May 2016

REI’s ‘#OptOutside’ Campaign Takes Best of Show at the One Show

REI’s “#OptOutside” campaign, in which the retailer decided to close its doors on Black Friday and instead encouraged consumers and its own employees to embrace the outdoors, won Best of Show at the One Club’s 2016 One Show. The award was announced at the One Show’s final awards ceremony, hosted by “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” actress Ellie Kemper at Cipriani Wall Street on Friday Night.

As part of the campaign, the retailer gave each of its 12,000 employees a paid day off and even suspended e-commerce. The idea was boosted by a campaign created out of Venables, Bell & Partners, as well as Edelman and Spark (now known as Mediavest/Spark.) It included a microsite, social elements and some clever films. One layered gorgeous mountainscapes against the chatter of news broadcasters banging on about busiest shopping day of the year, while another showed CEO Jerry Strizke imploring viewers to join the “Opt Outside” movement as he sits at his desk — which turns out to be atop a gorgeous Washington State peak.

For full story, click here.

Venables Bell & Partners wins Best of Show for REI’s #OptOutside at 2016 One Show

Venables Bell & Partners’ #OptOutside Black Friday campaign for outdoor equipment retailer REI won Best of Show at the 43rd Annual One Show Awards. Actress Ellie Kemper hosted the event for the One Club Friday night at Cipriani Wall Street here.

“This obviously wouldn’t have been possible without our incredibly brave clients who were willing to take their beliefs as a company and act on them in such a bold way,” said Will McGinness, partner and executive creative director at VB&P. “#OptOutside was an idea that came from the core of who they are as a company and ended up transcending marketing into an actual movement, which is something you rarely see.”

The Martin Agency won Agency of the Year and Client of the Year for its work with insurance provider Geico. The Martin Agency and Geico also won a Penta Pencil, awarded for the first time this year to the best agency-client partnerships over the past five years. “Winning Agency of the Year is huge, but I’m most proud of the Penta,” said Joe Alexander, CCO of The Martin Agency. Wieden+Kennedy Portland also won a Penta Pencil for its longstanding work with Old Spice.

For full story, click here.


May 2016

2016 VUBBA photos: Grand Tasting, ‘Dine in the Dark,’ Daniel Boulud on Day 2

The 10th anniversary of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit was a star-studded affair Thursday through Sunday with 24 culinary events hosted by many of the world’s top chefs and mixologists.

As we whooped into the second 24-hour blitzkrieg of food and wine, Day 2 introduced one new event, one fan favorite and the premier event of the entire weekend: the Grand Tasting at Garden of the Gods pool oasis at Caesars Palace.

‘Dine in the Dark’ at Bacchanal
First, though, the chef team at Bacchanal Buffet led by Ryan Nuqui and Severin Nunn hosted the first “Dine in the Dark Sensory Lunch.” (Las Vegas media were treated to a sneak preview before VUBBA last month.)

Guests were blindfolded to experience a four-course meal that opened up their senses of taste and smell.

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May 2016

Supermodel Tyra Banks among VIPs at Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit Master Series Dinners

On April 28, the first evening of events during Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit commenced with once-in-a-lifetime Master Series dinners hosted by top chefs Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy, Nobu Matsuhisa, Michael Chow and others. Among the celebrities and VIP attendees was supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks, who enjoyed the only-in-Vegas Dinner on The Strip at The Palazzo. Guests indulged in chilled Alaskan king crab and halibut with spring asparagus prepared by Emeril Lagasse, fine charcuterie chosen by Daniel Boulud, grilled gambas and cumin chicken tagine made by Olivier Dubreuil, porchetta, wild fennel and truffle farce from Kim Canteenwalla and a dessert of vanilla and strawberry vacherin glace by David Werly.

Inside Caesars Palace at Nobu, Japanese cuisine master, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, hosted an intimate, multi-course experience for 12 guests. The iconic chef hand crafted each selection of Omakase and perfectly paired it with Kagua Blanc Belgian Strong Ale, Krug Grande Cuvee, Junmai Daiginjo Koshitanrei Hikari and Daiginjo Yk35 Jukusei Koshu. At $1,000 per ticket, all proceeds from this exclusive dinner benefitted Keep Memory Alive, a local nonprofit that supports patients and their families as they navigate the extraordinary challenges of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.

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April 2016

Day Three of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit

Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit day three, Saturday, April 30, was a big day for The Cromwell as Giada De Laurentiis and Salvatore Calabrese made their event debut with brunch and a mixology class. At Caesars Palace, culinary gods entertained and Gordon Ramsay and HELL’S KITCHEN season 15 finalist Kristin Barone and newly-crowned winner Ariel Malone brought the heat.

Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef and New York Times best-selling author Giada De Laurentiis made her Vegas Uncork’d event debut with “Brunch at GIADA: An Italian Inspired Feast,” at her wildly popular restaurant at The Cromwell. Guests at the brunch we also pleasantly surprised by the presence of Tyra Banks, who was there to support her good friend.

For full story, click here.

April 2016

Vegas Uncork’d Kicks Off with the Saber Off

Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit kicked on Thursday with Daniel Boulud performing the ceremonial sabe off at the Doge’s Palace Piazza at the Venetian. Chefs including Guy Savoy, François Payard andEmeril Lagasse were on hand when Boulud sabered the magnum of Mionetto Prosecco to kick off the weekend of festivities at Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, The Venetian and The Palazzo.

A custom six-tier Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit cake created by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro also helped kick off the 10th anniversary of the event.

Lagasse, Savoy, Gordon Ramsay, Boulud, Nobu Matsuhisa and Brian Malarkey are among the chefs hosting events through the weekend. Giada De Laurentiis hosts brunch at her first and only namesake restaurant at The Cromwell, a first for the 10-year-old event.

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2016 Vegas Uncork’d photos: Dining outside Palazzo, $1,000 Nobu dinner

The nearly 100 celebrity chefs here for the 10th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit celebrate with tonight’s Grand Tasting at Garden of the Gods pool oasis at Caesars Palace.

Then TV uber-food stars Giada de Laurentiis and Gordon Ramsay host the after-party at Drai’s Nightclub atop the Cromwell. Our VUBBA preview posted Thursday includes the full Royal Robin Rundown of VUBBA’s events today, Saturday and Sunday.

Venetian F&B director Sebastien Silvestri didn’t let Thursday’s rainstorm interrupt his planned Strip-front dinner by Daniel Boulud and Emeril Lagasse (check out the photograph of them with supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks).

As the weather forecast and overhead clouds darkened, he shut down the Palazzo porte-cochere and set up tables for more than 300 guests hosted by Bon Appetit’s Editor in Chief Adam Rapoport.

For full story, click here.

Day Two of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit

Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit day two introduced one new event, one fan favorite and the premiere event of the entire weekend, The Grand Tasting at Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace.

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa brought back the popular “Sushi Making and Sake Tasting” event, where he taught guests his original “Nobu Style” way of making sushi, while paired with premium sake.

Prior to the Grand Tasting, chefs from Caesars Palace, The Cromwell and more gathered for a pre-event Grand Toast on the terrace of MR CHOW. Caesars Palace Regional President, Gary Selesner, and The Cromwell Regional President, Eileen Moore, both led the toast and congratulated the chefs on what was sure to be, another successful Grand Tasting.

For full story, click here.

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