February 16 2021  |  Industry News

Glenfiddich celebrates Lunar NY with limited-edition design & pop-ups

By Laura Shirk

The world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky unveils a special-edition gift pack, designed by acclaimed Chinese artist Rlon Wang, and two experiential Chinese New Year travel retail pop-ups in Sanya, Hainan

Glenfiddich, of family-owned distiller and distributor William Grant & Sons, has released a special limited-edition Chinese New Year 18-Year-Old in an imaginative gift pack designed by up-and-coming Chinese illustrator, Rlon Wang. Further emphasizing the brand’s commitment to the travel retail market in China, Glenfiddich has also introduced two experiential travel retail pop-ups at Lagardère Duty Free in Sanya, Hainan, and China Duty Free Mall to celebrate the occasion.

Following 2020’s much-loved illustrated pack design for Lunar New Year, Glenfiddich has again partnered with Rlon Wang, Shenzhen-based artist, to produce a special limited-edition offering. With last year’s edition exploring the magic of the royal stag icon and re-imagining the journey made over a century ago by Charles Gordon (son-in-law of William Grant, Glenfiddich founder), 2021’s offering focuses on the inimitable feeling of reuniting at home with family and friends. It’s said to be an apt sentiment for Lunar New Year, a festive period that traditionally inspires the largest global annual human migration.

The stories inspiring the design all start with Gordon, who famously left Speyside with little more than a few cases of whisky and a dream to bring the “Valley of the Deer” to the world. The grandeur of the Glenfiddich stag in this year’s artwork once again conveys the spirit of the famous oil painting, The Monarch of the Glen, and is at the centrepiece of a frenzy of exquisite depictions. From dancing lions to barrel-carrying balloons, Rlon’s illustrative style brings plenty of hidden gems to spot each time you pick up the pack. Scottish and Asian elements combine wonderfully in a warming evocation of 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. 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,” says Wang.

As a former student of traditional Chinese painting, with a distinctly contemporary style, Wang was the perfect artist to tell this story. His colourful, multi-layered illustration is inspired by not only personal memories of family gatherings at Lunar New Year, but also the symbolic meaning of the deer in Chinese folk tales, where the animal often represents long life and good fortune.

The limited-edition design appears on the Glenfiddich 18-Year-Old pack, a rich, intriguingly fruity and robust oak expression matured in Spanish Oloroso wood and American oak by Brian Kinsman, Malt Master. Every batch is individually numbered and carefully watched over; each has extraordinary consistency and character from an intense marrying period and a warming, distinguished finish. An exceptional single malt, this whisky is the distinguished result of 18 years of care and attention and whisky-making craft and knowledge passed down through generations.

Collaborating with some of China’s leading KOLs on WeChat & Weibo, the brand has introduced a pair of Chinese New Year limited-run pop-ups that offer travelers the opportunity taste the flagship Glenfiddich 18-YO and 21-YO

Glenfiddich has also introduced Chinese New Year pop-ups that will run until the end of February at Lagardère Duty Free in Sanya, Hainan, and until March at China Duty Free Mall.

Each experiential limited-run pop-up offers consumers the opportunity to taste the flagship Glenfiddich 18-Year-Old and 21-Year-Old, receive gift premiums with purchase and participate in a Chinese New Year draw with exciting prizes. Part of Glenfiddich’s commitment to support travel retail partners, these pop-ups were designed to not only bring Rlon’s beautiful illustration to life, but also offer a contemporary take on the Chinese lantern, bringing this Spring festival to life and inspiring our clients to bring a gift worth bringing home.

“Despite the challenging year of 2020, we see green shoots emerging slowly, but surely in the region, and being a family-owned company has afforded us the opportunity to invest ahead in the channel for the longer term. 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, particularly in China for the Lunar New Year occasion. 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,” says Matthew Williams, Regional Director of GTR – Asia Pacific & Middle East for William Grant & Sons.

To drive awareness of the pop-ups, Glenfiddich is collaborating with some of China’s leading KOLs on WeChat and Weibo to showcase some of the exclusive products available and a little sneak peak of the promotions and experience 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 Key Opinion Consumers creating content to amplify the reach and awareness to boost traffic at the pop-up space.

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