LAS VEGAS – The Steve Harvey ninth annual Hoodie Awards closed out with a thunderclap as the “Playboy Club” sponsored the exclusive beach party, replete with a rousing dance performance from MC Hammer and love ballads from crooner Raphael Saadiq.
Some 10,000 or so swimsuit-clad urbanites flooded the Mandalay Bay Beach for a potent “cocktail” of beautiful Playboy Bunnies, deafening music, exotic cuisine and free-flowing adult beverages on what is ranked at the No. 1 pool in the Sin City. The “Playboy Club” Bunnies mixed it up in the VIP area before cranking up the noise on stage during the MC Hammer concert, promoting the NBC television show that is due to premiere in September.
“The number one priority for us being here is that we wanted to create awareness — especially at one of the biggest African American festivals in the country — about our new fall show “The Playboy Club,” said Nate Kirtman, Senior Vice President for NBC Entertainment Television publicity. “We have a lot of great story lines coming out of the show with our great featured actresses Naturi Naughton and Jenifer Lewis,” he said. “I think audiences will find their stories very compelling.”
The promotional parties were compelling enough, providing a prelude of the drama and intrigue that will spill out of the small screen in September. After hosting shutdown parties at iconic African American events in flagship American cities, such as the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans and the American Black Film Festival in South Beach last month, the “Playboy Club” organizers Liquid Soul Advertising Agency will now bottle up that frenetic energy, shake it, then pop the top and spray that energy over the heads of urbanities in Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York. And they have enjoyed the services of lifestyle ambassador Kenny Burns to light the figurative match to get the fireworks underway in each major market.
“We’re just going from city to city, spreading that ‘Playboy Club’ message,” said Burns, who was outfitted in boardroom-like attire as the sand and thick human mass of partiers swirled about him. “It’s so cool to spread the message and see what comes back from it. Obviously, the Baby Boomers were around Playboy [as Hugh Hefner built it into a cultural institution]. And now, with the Millennium Generation, we are all fans of the iconic brand in general. So it’s beautiful,” Burns added.
Burns also alerted us to the fact that, just in case you were not at Essence or the Hoodie Awards, the videos of the Playboy Club parties from these ultra-popular events will be seen soon on NBC.com, with more on the way leading up to the actual premiere of the show.