Don’t Walk is watching us

The town’s largest invite-only event hosts their ritziest launch event of the year.

DONT WALK launch event review

DONT WAKE UP to whats around you

DONT GUARD your inhibitions

DONT WALK away from freedom

DONT WATCH those that watch you

DONT WATCH DONT WALK 2016

With nothing to go on but this cryptic press release, I arrived at Forgans this past Thursday entirely unsure of what to expect. The afterparty that followed the dinner had been the cause of much skepticism: An afterparty at a restaurant best known as the place to take your visiting parents to dinner?

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It became immediately apparent, however, that Don’t Walk had worked one of its signature rebrandings on Forgans itself: From the nude mannequins that greeted us in the entryway to the sequence of brilliant DJs to the constantly active dancefloor, the quiet restaurant had been transformed into a nightclub to rival the Vic.

The walk through the venue was a scavenger hunt for the Don’t Walk brand. There flashed the logo on a screen above the door, and there on the walls some clever committee member had written the brand’s name and this year’s catchphrase (Don’t Watch). A Don’t Walk model alternated at the DJ booth with the DJs for this year’s show, and rubber wristbands announced “Don’t Walk Launch Party” or “Don’t Walk Afterparty.” Even the dinner menus were emblazoned with name of the show. It was a masterclass in branding.

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Logistically, the night flowed well from dinner to dancing. Tables were pushed aside and the restaurant bar became as high in demand as the tiny Society Room bar. Staff, no doubt unaccustomed to the fast-paced crowd, struggled to serve the thirsty throng but managed to pull it off without too dreadful a wait time.

If the goal of a launch event is to act as a taster of things to come, then Don’t Walk’s takeover of Forgans accomplished just that. Mystery, exclusivity, and shameless fun: It had all the hallmarks of the brand’s carefully curated image. The committee, both experienced and novice members alike, appears to be hitting its stride. No doubt we can expect excellent work from them come semester two.

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Images courtesy of Lightbox Creative.