Content360 2023
Beam Suntory launches special edition whisky in honour of Chinese New Year

Beam Suntory launches special edition whisky in honour of Chinese New Year

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Beam Suntory, in partnership with Leo Burnett Singapore, has released a special edition whisky in anticipation of the incoming Lunar New Year. The Bowmore Islay single malt scotch whisky features a stunning new packaging which showcases the illustration of the Bowmore distillery, history and traditional Chinese elements. 

The alcoholic beverage is being marketed to the public through different mediums, ranging from an increased retail dress-up at travel retail outlets across Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. It will also be featured on digital screens at Singapore’s Changi Airport departure terminal. Social assets will also go live on a global scale while digital ang baos for the China market will be released via WeChat. 

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The illustration of the packaging, created with Singaporean illustrator Erika Tay Qi Yin, incorporates elements that define Bowmore whisky such as the distillery sitting atop waves, the barley, casks and smoke. The illustrations appear to burst out of the keyhole to symbolise a gateway into the history and legend that awaits within the Bowmore world. The design also features the dynamism and elegance of the water rabbit, this year’s zodiac animal, with the style taking inspiration from the traditional brushstrokes of Chinese paintings which focus on flow and fluidity, according to the release.

As this bottle is intended to be gifted, the company aimed at creating an exquisite and authentic packaging for the Chinese New Year festivities. To do so, Beam Suntory partnered with Tay because she is known for her intricate level of detail, fluidity in her illustrations and a style that is heavily inspired by Chinese folklore. 

“As a Scottish brand that’s lesser known in Asia, this packaging concept allows the Asian region to gain the familiarity of Bowmore with the water rabbit as a guide. We drew inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, where following the white rabbit leads you through a portal to discover an extraordinary new world,” said Sharim Gubbels, Leo Burnett Singapore’s executive creative director.

In a similar manner, Leo Burnett used the keyhole from the iconic Bowmore vault padlock as the gateway into the rich and mesmerising universe of Bowmore, added Gubbels.

The 2023 special edition packaging for the Chinese New Year range features the core 12-year-old bottle, the 12-year-old Sherry bottle and an exclusive global travel retail 18-year-old bottle. It will be on sale during the month of January leading up to Chinese New Year. 

The news comes just months after Beam Suntory extended its partnership with global digital media agency M&C Saatchi Performance until 2024 after working together for a year. The company had previously appointed M&C Saatchi Performance to handle digital duties until April 2022 for key countries in Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Cambodia.

The extension of this partnership will continue to see M&C Saatchi Performance to handling digital media planning, buying and strategy across Beam Suntory brands comprising of Jim Beam, Auchentoshan, Roku, Strong Zero and more for these key countries. This was also announced after the launch of Sui, Beam Suntory’s latest gin brand, in Southeast Asia. It was first launched in Japan in 2020.

Related articles: 
Leo Burnett makes slew of hires as it strengthens Singapore office
Beam Suntory extends digital partnership with M&C Saatchi Performance
Beam Suntory toasts to new digital agency partnership spanning 6 SEA markets

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