Revivalist Spirits has decided to revive one media campaign from over two decades ago, and they are really baring it all to get the word out about their products. Owners Scott and Don Avellino were looking for something a bit different when headed into 2020 for a new campaign, and this summer they landed on an idea that would pay homage to old Vitamix blender ads from 1999 where naked chefs showed off the products. The brothers thought this was the perfect opportunity to showcase their own “revivalist spirit” and bring their own spin on the lighthearted campaign—something that everyone could use in the wake of the chaos this year has brought.
“In the midst of COVID hitting, we wanted to do something fun — something out of the box that would turn heads, put a smile on people’s faces, and get them to forget about everything else for a moment,” said Scott Avellino in a statement. “This seemed fun and light-hearted, and even though it had been done once before, our name is literally Revivalist, so we decided to run with it and revive it. We feel that the images really capture the American spirit during difficult times, as these chefs are all struggling through the pandemic like the rest of us, but when they took their clothes off and enjoyed some of our product they seemed to let loose.”
When researching, the Avellinos were able to find a few chefs who were willing to get into their birthday suits for the shots, all of whom are local to the city.
According to the release, it was done with class, artistically, and with a focus on Revivalist’s gin line, which was just recognized as the winner of USA Today’s 10Best survey as the 2020 Readers’ Choice for Best Craft Gin Distillery. The chefs include Joel Singer of Barry’s Buns (The Bourse and Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market), who has worked in the Philadelphia culinary scene since 1999; Keith Taylor of Zachary’s BBQ & Soul Kitchens (Elmwood Park Zoo), who recently appeared on Food Network’s “Guys Grocery Games” with his son, Zachary; Reuben “Big Rube” Harley, a pop-up chef, photographer and beloved “fried chicken master” who helped put Mitchell & Ness on the map at the turn of the 21st Century; and Hilary Hamilton of Jasper’s Backyard and Jasper’s West Side (101 E. 7th Avenue and 101 Ford Street in Conshohocken), who worked under Nick Elmi at Chef Georges Perrier’s heralded Le Bec-Fin before it closed in 2012.
The original campaign back in ’99 also featured a few familiar faces including Marcus Samuelson, David Burke and Philadelphia’s own Marc Vetri.
For the photographer, Revivalist Spirits decided to go for a Philadelphia-based photographer of 35-plus years, Kevin York. York is known around the City of Brotherly Love, and is also known worldwide for his portrait work being showcased in publications such as Racer Magazine and ESPN the Magazine.
“We’ve all been stripped down to our core these last seven months — as people, as business owners, and as a country — and we witnessed our subjects literally remove their inhibitions and anxiety as they removed their clothes for this revival,” said Don Avellino in a statement. “We are thrilled with how the photos turned out, and everyone was very comfortable and had a lot of fun shooting this. We are very excited to unveil this to everyone.”
All of the photos from the new campaign will be shared across social media, and to add some further meaning to it all, the Avellino brothers will be donating $1 for every share on Facebook, as well as $1 for every repost on Instagram (up to $1,000) to the Hospitality Assistance Response of Pennsylvania (HARP), a 501(c)3 which provides immediate emergency funding to hospitality workers.
Philadelphians can learn more about the campaign and Revivalist’s Spirits products at revivalistgins.com