’m a fan of creative campaigns that use less traditional approaches to get their brand’s key messages in the public domain, especially when the arts community benefits from the exposure. What do you think?

Participating artists in Silver+Black include Andrew Curtis, Asuza, Evan Demas, Dave Kinsey, Julia Deville and Kazari. The Karakuchi Porject features Dylan Martorell, Usugrow, McBride Charles Ryan Architects, Michael Leon, Natas Kaupas and Toshikazu Nozaka.

The exhibition runs until 18 April at 1000 £ BEND, 361 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne. Head down and check it out.

Chin chin (or Kanpai as they toast in Japan),

the c word