Based on the wealth of talent that the Spanish youth have, unknown to the vast majority, the San Miguel brewery decided to give to the whole generation of Spanish millenials the push that they needed to make their projects as real as they dream.
The physical form of that help can be found in the Madrid neighbourhood of Malasaña, specifically in the street Loreto and Chicote 7, in a fresh and modern place that transforms and evolves with each new tenant. However, this concept goes beyond a mere physical meeting point, it is rather a union of creative young people and mentors who recognize talent and give it existence. The most important thing here is the desire to help and do good for both parties.
Thus, based on patronage to young artists, great professionals in the world of art and creativity are part of the human team of this concept. They select among the many projects that come to them those ideas that hold real potential and conduct them through a customized sponsorship, becoming true mentors for the duration of the entire process.
The results are guaranteed, or at least that is what we have seen in the ‘Blu Days’ organized in Madrid and Barcelona. At these meetings the sponsorship holders of the first generation Blu Room detail what their projects consisted of, how they have developed and what they have achieved, while accompanying them are recognized professionals.
And all this thanks to a brand. Because behind Blu Room there hides a media campaign and above all a great marketing strategy. But do not think of this as negative, it is not a campaign, there are no graphics, no spots… It is a communication strategy with shaped shuttle talents, and as a result, it works. San Miguel has been able to locate the needs of much of their target and provide a rare opportunity to find other ways in these times.
We interview Ana Alonso Bahlsen, Innovation Brand Manager of Mahou-San Miguel who tells us all we need to know about Blu Room and details the key of this project.
Blu Room, a new multidisciplinary space for artists. Explain a bit about what this concept is.
The Blu Room emerged with the aim of supporting young talents of our country and helping them to implement their innovative ideas and really involving us in the development of their projects.
We decided to become sponsors of the best ideas, poring over all the initiatives that young people gave to us and providing them with personalized support that really helped them to advance, either by the way of materials, workspace, collaboration with another discipline or further complementary training.
Why the name Blu Room?
The search for a suitable name came from a number of premises: it should be short, simple, easy to remember and had to have a reference to our brand Blu, a new product of San Miguel, and the project. We think the name should pivot on the space itself, which was the nexus of all. Hence arose Blu Room.
What kind of projects do you welcome?
The main condition is that the artist has to be young. We are open to any discipline that they will propose, as long as it is a solid project with a future. We have already approved ideas related to music, fashion, illustration and even theatre, but we’d love to work with many others, from video installations to sculpture and street art.
How was Blu Room born?
San Miguel has just launched a special drink named Blu of San Miguel, aimed at young, restless, active people and pioneers who are seeking an original alternative to enjoy in their leisure time. This is a special product, different from anything else on the market, so we did not want to do a traditional advertising campaign, but our intention was that our own consumers define the brand by themselves.
In line with this idea, the Blu Room emerged, not as something new but as a sustainable initiative in time. We wanted to explore new ways to engage with our consumers in a more personal way, speaking face to face.
As we were headed to a very young segment, we found that the best way to reach them was through their passions so they could really feel the protagonists of our brand.
Who can come to Blu Room?
There are several ways to approach the Blu Room. As an artist, any young person who has a well-defined project can submit their proposal via our Tumblr space (www.bluroom.es). Whatever the discipline that it falls under, we will examine it, but it is important that the idea is well thought out and developed and they are willing to work hard to realize it. As a visitor, the Blu Room is open to the public, so if anyone is passing by the street Loreto and Chicote they can come and see first-hand what goes on inside.
The idea of installing your office in Malasaña downtown, is it a coincidence or does it have to do with the spirit of the neighbourhood? Malasaña has always been a hotbed of young talent, which has manifested itself in very different times. Moreover, nowadays practically everything that is brewing in Madrid on an artistic level takes place within the walls of the neighbourhood, so we could not be anywhere else.
How do artists benefit from the teamwork and collaborative part of the concept Blu Room? It gives them the opportunity to work with renowned professionals from the art world and to use resources they may not have had access to themselves. Moreover, being around people working completely differently from your disciplines can enrich your project, bringing a new perspective and enriching the experience.
What are Blu Days?
The Blu Days are, so to speak, a “Show and Tell”. There are days when grant holders to the Blu Room come to exhibit their work and experience. They explain their project, the challenges they have faced in order to carry it out, and share with the audience their key learnings.
The program of these special days is complete with lectures by professionals linked to the world of art, fashion, trends, or even communication and marketing. They offer their vision and their experience and advise the guys on what steps to follow to make the project sustainable in the future.
The Blu Days are themed and each is dedicated to a discipline, whether illustration, theatre or fashion. We intend to be a showcase for the scholarship, but also to have utility for people attending, thanks to an almost didactic component.
What projects are you developing right now? Currently, we have two ongoing projects: a series of portraits of Dourone and the collection of Linkin’ Dots.
Fabio Lopez, better known as Dourone defines himself as a self-taught illustrator with a figurative and surrealist perspective. His paintings depict the beauty of the everyday moments of life. Now, inside the Blu Room, he will develop his project Retractus III. 25 portraits of anonymous people. People chosen from all those who passed through our photo booth, placed in the Blu Room for the occasion.
Linkin’ Dots is a project born in Madrid’s Malasaña neighbourhood, and now returns there to grow. This brand created by young entrepreneurs Jorge Fernández-Manchón and Javier Monárriz comes to Blu Room with a product that reinvents common object such as hats, and gives them a traditional character with a laminated visor. Within the space, they seek to professionalize their project, making it a global idea with the aim of going international in the future.
There are also three other projects that have just completed their collaboration with the Blu Room and are reaping the success of the work: a fashion film that opened the parade in Daniel Rabaneda Mercedes Benz Madrid Fashion Week; a Spring / Summer 2014 collection that Herida Gato presented in the Ego edition of the Madrid catwalk; and the adaptation of “La Llamada”, a musical play by Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi which has opened at the Lara Theater.