In 2011, I somehow became an unofficial brand ambassador to 5Hr Energy, receiving hundreds of free product in exchange for continued social media and event support. During this time, I hosted a company-wide 5-Hr Energy "Work Break" event at Digitas in New York City. These posters were produced and mounted on 20x30 foamcore boards, which were posted throughout the building prior to the event. Big success!
Around 2010, I became acquainted with those ubiquitous little red shots of concentrated caffeine drinks and began a years-long love affair which continues to this very day! 5-Hour Energy supplanted my daily coffee intake and quickly rose to the ranks of first-order-of-business each morning I stepped into the office.
Heavily-caffeinated, and now coupled with my recent entrenchment deep within the Facebook ecosystem, I was soon posting goofy 5-Hour-related imagery onto my public profile on a semi-regular basis, along with the appropriate tags. I'm not certain who, exactly, reached out and encouraged me to enter into one of their frequent photo contests - but I acquiesced, having never entered into a contest like this before.
The photo I sent in featured me, looking like a back-alley crack addict and lording over an open drawer stocked end-to-end with red bottles, glaring shiftily over my shoulder, presumably on the lookout for a potential energy-shot bandit. I won third place, and within weeks the first shipment of nearly 100 bottles arrived at my desk.
Weeks later I received a call from a 5-Hour representative in New York City, asking if I would consider hosting a company wide 5-Hour "Energy Work Break" for all of its roughly 500 employees. I wouldn't have to do much aside from giving them access into the building, helping them set up in an ideal location on a heavily-trafficked floor, and promote the event. After an emphatic YES! I began work on the promo poster that would blanket the walls and corridors of Digitas for the next several weeks.
MY PRIVATE STASH AND I
My vision for the event poster was very much influenced by the epic poster Boris Vellejo made for National Lampoon's Vacation. Due to budgetary constraints and the value of basic human dignity, I abandoned the idea of asking several of my fellow Digitas colleagues to grip my legs from below, so I, instead, opted for a mountain of 5-Hour energy boxes stacked up to my waist. The rest is pretty By-The-Numbers: New York skyline? Check! Lightning bolts representing energy? Check! A charismatic figurehead featured in an epic not-at-all-Photoshopped pose? Check! This poster had it all!
Our in-house printing department mounted these on several 20x30 foamcore displays, and the end results were placed throughout the Digitas office on Park Avenue.
LEFTOVER EVENT POSTERS
THE EVENT IN FULL SWING
The event was straight-forward and simple. Several representatives from 5-Hour arrived with bags and bags of mouth-savoring 5-Hour Energy bottles, one for each employee at the company, numbering roughly 500. I would occasionally dip in and check on things but the reps carried the show.
Due to an unfortunate all-staff tech meeting overlap that lasted over an hour, many folks were not able to come by, resulting in a leftover 5-Hour Energy bottle surplus of nearly 150 bottles. The reps were kind enough to leave them behind and we emptied them all into a large duffel bag.
Over the next several weeks, I found myself handing them out, upon request, to anybody that wanted one. I became the Digitas 5-Hr Energy Dealer, doling out 215mgs of caffeine to those jonesing for a mid-afternoon jolt! It was a brilliant marketing move on 5-Hour Energy's part, a totally symbiotic relationship with a loyal fan, and a win-win scenario for everybody involved!