Special Events

Martha's DVD library launch

Domestic diva Martha Stewart launched her DVD series, developed by Warner Home Video, with a pretty party at the Celeste Bartos Forum within the New York Public Library.

The event team from Northridge, Calif.-based Paradigm Shift Worldwide, led by art director Scott Latendresse, dreamed up the "autumnal holiday haven of light" in October for 200 guests, including Warner Bros. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia brass and a covey of print and electronic media outlets.

New York's Callahan Catering created a fall menu for the evening event, including pumpkin blinis with American sturgeon caviar; smoked turkey club sandwiches with arugula, apple-smoked bacon, roasted red peppers and chevre; "pheasant under glass"--potato canapés topped with plum-glazed pheasant and foie gras served on a multitiered tray under a glass dome; corn cakes with crispy pancetta and chive cream; pastry shells filled with guinea hen and fruit; foie gras burgers on brioche buns with tomato jam; mini apple pies; and fresh pumpkin donuts sprinkled with sugar.

Beneath the canopy of colored light, created by Paradigm lighting designer Adrienne Wohleen, was an artful branding message. "Paradigm's goal was to create key visual branding elements that would fit into our overall 'simple elegance' design approach, without being jarring to the eye," explains Paradigm event marketing director Tammie Richards. "We wanted the branding to flow effortlessly into the overall look of the party."

Because each of the four DVDs focuses on a different fall or winter holiday theme, the event team used an autumnal color palette to create a backdrop that would pull the room together. "Four key pillar clusters in the room were surrounded by artistic, dimensional reproductions of the DVD box art," Richards explains. "The custom layout of the art softened the look, and each branded cluster featured lighting associated with that season or holiday." To further pull the four clusters together, the team created four large, identical autumnal centerpieces that backed each of the branded panels. "In addition, we created a stage backdrop of DVD box art that mirrored the look and feel of Martha Stewart's famed 'paint chip wall,' to subtly tie the DVD back to the overall Martha Stewart brand," Richards explains.

The venue itself conveyed a message: "Since the DVDs are largely educational products, the New York Public Library best reflected that spirit," Richards notes.

Ever the teacher, Stewart invited guests to join her onstage as she created table decor using seasonal vegetables. "Martha Stewart is an incredibly engaging speaker and presenter," Richard says. "Her presentation and live demonstration on holiday table decor were a huge hit for the guests."

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