Image from Stephen Witherden under Creative Commons
"Anyone who has walked along the Hollywood Walk of Fame lately knows that certain stars have definitely seen better days. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has taken a new approach to raising funds to restore the Walk. They have created the Friends of the Walk of Fame initiative to restore the Walk of Fame before its 50th anniversary in two years and they've hooked their first big sponsor, Absolut Vodka.
Sponsors won't get an official star but according to the press release "sizable donations from corporate supporters will be acknowledged with a Friend of the Walk of Fame honorary star" which is described as a "new terrazzo piece that will be placed in the sidewalk, on private property, adjacent to the Walk of Fame." The Chamber presented Absolut with the first honorary star which will be located near the entrance to the Kodak Theatre, part of Hollywood & Highland Center on Hollywood Boulevard.
Certainly corporate sponsors are a familiar sight on baseball fields and other public landmarks but the LA Times reports that the news of Absolut's pseudo star isn't sitting well with everyone. Some see it as an affront to the tradition of honoring Los Angeles luminaries with their own piece of sidewalk space.
Absolut is also launching a new flavor, Absolut LA, a mix of "blueberry, acai berry, acerola cherry, and fruity notes of pomegranate" which will be available this month."
This follows last year's exciting launch of Absolut New Orleans - the marketing of which was far better than its slightly weird taste!
I wonder what city will come next after LA... maybe they will do a competition where you can submit your ideas for what your favourite city tastes like. e.g. London: the smell of rain on hot tarmac, or Birmingham: the taste of vindaloo.
I am sure we will see plenty more activity around this. The PR has only just begun.