Appleton Rum JFK promotion

Image via Gruppo Campari Global Travel Retail

APEX Insight: Engaging prospective customers in interactive storytelling experiences around a brand makes them more likely to purchase its products, and Gruppo Campari Global Travel Retail is proving the airport is a great place to do so.

Alcohol brands love to indulge viewers in an extended narrative, and Gruppo Campari is no exception. Earlier this year, the company released a 13-minute long short film starring Clive Owen.

In line with this effort, Gruppo Campari Global Travel Retail (GTR) also likes to bring its brands to life. As part of its latest campaign, throughout November the company is showcasing Jamaican brand Appleton Estate Rum at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 5 using a large-scale interactive installation.

The experience sees passengers greeted by dedicated brand ambassadors who welcome them to a “cargo station” where they’re handed a brand-stamped “customs clearance form” that shares facts on the creation of Appleton Estate rums.

The form authorizes passengers to visit a specially created tasting bar, which is based on a typical Jamaican Cockpit Country bar (Cockpit Country is an area in Jamaica’s Trelawny and Saint Elizabeth parishes). Here, the passenger is treated to a guided tasting, as well as a freshly prepared signature cocktail, the Appleton Estate Jamaican Mule, prepared using Appleton Estate’s Signature Blend or its Rare Blend 12 Years along with squeezed lime wedges and ginger beer.

Since passengers are potentially strapped for time in the airport, the tasting has been designed to last just ten minutes, but of course, travelers have the chance to purchase Appleton Estate Rum at the end of the experience.

JFK isn’t the first airport to host the Appleton Estate Rum installation – it has also been rolled out in Sydney, Auckland, Jamaica and Cozumel. Nor is this the first global campaign of its kind engineered by Gruppo Campari GTR. In the past, the company has engineered similar installations for Wild Turkey Bourbon, Bulldog London Dry Gin and Aperol.

“Campaigns like this … are successfully proven to drive conversion.” – Charles Roullet, Gruppo Campari

“Campaigns like this – where passengers are able to learn more about the brand’s provenance as well as tasting a hand-crafted cocktail – are successfully proven to drive conversion, hence the roll-out of the campaign in key airport locations,” explained Charles Roullet, Gruppo Campari Global Travel Retail’s marketing director. Roullet added that an interactive experience is further enhanced if unique products or age statements (how old the alcohol is) are only available in airports, something Gruppo Campari GTR did with Glen Grant Scotch whisky earlier this year.

According to Gruppo Campari’s financial results for the first nine months of 2017, which showed a 1.5% year-over-year increase in the Global Travel Retail division’s net sales, this strategy seems to be working.