Uptown Uncorked

Uptown Uncorked

The Situation

Direct consumer engagement is still one of the most effective ways to promote brand awareness and product interaction for any consumer segment. However, this becomes more challenging for a luxury audience, where traditional event sponsorships could have a minimal or even negative effect on the brand if they’re not unique and have a big impact.

The Challenge

The luxury consumer attends more special events, galas, and corporate sponsorships than the average consumer, which leaves more room for comparison or even negative association. It becomes harder for brands to interact with a consumer in a way that makes a difference.

The Solution

Lexus is always looking for ways to connect with their consumer in innovative new ways, and WI responded. Setting up a partnership with spirits brand Diageo and media partner UPTOWN Magazine, WI delivered a series of food and wine experiences in five unique venues in key African-American markets called UPTOWN Uncorked – to delight all of the consumers’ senses, from sight to sound, taste to smell.

Atlanta – Chefs Mike Valli; Dwayne L. Hairston.

Chicago – Chefs Mychael Bonner; Julius Russell

DC – Chefs Malcolm Mitchell; Timothy Dean

San Jose – Chefs Robert Dorsey III; Michele Wilson

Dallas – Chefs Tre Wilcox; Chris Williams

Uncorked side 1
Uncorked side 2

The Results

With vehicle displays, branding, and product specialists throughout the venue, the key goal for the event was to engage and impress. All this was certainly achieved.

  • Over 400+ On-site Consumer Interactions
  • Highlights of Post-Event Consumer Feedback:
    • “It used to be that Lexus and Toyota looked similar in styling with just a few luxury touches on the Lexus end. Now, I can tell that the styling is going in a whole new direction.”’
    • “We’re a BMW family but I really like the GS. I’m pleasantly surprised by its refined look and feel.”
    • “I’ve always been a Mercedes and BMW girl. I’ve owned a C class and an S class, but recently switched over to Lexus. I just bought an ES 350 and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how smooth it rides.”
    • [Regarding the Lexus RC F] “It looks like Lexus has finally found the missing piece of the puzzle!”
  • Media coverage on the events from local pubs and networks.


With its successful execution and extremely positive feedback, UPTOWN Uncorked is a top candidate for a re-launch in 2015 and a model for other luxury events.