Deep Eddy Vodka has set up a fake conference, complete with an out-of-office response, to encourage people to take some time and have a fun respite with a vodka cocktail or two.
In a campaign by independent agency McGarrah Jessee (McJ) starring Joy Ride and Emily in Paris star Ashley Park, the V.O.D.K.A. Conference takes shape as a way to help with work-life balance, giving people an excuse to unplug for the day, even going so far as to give attendees numerous tools to help convince their bosses they’ll be “working.”
The conference, which takes place August 25, is a fake, online event. V.O.D.K.A. is short for Virtually Optimized Developmental Knowledge Assembly, and signing up for it will block your calendar so you can go have fun with your friends instead of working.
That calendar block appears to be a legitimate business conference, but it’s really an excuse to play hooky. Deep Eddy also plans to equip attendees with a livestream of faux-motivational videos and shareable conference takeaways designed to convince any skeptical bosses.
“The V.O.D.K.A. Conference is a lovely example of a brand using the internet for how the internet should be used. Finding playful ways to unite and support people by hacking digital experiences. As a brand that stands for fun, Deep Eddy has a unique ability to take something serious and flip it on its head, turning it into something legitimately fun and useful,” said Tim Roan, chief creative officer, McGarrah Jessee in a statement.
Tony Award winner Park is helping to launch the pretend conference with a spot set in a drab corporate office. Park explains, with a wink, how this “unquantifiably important conference” will equip people with the essential knowledge for job success with a full day of seminars where attendees will learn “leadership, strategy, and optimization.”
“Ashley Park is the epitome of fun. She’s always real and authentically herself, which makes her the perfect star to help Deep Eddy Vodka launch the V.O.D.K.A. Conference.” said Hannah Venhoff, vp, Deep Eddy Vodka in a statement. “In our work from home era, it’s becoming harder than ever for people to truly log off and have a good time off the clock. Our goal is to put a spin on corporate culture in a way that creates a grand excuse for as many people as possible to take the day off and, hopefully, go have a Deep Eddy Vodka cocktail with their friends.”
In U.S. cities including Austin and New York City, Deep Eddy will host in-person activations, where “cube-cutters” can pick up fake conference swag, like lanyards and photos, to further legitimize their day of hooky.
The activation is Deep Eddy’s first initiative under its new brand platform, “Vodka is for Fun,” which is all about reminding the world of the greatness of vodka.