Uptown Magazine, a luxury lifestyle magazine for affluent African-American consumers, and General Motors' Buick brand are launching "The Art of Taste," an event marketing program to showcase the 2010 Lacrosse luxury sedan to affluent African-American tastemakers.
The program comprises a series of events in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C., in September and October held at upscale lounges and will comprise music, culinary arts and entertainment, with Buick Lacrosse as the automotive centerpiece of the evening. Chef Marcus Samuelsson will create a menu of gourmet hors d'oeuvres from his cookbook, American Table.
The Lacrosse will be outside and inside of each venue, and Buick will have Lacrosse brand ambassadors talking about the car.
The Art of Style events will be prominently featured in upcoming issues of Uptown Magazine and www.uptown-life.net.
Len Burnett, Uptown Magazine co-founder and group publisher, tells Marketing Daily that such programs aren't new to Uptown. "We have done these with auto brands like Aston Martin, Lexus, Infiniti and Jaguar. [Automakers] do it for several reasons, for press around the vehicle release, for information around consumer knowledge, perception and where they are in purchase cycle.
"Consumers in the African-American market, who are usually underserved by these kinds of events, respond very favorably. We have done parties for 125 people at which we sold two of the vehicles from the dinner party, and these were very high-end vehicles. Reaching out to consumers like this derives positive results."
He says invitations are going to a mix of Uptown's 200,000 subscribers and VIPs and that the company expects about 300 attendees per market. Burnett says the parties will be at museums, lounges and event spaces. "Buick wants to make sure [the venues] have a luxurious feel," he says.
A Buick spokesperson says Buick and GMC have had a relationship with Uptown magazine for a few years, "but this is our first promotional campaign with the magazine. We chose Uptown because of the magazine's editorial focus on an affluent African-American lifestyle, in addition to the model they have created through social networking and events and partnerships that allow brands to interface with affluent buyers in an organic way."
She says that Buick is running print ads that "fall in sync with the larger campaign but with a distinct African-American voice" in Uptown as well as in Essence, Ebony and Black Enterprise.