EC clients return to travel retail brand activations in 2021

December 21, 2021

Despite the ongoing travel restrictions due to Covid-19 emerging variants, and fewer PAX in airports, Essential Communications has seen a number of our clients returning to the tried and tested purchase driver of airport brand activations in collaboration with travel retailer partners. Here’s a round-up of this year’s highlights. Rodenstock for Porsche Design June and September saw major airport and downtown brand activations for Porsche Design eyewear, by Rodenstock. Porsche Design chose to partner with Beirut Duty Free to spotlight its iconic Porsche Design P’8982 model, which was the focus for a high-profile, 360-degree campaign at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport. The promotion featured the lifestyle brand’s eyewear ambassador Patrick Dempsey in advertising hoardings at the retail pop-up alongside the brand’s sunglasses and readers ranges. The campaign was supported by a 360-degree omnichannel campaign, with social media engagement and selling incentives for store staff to drive interaction and to enhance the shopper experience. In September, Rodenstock also partnered with China Duty Free Group (CDFG) to highlight its Porsche Design brand at the Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Haitang Bay, Hainan. The promotion featured Porsche Design’s Vision Drive lenses, Collector’s Edition and Reader’s Range. Porsche Design ambassador Patrick Dempsey again featured across the campaign’s visuals located in various high-traffic locations at the CDF Mall. The promotion also tied in with the CDFG 88 Eyewear Event, which ran throughout August and highlighted the sunglasses offer at the CDF Mall. Café Drambuie, William Grant & Sons Through October, Drambuie launched a new Café Drambuie retail activation as a trial at Heathrow Terminal 3 in partnership with Dufry. The travel retail concept featured a café bar with baristas on hand to serve a choice of three coffee cocktails as a tester for new ways to serve the coffee spirit. Drambuie welcomed passers-by to its ‘coffeehouse with a whisky twist’ café retail concept, where visitors were greeted by bartenders turned baristas, who enticed travellers with the easy to mix Drambuie and coffee cocktails. On offer were three tempting cocktail serves: Drambuie Iced Espresso, Drambuie Iced Coffee and Drambuie Coffee Tonic. Brand ambassadors dressed as baristas were on hand to make to order the trio of cocktails serves and the activation proved a hit, attracting passengers with the signature Drambuie logo, café bar design and the cocktail instructions cards, which was a key conversion metric, said the brand. Drambuie brand-owner William Grant & Sons continued the trial in the Nordics with Scandlines in the Puttgarden Border Shop in November and December. James Taylor, Global Marketing Manager for Drambuie, said of the T3 Café Drambuie activation: “The response has been amazing. It has more than covered our expectations for testing out the ways Drambuie can be used for coffee cocktails. “People were intrigued by the bar activation, especially with the impactful Café Drambuie neon sign. The coffee station peaked their curiosity making them want to go straight to the bar. Our efforts to revive Drambuie as a premium liquor choice have caused people to see it in a different light. They are interested to try Drambuie at home and make the cocktails that were featured to them during their journey.” Champagne Lanson Champagne Lanson has said that a two-month ‘bistronomie’ activation at Nice Airport Terminal 2 delivered a 12-fold increase in sales compared to the same period (September and October) in 2019. The campaign, a partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail, “proves the value of customer engagement to drive sales” according to the Champagne house. Lanson Head of Travel Retail Edouard de Boissieu said: “Despite passenger numbers still being quite low, the activation was an amazing success with sales of Champagne Lanson seeing a twelve-fold increase on the same period in 2019. This really was beyond our expectations and just goes to show the value of promotions which engage directly with passengers. We are extremely pleased with the results and now hope to repeat the activation in other key airports during 2022.” Elit Rye, Stoli Group November saw Stoli Group release an exclusive limited edition of its Elit vodka brand with partner Dubai Duty Free at Dubai International Airport. Only 350 bottles of Elit Rye were available through the retailer’s liquor and tobacco store in Concourse B, Terminal 3. A bespoke activation to promote the ultra-premium vodka expression ran throughout November, highlighted in-store with an eye-catching branded liquor pillar. Stoli Group Global Duty Free and Travel Retail Director, Jean-Philippe Aucher said: “Elit Rye is another example of Stoli Group’s commitment to releasing exclusives that create excitement among consumers in the travel retail channel. We are now in the tenth year of our close association with Dubai Duty Free and are delighted to produce this special edition especially for one of the world’s great travel retailers.” Stoli said that Elit Rye Vodka “celebrates and elevates the original vodka ingredient, rye. For over 300 years rye was the most important base for vodka, its characteristic flavours making the spirit famous around the globe.” Elit Rye uses the signature filtration process of Elit Vodka, freeze filtered at -18°C. Grant’s, William Grant & Sons In November, William Grant & Sons kicked off a multi-location promotion for the global travel retail launch of its Grant’s Triple Wood 12 Scotch whisky with a series of high-profile activations in Europe, the Middle and Near East and South Africa. The pop-ups highlight the new Grant’s Triple Wood 12’s bottle design and invite travellers to experience the blend, which is the result of three-barrel aging and flavour layering Following a successful kick-off in Larnaca and Istanbul Airports along with Romanian Border Shops during September and October, activations moved to Johannesburg and Beirut- Rafic Hariri International airports and Warsaw Chopin Airport (Baltona). Delhi Duty Free, the Nordics (Scandlines’ Puttgarden Border Shop) and Moscow SVO Airport were all scheduled during December and into early 2022. Activations have been adjusted for regional consumer preferences. For example, at Istanbul Airport, WG&S focused the activation in the arrivals duty free area, as there is a strong brand presence in the Turkish domestic market. “We wanted to make sure we are targeting and attracting the right consumer in this premium blended scotch led market,” says Oksana Ohene-Adu, WG&S Customer Planning Activation Manager. “The big G we are showcasing represents our team badge and is at the heart of our new brand world that champions the power of collective achievement. We also developed glorifiers to elevate our premium bottle and a custom-made sampling trolley was built to support this activation which enabled our team of promoters to offer tasting of our award-winning liquid.” Ritter Sport The colourful world of Ritter Sport was reinvented as a sampling and tasting pop-up at the German chocolate brand’s first brand activation since the Covid-19 pandemic. The retail pop-up in collaboration with Dufry has been in place at Zurich Airport’s airside Level 1 Generation Store then the level 2 walk-through area throughout November and December 2021. The impactful retail activation has interactive traveller-focused elements that encourage passers-by to sample the flavours, and experience Ritter Sport’s individually wrapped chocolate in the engaging pop-up space. The pop-up is well timed, with the brand’s enduring sustainability mindset and visibility in the travel retail marketplace a key strategic focus in the second half of 2021 and into 2022. Promotional staff are on hand to help explain about Ritter Sport’s new packaging designs and sampling experience – the activation also highlights that low-touch sampling is available for confectionery brands to successfully trial product tasting opportunities. The Zurich Airport activation is a key example of how Ritter Sport is targeting the travel retail market with updated packaging designs that feature across its bestselling products. The packaging targets the sustainability minded traveller with redesigned paper-based packs, as Ritter Sport builds on its ‘Taste Chocolate in Full Colours’ advertising campaign. Jan Pasold, Managing Director Global Travel Retail for Ritter Sport, said: “We wanted to translate the emotion of travel and wanderlust firstly into a new colour coded design and packaging concept and secondly to provide a retail experience that passers-by will find intriguing. The aim has been to create a destination for their curiosity, so that they could learn more about Ritter Sport’s latest sustainability initiatives.” Accolade Wines During November and December Accolade Wines invested in a dedicated brand activation at Dubai International Airport. The pop-up store for its Hardys brand is in partnership with Middle East retail partner Dubai Duty Free and exclusive distributor, Gulf Beverage. The activation is well positioned, according to the brand. The pop-up is sited outside one of the retailer’s main stores in Terminal 3 Concourse C and is so far attracting healthy levels of footfall thanks to its premium position in the Emirates Terminal, which also services Qantas and FlyDubai. “This makes it the ideal location for an Australian wine company to showcase to international travellers, as well as Antipodeans travelling to the region,” said Accolade Wines Senior Regional Manager EMEA Jeff Bond. The wines on offer include the global travel retail-exclusive Hardys Premium Selection. Other highlighted wines include Hardys Heritage Reserve Bin and releases from Accolade Wines’ Global Vintage Release programme, Eileen Hardy Shiraz and Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. Whyte & Mackay’s The Dalmore Decades Collection Coinciding with a unique October auction, Whyte & Mackay revealed The Dalmore Decades, a ‘once in a lifetime’ selection of six single malt whiskies, that celebrates six decades of whisky excellence. On 8 October, the Dalmore Highland Single Malt secured a record sale of HK$8,750,000 / US$1,124,000 for a one-of-one, exceedingly rare collection of six extraordinary whiskies at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. The Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection, the only complete set of The Dalmore Decades, sold as a dedicated single lot auction to a private collector. During Golden Week in the first week of October, Whyte & Mackay celebrated its landmark The Dalmore Decades auction sale with a series of pop-ups in Asia in partnership with some of travel retail’s most prestigious stores. The Dalmore Decades range underscores Whyte & Mackay’s commitment to the growing prestige plus price segment, which according to Travel Retail Director Richard Trimby is one of the sector’s most dynamic, he told The Moodie Davitt Report. The spread of Asia travel retail distribution was focused on five key partners. As Trimby highlighted: three sets went into Hainan with China Duty Free Group (CDFG); one set in Hong Kong with Duty Zero by cdf [CDFG and Lagardère]; another one with Lotte Duty Free [at Changi Airport]; one with DFS in Macau [for Master of Wines and Spirits]; and one more with Ever Rich Duty Free in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. “So travel retail is not just a commercial operation. We could sell these sets to private clients very easily, but for us it was about putting The Dalmore on the stage,” He said: “Travel retail is the ideal channel to showcase exceptional masterpieces from The Dalmore in both duty free and digital channels, allowing us to recruit millions of luxury consumers into the brand franchise. “We only wish we could have more of these exceptional masterpieces from The Dalmore to meet the incredible demand for it in the travel retail channel.” The Dalmore Decades omnichannel campaign in travel retail generated over 86 million impressions in October across Chinese social media and KOL outreach campaigns.

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