China Report

Memorable campaigns and launches of Lunar New Year 2021

Glenfiddich evokes the spirit of coming home

Although COVID-19 has compromised the mass human migration that traditionally takes place over Chinese New Year, the sentiments underpinning the reunion of families at this time arguably burn more brightly than ever.

That spirit of people eager to travel homeward is evoked by leading Scotch whisky single malt brand Glenfiddich in its celebrations for this key festive period.

The brand has created a limited-edition 18 Year Old gift presentation designed by renowned Chinese illustrator Rlon Wang (known as Rlonart*), as well as two experiential travel retail pop-ups in Hainan.

Rlon Wang (王荣亮) marries elements of east and west in his work

The single malt Scotch whisky brand owned by family-controlled William Grant & Sons has reprised its 2020 partnership with Shenzhen-based Wang, who last year produced an illustrated pack design for the same holiday celebrations.

Last year’s edition explored the mystique and magic of the brand’s royal stag icon and re-imagined an epic one-year journey made over a century ago by Charles Gordon (son-in-law of Glenfiddich founder William Grant) in taking Glenfiddich, ‘the Valley of the Deer’, to the world. 2021’s offering focuses on Gordon’s return, and the feeling of reuniting at home with family and friends.

The grandeur of the Glenfiddich stag in this year’s artwork again conveys the spirit of a famous oil painting The Monarch of the Glen, which is at the centrepiece of the depictions. From dancing lions to barrel-carrying balloons, Yang’s illustrative style offers up various hidden gems to spot each time the buyer picks up the pack. Scottish and Asian elements combine to evoke the long-standing connection between two cultures.

“I wanted to tell a story that evokes the warmth and excitement of Lunar New Year – the irreplaceable feeling and anticipation of finally coming home to loved ones,” said Yang.

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old Limited Edition – “Evoking the irreplaceable feeling and anticipation of finally coming home to loved ones”

“Inspired by the Glenfiddich spirit of experimentation and adventure, I created an illustration that comes alive with symbols of generations old and new. I loved playing with the symbiosis of Chinese and Scottish cultures – two connected countries on opposite sides of the world.”

As a former student of traditional Chinese painting, but with a distinctly contemporary style, Wang was considered the perfect artist to tell this story. His colourful, multi-layered illustration takes inspiration from personal memories of family gatherings at Lunar New Year as well as the symbolic meaning of deer in Chinese folk tales, where the animal often represents long life and good fortune.

The limited-edition design appears on the individually numbered Glenfiddich 18 Year Old pack, described by the company as a “rich, intriguingly fruity and robust” oak expression matured in Spanish Oloroso wood and American oak by Malt Master Brian Kinsman.

Making a stand in Hainan

Glenfiddich has further underlined the company’s commitment to China travel retail by introducing Lunar New Year pop-ups that will run until the end of March at CDF Mall in Haitang Bay, Sanya and until the end of February at the Hainan Tourism Investment Development Co/Lagardère Travel Retail store in Sanya.

Each experiential pop-up offers consumers the opportunity to taste the flagship Glenfiddich 18 Year Old and 21 Year Old, enjoy gift premiums with purchase and participate in a Chinese New Year draw with exciting prizes. The pop-ups bring Yang’s illustration to life while offering a contemporary take on the Chinese lantern.

“Despite the challenging year we had last year, we see green shoots emerging slowly but surely in the region. Being a family-owned company has afforded us the opportunity to invest ahead in the channel for the longer term,” said William Grant & Sons Regional Director of GTR – Asia Pacific & Middle East Matthew Williams.

This pop-up was a highlight of opening day at the new Hainan Tourism Investment Development Co/Lagardère Travel Retail downtown store in Sanya on 30 December

“Our investments in the channel reflect the continued confidence our executive board has and our commitment to our partners. There are great opportunities for our portfolio throughout Asia Pacific, and particularly in China for the Lunar New Year occasion, and we look forward to continuing to deliver exceptional consumer experiences with our valuable partners such as CDF Group and Lagardère, both in-store and online.”

To further amplify the pop-ups and drive awareness, Glenfiddich is collaborating with some of China’s leading Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) on WeChat and Weibo to showcase some of the exclusive products available and preview the promotions and experiences consumers can expect when they visit.

Participating KOLs include Feekr, 阿Sam 的午夜場 Moli, 劉子恒 and 扎堆在三亚. The KOL content is supplemented by a partnership with Da Zhong Dian Ping 大众点评, a top food and lifestyle review website in China, with over 30 KOLs creating content to amplify the reach and awareness to drive traffic to the pop-up space.

Click here for our online version of this story.

Glenfiddich lights up CDF Mall with this brilliantly coloured pop-up

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 291 | 9 February 2021

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