May 31 2024  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Campari Group GTR on unlocking the social power of Aperol and curating cultural experiences

By Laura Shirk

According to Biancamaria Sansone at Campari Group, the perfect aperitivo moment is defined by its mood and shared experiences, as well as the diverse cocktail selection from the group’s portfolio, including the iconic Aperol Spritz

Describing the aperitivo moment as not only a ritual, but one that is deeply embedded into the Italian lifestyle, Biancamaria Sansone, Marketing & CCM Director Global Travel Retail at Campari Group, says the perfect aperitivo is defined by its mood and shared experiences, as well as the diverse cocktail selection from the group’s portfolio, including the iconic Aperol Spritz. In true Italian spirit, it also includes good food and a beautiful backdrop.

With a focus on Campari Group’s aperitivo portfolio, curation of authentic cultural experiences and new activation discoveries, we speak with Sansone about the group’s ongoing commitment to redefining travel retail by delivering experiences that not only captivate, but also educate and inspire travelers worldwide. She shares looking forward, the aim is to make every journey with Campari Group Global Travel Retail (GTR) a landmark moment in its consumers’ travel stories.

Global Travel Retail Magazine (GTR Magazine): How does Campari Group GTR successfully balance the local integration of the global aperitivo trend when it comes to its portfolio?

Biancamaria Sansone (Sansone): At Campari Group GTR, we are passionate about bringing this vibrant tradition to every corner of the globe through travel retail, and we see significant growth opportunities across Asia Pacific. Our portfolio showcases diverse heritage, with each brand bearing unique stories and rituals, curated to cater to a variety of tastes and occasions. From the refreshing allure of Aperol to the sophisticated depth of Campari, which stars in iconic classics like the Negroni and Americano, we have a range that satisfies different palates.

As a group, we focus on brand distinction and varied taste profiles so that consumers can appreciate our aperitifs and liqueurs and enjoy them responsibly in their own way. The result is a global appreciation for social moments of conviviality and our authentic serves, such as the Aperol Spritz or Negroni, that remain locally relevant – whether travelers are in Sydney, Australia, or Singapore.

Campari Group's shop-in-shop at Melbourne Airport; strategically placing Aperol at the heart of culturally relevant events is a cornerstone of the group's approach to deepen consumer engagement globally

GTR Magazine: In collaboration with Lotte Duty Free, Campari Group’s experiential shop-in-shop at Melbourne International Airport celebrated the renewal of Aperol’s partnership with the Australian Open earlier this year. Elaborate on the synergy that exists between Aperol, the sport of tennis and the aperitivo moment.

Sansone: The collaboration between Aperol and the Australian Open at Melbourne Airport, through our vibrant shop-in-shop with Lotte Duty Free, represents the joyful union of Aperol, tennis, and the cherished aperitivo moment. This partnership highlights the perfect alignment of shared values: enjoyment, socialization, and the golden hour – when friends gather to enjoy the day’s last moments of sunlight with an Aperol Spritz in hand.

Strategically placing Aperol at the heart of culturally relevant events like the Australian Open is a cornerstone of our approach to amplify brand visibility and deepen consumer engagement globally. In global travel retail, especially, we are not just selling a drink; we are curating authentic cultural experiences that forge an emotional connection with our consumers. Each interaction is crafted to resonate, entertain, and inspire, reinforcing Aperol's role in celebratory moments.

Our goal is to continue innovating and embracing such dynamic partnerships that not only elevate the consumer experience, but also drive meaningful growth for Aperol in the channel.

GTR Magazine: Featuring vibrant hues, digital immersion and a multi-sensorial experience, the shop-in-shop innovatively attracted visitors. What takeaways did you discover to apply to future projects in travel retail?

Sansone: The launch of our vibrant shop-in-shop at Melbourne Airport marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in how Campari Group GTR engages with travelers as we aim to make their journeys more dynamic and memorable. Our approach centers on the 'liquid to lips' experiences, where visitors not only taste, but also learn about the Aperol Spritz – its origins, distinctive features, and the art of crafting the perfect serve during the aperitivo. This educational aspect, combined with engaging digital and sensory touchpoints, deepens the consumer's connection to our brand, enhancing their overall experience.

One key takeaway from the pop-up is the critical role of authentic and engaging content that resonates with today’s leisure travelers, who seek memorable experiences during their journeys. We are now more committed than ever to integrating omnichannel campaigns that are as dynamic and interconnected as the travelers we serve.

The social power of Aperol extends beyond just gathering people; it fosters a shared sense of community and celebration across diverse cultures and geographies

GTR Magazine: Key factors such as trust, creative collaboration, and the ability to be regionally sensitive are said to make a successful partnership. Explain how teaming up with brands, ambassadors and retailers help to “unlock the social power of aperitivo.”

Sansone: Collaboration, synergy, and a keen sensitivity to regional nuances are key to our success, particularly within global travel retail. Our partnership strategy is built on a robust omnichannel approach, seamlessly connecting our global brand with local markets to create culturally relevant experiences. This synergy, which extends from global campaigns to local initiatives, ensures that the essence of the Aperol spirit – joyful, social, and vibrant – is consistently conveyed and adapted to meet regional preferences.

A critical component of our strategy is forging win-win collaborations with retailers and domestic markets. These partnerships are designed to maximize value and entertainment for all stakeholders involved, making exceptional aperitivo experiences accessible worldwide, even in travel retail environments. Through these collaborations, we create a virtuous cycle of engagement where every participant benefits – from our brand to our partners, and most importantly, to our consumers.

Our brand ambassadors also play an instrumental role in this dynamic. They are the passionate voices of our brands, bringing the authentic charm of Aperol directly to travelers and helping to transform interest into sales.

The social power of Aperol extends beyond just gathering people; it fosters a shared sense of community and celebration across diverse cultures and geographies. We infuse this inclusive spirit into every project, culminating in celebrations that not only honor our partnerships, but also enhance the consumer experience.

Ultimately, by embracing these principles, we not only unlock the social power of aperitivo, but also continue to innovate and lead in the global travel retail space, ensuring that every interaction with our brand is memorable, engaging, and distinctly Aperol.

GTR Magazine: Looking ahead, what is the next step to achieve growth for the group’s aperitivo portfolio, specifically in the APAC GTR region?

Sansone: As we look to the future, global travel retail will play an important role in accelerating growth in APAC, and Aperol will represent one of the pivotal brands in our broader portfolio. Aperol Spritz has already transformed duty free shopping experiences across APAC, attracting a new demographic of travelers drawn to its vibrant appeal and the promise of creating memorable social moments.

We recently launched a GTR omnichannel travel journey campaign targeting leisure travelers in key summer destinations like Singapore and Bali. This campaign synergized with domestic activations and included digital and physical touchpoints that allowed travelers to interact with Aperol from the planning stages of their trip through to their holiday experiences. This integration ensures that Aperol is not just a drink but a part of the traveler’s entire journey, enhancing brand visibility and engagement.

In partnership with key customers like Avolta and Lotte, we have employed a robust digital campaign, complemented by on-the-ground activations such as OOH advertising, liquid-to-lips tasting stations, and personalized gifting options. These initiatives are underpinned by our ongoing collaboration with JetStar Asia, which extends the Aperol holiday mood onboard, ensuring that our brand remains top of mind even in the skies.

As travel rebounds and the economic landscape in APAC continues to evolve, the opportunity for Aperol to cement its place as a key player in the spirits category is immense. Our strategy is not just about selling a product; it's about embedding Aperol into the cultural fabric of travel and leisure, creating moments that travelers will want to recreate time and again. The future for Aperol in APAC GTR is not just promising – it is vibrant and exciting, much like the brand itself.

***A note to please enjoy responsibly

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