We have the great luck of a retail shopping destination client with a 500-seat cultural venue. On the not-so-great side, it’s a challenge to attract patrons and shoppers during South Florida’s off season – the incredibly hot and humid summers (with added bonus of hurricane season). Mainstreet at Midtown is known for its year-round outdoor festivals and events like a 16-week Music on the Plaza concert series (held during the drier and cooler months of the peak social season), its Peace Love & Wellness Music Festival, Children’s Festival, Cool Yule Tree Decorating Contest, and others.
So, we needed a summer event, and it REALLY needed to be indoors.
The proliferation of ways to publish your magnum opus (or, you know, an exhaustive detailing of your whole two and a half decades of life experience) has been both a blessing and a curse. It allows talented voices an outlet directly to the audience; we’ll skip the fact that it allows the spectacularly untalented a way into print. Vanity publishing used to keep all but the well-heeled hack out of that sandbox.
But we digress. This blog post is about finding clever ways to bring attention to a self-published author, with the end goal of interesting a mainstream publisher in either picking up the work or future works. Then again, if the campaign is successful, perhaps that mainstream publisher becomes much less enticing or even necessary.
It’s time for SWEDE FEST™ 2 PALM BEACH. If you’re a fan of MST3K (and you won’t know what that means if you’re not), a swede fest™ is a similar animal. But instead of making snarky comments to two robots about a cheesy science fiction flick, you make your own cheesy three-minute “homage” to a scene from a favorite film, which is known in certain circles as a “swede.”
Why are they called swedes? We’re so glad you asked.
You probably know indie film festivals have a rich history of showcasing amazing undiscovered talent, where Hollywood insiders troll for the next big thing, where A-list stars promote the small labor-of-love projects they do between blockbusters. A swede fest is an indie film festival with NONE of that going for it.
The key to understanding why is in the “swede” part. A swede is a no-budget, laughably bad remake of a hit Hollywood film – the bigger, the better. The term comes from the 2008 comedy, “Be Kind Rewind,” and was made up to explain the sheer awfulness of their remade films by touting them as European – “swedes” because it sounded really sophisticated. This film, starring Jack Black and Mos Def, is not exactly a classic — but neither is it comedy kryptonite.
And bada bing! Next thing you know, there’s an underground sweding craze. Two guys in Fresno invited a bunch of friends to make films starring themselves, then get together to screen them in another homage: to the indie film festival – but without the beautiful celebrities, coolness factor, or bidding wars. And that, my friends, is how we ultimately come to SWEDE FEST™ 2 PALM BEACH.
We’re sweding a sci-fi/horror classic. Nope, not telling. And we have friends sweding “gems” (yes, in quotes, because the following movies are neither precious nor squeal-worthy) like Ghost, Point Break, Titanic, and The Shining. A full list of the movies reserved for sweding is at www.swedefestpalmbeach.com. You can also buy tickets there to the July 27th festival for the outrageous sum of $5 per person.
And if you are interested in playing director (and star, and editor, and production assistant, etc.), you should call dibs on your movie today. SWEDE FEST™ 2 PALM BEACH allows one entry per film, so if someone else loves Mannequin as much as you do, you could be SOL. The deadline to submit is July 9th at 11:59 PM. Instructions for submission are on the same website.
Guess we should mention that, again this year, we designed all the stuff (logos, collateral, ads, swag, you know the drill), including that groovy low-tech website. Do we love WordPress or what?
Any time you work on a brand-new event with a client, there’s always the possibility that — even with a great concept and a clever hook, after everyone’s hard work, late nights, inspired ideas, creativity, sharp copy, media hooks, great pitches, relentless social media outreach, promises from everyone to cover the event, smart media buys, great sponsors, high-profile partners, and every other factor you can imagine — you’ll have a half-full venue. There are so many intangibles you can’t control; then add in that it’s summer, in Florida, during hurricane season, when it usually rains every afternoon from 4:00pm until 7:00pm, it’s hot and humid and hair gets frizzy, people are away on last-minute vacations before school starts and/or work gets back to a more normal schedule, and did we mention it’s summer? And that no one knows what a “swede” is?
Yet none of that seemed to matter last Friday night when the inaugural SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH launched to a sold out crowd of over 500 attendees on Mainstreet at Midtown.From the red carpet in front of The Borland Center for Performing Arts through the final credits, this was high-energy entertainment for everyone involved, with “swedes” submitted by amateur filmmakers ages 10 to 60. More > “SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH Opens Big!”
When you’ve been a mainstay in the area’s salon industry for almost four decades, surprising your clientele is going to take something really…different. One thing Cosmo DiSchino has never feared is taking a risk. Ever since opened his original downtown West Palm Beach location after arriving from Boston’s famed Newbury Street, Cosmo has been the man behind the chair. He is the mastermind, the owner, the motivator, and the mentor at Cosmo & Company.
How does a scholarship foundation in its very first full fiscal year, having just sent its inaugural group of nine graduating seniors to university to the tune of $75,000 in freshman-year tuition, maximize a web presence so that it serves two audiences and two purposes? When it’s the Dare 2 Be Great Foundation, it reaches out to Alchemy Communications.
Those two purposes: To get students to apply for the scholarships, and to attract the support of members of the Delray Beach community who have the resources to help finance the scholarship program.
The site therefore had to have a “curb appeal” that would appeal to these visually oriented, highly intelligent, media-savvy high school seniors, yet have the necessary polish and language donors look for to convey the long-term goals and commitment of the Dare 2 Be Great founders and principals, a fantastically committed yet diverse group of individuals with one thing in common: a passion for nurturing excellence in students who might otherwise never have the chance to experience the higher education they deserve.
When the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County decided to reach out to the CEOs of companies headquartered outside of Florida who own second (or third or fourth) homes in Palm Beach County, to educate them about the myriad advantages of relocating their businesses here, it needed an eye-catching campaign that would speak directly to this sophisticated audience on a peer-to-peer level.
The BDB tapped Alchemy Communications Group to come up with a multi-media campaign that would capitalize on a time when this rarefied group would be an essentially captive audience — during the 12 weeks of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. Many of the country’s top CEOs are spectators at the high-stakes competition as their own children vie for top honors. More > “Right Here. Right Now. With the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County”
Sometimes Steve has the opportunity to create something really beautiful, and after so many years creating logos for luxury real estate developments, I think it’s kind of a treat for him to do something so diametrically opposite. In this case, he created a logo for someone we respect and admire, who started her own very niche business.
Amen Pawar-LaRosa is an extraordinary special event planner, and she is now on her own specializing in traditional Indian wedding ceremonies with a contemporary twist — the tagline we developed together is, “Honoring Traditions with Modern Style.”
Talk about a fun account. The Burger Bros — Peter and Nick Julius to their family and friends — hired Alchemy to take its Fifties-esque logo and create a fully developed Brand Identity for its fresh-food franchise.
We started by getting a feel for the Fifties style of the Burger Bros.’ logo, and everything else seemed to organically grow from there,” says Steve Owens, Alchemy’s Partner/Creative Director. “They’re serious about the old-fashioned freshness and quality of their food, but we felt that a sense of humor was an important part of the whole aesthetic appeal.”