Singha sought to raise awareness of Thailand's annual Songkran cultural event, a celebration of the country's New Year, by hosting two parties over two consecutive nights in London last month.
The brand selected Marylebone venue Carousel for the events, the permanent site of pop-up specialist Shuttlecock Inc., which transformed the building's downstairs space for the occasion.
"As the premium beer from Thailand, we wanted to mark the biggest event on the national calendar in a special way," says Ali Pickering, brand director portfolio at Molson Coors Brewing (UK).
"There are numerous traditions that are celebrated during Thai New Year, which takes place over a number of days, and we chose the coming together of friends as a key aspect to bring to life here in the United Kingdom."
The ticketed event featured stalls one might come across in Thailand during the celebration.
"We recreated a bustling Chiang Mai street market, with stalls serving dishes of traditional northern Thai food, a Singha beer bar, a 'river' and a wish lantern-making station," Pickering explains.
To truly immerse guests in the world of Songkran, the space had props that reflected Thai culture. "It was important that guests felt transported to Thailand for the evening, so we used genuine interior decorations, including parasols, wooden boats filled with local fruit and plenty of authentic materials," she says.
The food offering was similarly important, with the brand eager to shine the spotlight on traditional Thai fare. "The food needed to be authentic and delicious," says Pickering. "We wanted an alternative to green curry or noodles, to showcase the flavours in Thai food and how they are perfectly matched to Singha beer."
There were also Thai New Year-themed activities for attendees to take part in. "Our staff were briefed on Songkran's traditions and tasked with talking to our guests about the occasion. To bring the celebration to life we gave everyone a confetti cannon to release a couple of hours into the evening, shrouding the room in golden glitter and delivering that special 'New Year moment'. This energised the room for the latter part of the evening, taking the event from dinner to dancing," Pickering recalls.
"We also set up a wish lantern station, where guests could customise their own lantern before setting it afloat on our recreation of the Ping River in Chiang Mai."
Pickering notes that the concept's wish lantern activity proved particularly popular among guests, and enjoyed a long dwell-time. "We always want to make our events immersive and this simple act of painting and making a lantern delivered that element, not to mention it made a great Instagram moment," she says.
Overall, the concept went down well with consumers. The initial event, held on a Thursday, attracted approximately 75 guests and saw the venue reach 80 per cent capacity. Meanwhile, more than 100 people attended the Friday event, with the venue reaching full capacity.
"Transporting people to the bustling streets of Chiang Mai through Songkran celebrations was a great way to bring the brand and its heritage to life." Ali Pickering, Molson Coors Brewing (UK)
"The evening felt like it was split into two halves. The first was about eating, drinking, creating and exploring, and then the event turned into a party." Anna Templeton, Shuttlecock Inc.
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