News

BizBash
How Jack Daniel's Evoked the Spirit of Its Founder
3/2/2017
BizBash
Art Basel 2016: Inside the Splashiest Events and Installations
12/9/2016
Artnet News
Beach Party at the Nautilus
12/1/2016
BizBash
7 Ways to Make Your Events Stand Out From the Pack
11/21/2016
Miami New Times
Jack Daniel's Pops Up in Wynwood With Live Music, Tastings, and the Safe That Killed Jack
11/18/2016
BizBash
See the Winners of the 2016 BizBash Event Style Awards
11/17/2016
The Fader
Jack Daniel’s Turned A Chicago Storefront Into A Lynchburg-Inspired Saloon
11/10/2016
The Drum
Jack Daniel’s celebrates 150 years with pop-up ‘general stores’ in three cities
10/20/2016
BizBash
Why Jack Daniel's Hauled a Half-Ton Safe to New York
10/14/2016
Ad Week
The Mythical Safe That Cost Jack Daniel's Founder His Life Just Turned Up in NYC
10/10/2016
LA Guest List
Dos Equis Celebrated Most Interesting Man in the World with their Coveted Collection Tour
5/10/2016
Magnetic Magazine
The Impact Plan & Dos Equis Threw The Most Interesting Multi-Million-Dosita Auction Party in DTLA
5/10/2016
Village Voice
Dos Equis' 'Most Interesting Man in the World' Auctions Off His Treasures
4/14/2016
Event Marketer
Nine Ways Alcohol Brands are Adding Flavor to their Event Portfolios
3/2/2016
Fader
Ja Rule was Stellar at Jack Daniel's Motel No. 7 in Miami
2/24/2016
Fader
Robbie Rivera Kicks Off Jack Daniel's Motel No. 7 in Miami
2/24/2016
Event Marketer
Spirits Marketers Leverage the Allure of the Speakeasy
2/18/2016
WSVN News
Jack Daniel's Motel No. 7 Pop-Up
1/19/2016
Thrillist
Jack Daniel's Built a Motel and It's Glorious
11/20/2015
Page Six
Andrew W. K. officiates Vegas-style wedding in warehouse
11/18/2015
Fader
Cloud Nothing Proves Rock is Alive at Motel No. 7
11/18/2015
Bedford and Bowery
Jack Daniel's Greenpoint Rager Made Good on Promise: 'Noise Complaints... Guaranteed'
11/18/2015
Local Bozo
Jack Daniel's Hosts Motel No. 7 with Andrew W. K. and T-Pain in Wild Night Out
11/18/2015
Fader
T-Pain Inaugurates Jack Daniel's Motel No. 7 Experience
11/18/2015
Brooklyn Magazine
T-Pain is Playing a Massive Greenpoint Warehouse Party You Can't Get Into
11/18/2015
Event Marketer
Inside Amstel's Battle Of The Burger Food Strategy
8/26/2015
Event Marketer
Flash Sampling: Dos Equis’ Twist On Cinco De Mayo
5/18/2015
Event Marketer
Winners: Full Coverage Of The 2015 Ex Awards
5/11/2015
Adweek
Is Virtual Realty The Next Big Form Of In-Bar Entertainment?
4/9/2015
Event Marketer
Oculus Rift, Dos Equis Create A ‘Most Interesting’ Virtual World
1/28/2015
BizBash
Dos Equis Imagines New Kind Of Masquerade In New Orleans
1/6/2015
Event Marketer
Perrier Launches An Artsy Bottle Collection
10/16/2014
BizBash
Here's What Happens When Street Artists Decorate an Event
10/10/2014
BizBash
How Brooklyn Became A Hot Event Location
10/1/2014
Event Marketer
Inside Harley-Davidson’s Prototype Feedback Tour
8/20/2014
Event Marketer
Ex Awards: The Best Event Marketing Campaigns Of 2014
5/7/2014
Event Marketer
Espolón Tequila Leverages Live Theater
12/20/2013
BizBash
11 Interactive Art Installations at Food Network's 20th Birthday Bash
12/4/2013
BizBash
Top 10 Innovative Brands 2013: #6 Dos Equis
6/12/2013
Event Marketer
L’Oreal’s Traveling Studio Offers Hair Analysis
5/14/2013
BizBash
Trend Spotted: A Masquerade-Ball Theme
1/7/2013
BizBash
Dos Equis Turns Masonic Hall Into Oddity-Filled Masquerade for "Most Interesting Man"
11/21/2012
Adweek
New Model Agencies: Mirrorball Ceo Michael Blatter Talks 'Social Currency' With 'Adweek'
10/11/2011
BizBash
Svedka, Hpnotiq Promote Female-Focused Products With Events at New Hotels
8/4/2011
Event Marketer
Dos Equis Serves Up Cold Beer and Creepy Crawlers for Cinco de Mayo
6/1/2011
BizBash
Dos Equis Creates Real-Life Treasure Hunt as Extension of "Most Interesting Man" Campaign
7/22/2010
Event Marketer
Steal This Idea: Harley-Davidson
4/19/2010
Event Marketer
Flash Nights
4/15/2010
Event Marketer
Modern-Day Mascots
4/13/2010
Event Marketer
Harley’s New Forty-Eight Goes Back to Basics
3/10/2010
Event Marketer
Activating Year-Round at Vacation Destinations
1/28/2010
Event Marketer
Dos Equis and Jim Rose Produce Variety Show Tour
1/28/2010
Event Marketer
On Premise: Amstel Light Stays Close To The Slopes
1/28/2010
Event Marketer
Stoli Affair Offers “Forbidden” Fruit
1/28/2010
Event Marketer
Turning Brand Heritage into Retro-Cool Events
1/28/2010
Adweek
Dos Equis Launches Cinco De Mayo 'Expedition' By Progressive Grocer Staff
4/24/2009
Ad Age
Forever Chasing Its Action Demo, Mountain Dew Rolls Out Street-Skating Film
5/13/2008
Ad Age
Mountain Dew Gives Gamers More Caffeine
9/26/2005
Ad Age
Mountain Dew To Produce Action Sports Movies
3/30/2005
Ad Age
Mirrorball’s Blatter Takes Marketers To Cutting Edge
1/3/2005

Mirrorball’s Blatter Takes Marketers To Cutting Edge

By Matthew Creamer. Published on January 03, 2005
Source: Ad Age

Any number of people can say they were around for the birth of what's become loosely known as influencer marketing, but Michael Blatter's claim stands up particularly well.
One of his promotion plans for R.J. Reynolds' Camel cigarettes is preserved by anti-tobacco organizations on any number of places on the Internet, often with words like "unscrupulous" attached to it. The Trend Influence Marketing plan, a 1994 internal document in which the marketer was advised to convert hipsters into Camel loyalists by reaching them directly in the nightclubs, restaurants and other places where they hang out, is viewed differently in marketing circles. There it's become a standard operating model for swaying hip, young consumers and is echoed in any number of campaigns, especially for products like cigarettes and spirits.

The 39-year-old Mr. Blatter, who sold KBA Marketing -- the firm he co-founded after a career as a nightclub promoter -- to Interpublic Group of Cos. in 1998, is still trying to crack those hard-to-reach groups, now with a new firm. Mirrorball, his eight-person boutique, has brought grassroots strategies to mass marketers such as PepsiCo's Mountain Dew and Anheuser-Busch, both looking for large swaths of consumers who are largely unreachable by TV ads always on the lookout.

Nightlife is only a small part of his new agency, which works in a number of disciplines including design, video-game marketing, media merchandising and urban and lifestyle entrenchment. Yet Mr. Blatter's formative years were spent making megaclubs such as Shelter and Crobar the talk of Chicago nightlife, and remain a big reason for his insistence on being at the cutting edge of marketing. "You're only as good as your last Saturday night," he said. "Nightlife is an incubator for pop culture and we're always trying to find the next big thing."

Mirrorball -- which is owned by Mr. Blatter and Jason Katz, who was also an executive at KBA-was launched about a year ago, after the principals left Interpublic, which had folded KBA into Draft. They spent a noncompete hiatus rounding up the management team that brought the Crobar nightclub, hugely successful in places like Chicago and Miami's South Beach, to New York. Now, they're back doing nontraditional campaigns for major marketers.

To aid Mountain Dew's push into skateboarding circles, Mirrorball developed an urban identity and video-game logo for Dew and supported it with ads in skater magazines that are tailored for the subculture, employing artists from a collective tied to the skate scene. The brand also co-sponsored, with a bunch of endemic skate brands, a series of films about New York City's skating culture called "Brick and Mortar," which just released its latest installment at a Brooklyn skating club.

Mr. Blatter referred to these strategies as "entrenchment," which differs from average sponsorship strategies in that it's a series of less expensive but targeted commitments over a period of time rather than a big, expensive one-off deal. "The idea is to really insinuate yourself into the scene," Mr. Blatter said. "The brand is entrenched; it is always there."

Having dropped out of college to work in the clubs, Mr. Blatter moved into marketing full-time after a few inadvertent successes that came out of his nightclub promotions. In promoting Shelter in 1991, Mr. Blatter helped trigger the resurgence of the lava lamp, when he threw a 25th birthday party for the 1960s artifact. The party drew thousands of media types to the club, which, for that night, sported a wall of lamps. And the event resulted in front-page coverage in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, leading to a spike in sales for a less-than-cutting-edge company that had to be persuaded that such a promotion would work.
"There's no option with Michael," said Christopher Baldovin, then VP-marketing at Lava World International. "Michael is the quintessential, assumptive closer. Until you're grabbing him and throwing him down the stairs out of your office, you're buying something or doing whatever it is he needs done."

Just Asking
Q. Do you still log a lot of time in nightclubs?
A. Yeah, my wife's going to kill me. But I don't spend much time in the mainstream clubs. I try to find fringe places in the middle of nowhere.
Q. Do you expect to get back into the nightlife business?
A. Yep. We have a lot of ideas. But if we were to do a club again, we wouldn't do one, we'd do 10. But Mirrorball is what we're committed to now.
Q. Do you have any advice on getting into Crobar?
A. Call me. Hire Mirrorball