Sailor Jerry pop-up bar with a wearable-tech twist

William Grant and Sons rum brand Sailor Jerry is transforming a slice of Sydney’s Kings Cross into a pop-up bar/arts/clothing/music installation – with the tagline ‘A good place for bad people’ – that features RFID (radio frequency identification) enabled, social integration.

The venue, dubbed ‘Hotel Street’, launched last week and will run for six weeks. Agency partner We Are Social was tasked with implementing a socially-led PR program to drive word of mouth and media coverage in the hopes of delivering a nightly sold-out venue and event nights. The venue will be featuring art, music, fashion and live performances through to 13 October.

The RFID technology is used to link with Facebook, allowing patrons to check in and post photos automatically via smart pendants – wearable-tech that doubles as an entry pass. Interactive points around Hotel Street include the live music stage and the art exhibition, extending the experience onto social platforms.

RFID spot at Hotel Street


We Are Social developed the socially-led engagement strategy and the in-house development team created the RFID enabled guest passes and implemented the supporting technical infrastructure for the venue.

Chris Bridgland, group account director at We Are Social, explains the project: “Considering the audience – who are very marketing savvy and wouldn’t respond to a typical PR campaign – we developed a strategic response built around peer recommendations and discoverability. This included a guerrilla campaign that promoted the #HotelStreet hashtag on postcards in key bars, tattoo shops, venues, and cafes, on Sailor Jerry bottles sent to key influencers and within street art placed around Sydney.

“To fully facilitate peer recommendations through social sharing we transformed the venue into a socially-integrated, interactive experience, where the audience becomes part of the promotion by sharing the venue and events with their friends via social media.”