By Egotist / /
Happy hours at a favorite watering hole and ad agency life go hand-in-hand. Ask any agency employee and they’d likely rattle off that one local haunt where their team heads to unwind after a big pitch, campaign launch, or new employee induction. Most agencies have embraced the Zoom happy hour these days, but cross-cultural creative agency the community is taking things to the next level: inviting its favorite bartenders to join.
COVID-19 has hit the hospitality industry hard, with bars and restaurants across the country closed indefinitely. In the spirit of giving back to these local bars and bartenders that have supported their teams over the years, the community has launched “the community Bar” where the agency invites its favorite local bartenders to join their online happy hour, tipping them out via Venmo each time a fresh drink gets poured.
In Miami, the team gathered with Camilo, a bartender from The New Yorker Bar, raising $1000. Camilo said: “The virtual happy hour with the community was a very good opportunity for our bar to stay connected with our guests while helping our staff in this difficult situation.” Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the team raised $800 for David from Hotel San Francisco. The New York office is set to host this week for The Walker.
Because of the initial success, the community is now opening up the initiative to the industry – inviting other agencies to help raise a glass (and a lot of cash) for the best bartenders out there during these difficult times. The Community created a microsite with instructions and best practices for other agencies to follow using the hashtag #CommunityBars. The agency will set them up with a blueprint that allows them to host on the Community Bars microsite or do it on their own.
The idea was spearheaded by The Community’s New York ECD, Frank Cartagena, who said: “We’ve been doing this for three weeks and it’s a fun way to raise money, which is really what people need most right now. And it’s important for our agency which is called the community for a reason. This is one of the many ways we’re helping. These bars have become like a part of our agency. When we first started lock-down we asked ourselves who are the people who are part of our community who aren’t necessarily on payroll. We also did a GoFundMe for our local businesses back in March that raised nearly $6,000. With Community Bars, we’d love for other agencies to take this idea and put good people back to work for a night.”