Campari's quest to get people 'inside' a cocktail

What does it feel like to be inside a cocktail? For London Design Week, Campari is exploring just that, with a bar in Shoreditch filled with deep red and blue tones and lighting that jumps around to convey the feeling of a liquid environment.

This year, Campari is extending its Campari Creates platform by working with more artists and giving customers the chance to step into an art piece and enjoy a cocktail, according to Nick Williamson, marketing director at Campari UK, says.

Williamson adds: "This year’s Campari Creates is a culmination of art- and design-led brand stories that began this summer with our ‘Art of Campari’ exhibition at the Estorick Collection, showcasing how Campari inspired art through the ages."

The brand has worked with abstract artist Mark McClure, with support from agencies Cohn & Wolfe and Hot Pickle, to create this year’s installation, The Mostra.

Williamson explains: "Mark put forward his vision to produce an installation where you can drink a cocktail while feeling as though you are in the cocktail, due to an environment shifting in colour, light and tone just as cubes through liquid – making him the obvious choice to take Campari Creates to the next level."

Campaign spoke to McClure about his creative vision for The Mostra.

Why did you want to work with Campari?

"Initially it was the opportunity to pursue my work a bit further and to make an environment of immersive space and to scale up. I didn’t know loads about the brand until I started looking into it. Then to see the connections going back with futurism, which is something I was inspired by when I was in my teens, and the design heritage – it was a nice match."

Tell us about your creative process.

"Originally, it was architectural landscape shapes essentially distilled down into a visual language. It started off about five or six years ago – I was making small wooden sculptures, which were inspired by architectural shapes. It’s just been distilled down so it’s almost a pattern. So [I'm using] those sorts of approaches, using the same shapes, the visual language. And then finding a way to make it 3D in an environmental shape."

What was your brief for The Mostra?

"It was pretty open, actually. To reflect the brand and my idea was to be inside a cocktail, a degree of interaction which we were slightly more ambitious about originally. It’s tricky – to one extent, you want to allow people to interact within the space, but this has to be a bar at the end of the day."

How much back and forth was there with Campari?

"Not much. One of the first things you ask about is the brand colours and guidelines, and how far we can push it. If there’s the freedom for the artist to do something that they want to do within loose guidelines, you’re going to end up with a much better experience and process."