At the Love Heals gala on a farm in Sagaponack, New York, Patron tequila invited guests to make their own mojito and take home a Patron muddler engraved with their initials.
Farther east in Montauk, a crew of publicists passed out Tommy Bahama straw fedoras, flip-flops and sunglasses at the Hamptons Magazine Clambake.
The East End of Long Island, a collection of beachy enclaves, is a favored summer getaway for the affluent and a prime target for companies and retailers with higher-end brands. They sponsor and contribute to many area fundraisers during the May-September season, while also producing events geared plainly to marketing the product.
Tommy Bahama is known for “understated luxury, maybe people not taking themselves quite so seriously,” said Rob Goldberg, senior vice president of marketing at Tommy Bahama. “And the Hamptons communicates that.”
Less understated, Domaine Chandon, the sparkling wine made in Napa Valley, has covered the outside of a Hamptons Luxury Liner bus with an advertisement showing a Chandon bottle surrounded by seaside images: sand castles, lobsters, boats.
The limited-edition bottle -- white with red and blue stripes -- has been placed at Hamptons liquor stores and restaurants.
A party thrown by Grey Area, a store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, entailed taking over a house for sale -- a Bridgehampton cottage listed at almost $1.6 million -- and filling it with furniture, jewelry and bathing suits for sale. Guests were reminded of their hosts -- Grey Area, Pace Gallery and 1800 Tequila -- by animations of their logos on the house’s facade.
Grey Area, which got started as a pop-up last summer in the Hamptons, before establishing a Manhattan presence, is doing a pop-up at the artMRKT Hamptons fair, July 19-22.
Patron will have a presence at five to six events in the Hamptons this season; the brand takes part in about 265 events a year, mostly in the U.S.
“Hamptons people are on vacation, they’re willing to have fun and try something different and new,” said Pam Dzierzanowski, director of events at Patron Spirits Co.
The company doesn’t pay a fee to sponsor events, rather focusing on what Dzierzanowski describes as “activation built around experiences.”
At Love Heals, guests posed for pictures jumping in the air, holding Patron-branded balloons and wearing Patron-branded party hats. Patron customized its photo booth to the theme of the event, a birthday party.
Some brands work connections to recruit a hostess who will open her home for an event. City Harvest board member Heather Mnuchin is doing so in August for a viewing of the diamond collection of Leviev LVD, a City Harvest supporter. Also in August, Venus Williams will show her sports collection Eleven by Venus Williams at a garden party at the home of Rita Schrager. “Be sure to dress in your tennis best,” reads the invitation.
The 2012 Bridgehampton Polo Challenge’s opening match on Saturday will include a private reception hosted by Marco Mattiacci, chief executive officer of Ferrari North America Inc. Guests will be able to preview the FF, the company’s first four-seater and four-wheel-drive V12 sports car.
Ferrari says it initiated the event to create a unique experience for its existing clients -- and maybe a few new ones.
Another sponsor, Grey Goose, will serve its Hamptons punch, described on its website as “a sophisticated combination, crafted with Grey Goose Cherry Noir Flavored Vodka, fresh white grapefruit juice, strawberries and basil simple syrup.”
“Polo is beautiful, it’s outdoors, it’s aspirational,” Michelle Beauchamp, brand director for Grey Goose, said. “We love for consumers to leave these events and feel they’ve been immersed in the Grey Goose lifestyle and inspired to make these recipes at home for their friends.”
Muse highlights include Jason Harper on cars and Rich Jaroslovsky on technology.