June 20 2024  |  Industry News

The House of Suntory and Dubai Duty Free partner in Yamazaki and Hakushu Kogei Collection activation

By Hibah Noor

The House of Suntory introduces the 2024 Japanese Kimono Edition

The House of Suntory – the Founding House of Japanese Whisky – has partnered with Dubai Duty Free to create the world-first airport activation to promote the launch of the new and inaugural global travel retail exclusive Yamazaki and Hakushu Kogei Collection (2024 Japanese Kimono Edition).

The high-profile outpost installation is located in Dubai International Terminal 1 Departures from June 1-30. The activation covers 38 square meters, and is sited in the center of concourse D. It will be followed in July by other hero airport pop-up animations in Singapore Changi and London Heathrow.

The word ‘Kogei’ can be translated as ‘traditional Japanese craftmanship’. This new whisky collection explores the traditional crafts of Japan through selected artisan partnerships, with the aim of encapsulating Japanese artistry. The debut 2024 Japanese Kimono Edition was created in collaboration with Chiso, Kyoto’s preeminent Kimono House, who have been crafting the finest Japanese kimonos since 1555.

The centerpiece of the activation is an eye-catching oversized silhouette of the Kogei bottle, complete with decorative kimono swirls

The 2024 Kogei Collection, introduced in April, comprises the Yamazaki Peated Malt Spanish Oak and the Hakushu Peated Malt Spanish Oak. The packaging of this debut release, which will be refreshed every two years, features intricate designs based on actual Chiso kimonos that draw inspiration from the stunning natural surroundings of both distilleries.

An immersive brand experience

Inspired by the artful partnership with the Chiso Kimono House, the Dubai International hero activation embodies the House of Suntory’s signature aesthetic. It spotlights the two exceptional whiskies that make up the 2024 Kogei Collection, while also showcasing the House of Suntory’s full portfolio of premium Japanese craft spirits, including Suntory’s Roku Japanese Craft Gin and Toki Blended Whisky.

The structure of the Dubai outpost is light, airy and open, and incorporates tactile natural materials. A cinemograph visual of the Chiso House’s kimono pattern is projected continuously onto the activation’s canopy, to attract attention and footfall from across the terminal.

On entry to the pop-up, shoppers are welcomed by an eye-catching oversized silhouette of the Kogei bottle, complete with decorative kimono swirls. At this station passengers are invited to learn more about the partnership with the Chiso Kimono House, through a short, informative video. The next station is dedicated to explaining the House of Suntory’s unique art of ‘Tsukuriwake’, which translates as ‘artisanship through a diversity of making’. A different video explains the variables (such as ingredients, water and climate) that allow Suntory to create such a complex and diverse portfolio of whiskies at its single malt distilleries. The third and fourth discovery stations are designed to allow passengers to explore the uniqueness of each distillery, and the exquisite taste profiles of the two whiskies that make up The Kogei Collection Japanese Kimono Edition.

The House of Suntory activation spotlights the travel exclusive expressions' outstanding flavors and notes

Master blender Shinji Fukuyo used peated malt and maturation in Spanish oak casks to produce a colorful spice character with gentle smoky notes. Shoppers can experience these through nosing elements and sampling opportunities. Other premium spirits will also be available to taste, thereby building greater awareness of the wider Suntory portfolio.

The final key element of the airport activation is The Art of Japanese Gifting station, where travelers can enjoy an exclusive gift-wrapping service featuring beautiful paper bag packaging, tagged with special washi Kanji logo branded charms, and finished with personalized gift cards. To further elevate the shopping experience, travelers who purchase a bottle of Yamazaki, Hakushu or Hibiki whisky will receive a miniature GWP bottle pin.

“I’m delighted to collaborate with Dubai Duty Free to celebrate this very special whisky collection,” said Ashish Gandham, Suntory Global Spirits Managing Director Global Travel Retail. “Global travel retail is the only market selected to carry exclusive Yamazaki and Hakushu expressions, and I’m confident this Kogei Collection (2024 Japanese Kimono Edition) will appeal strongly to Dubai International’s discerning clientele.

“Premium exclusives and limited editions like this allow us to really showcase our creativity and craftmanship. This flagship activation provides the perfect platform to communicate how these exceptional whiskies combine both innovation and tradition, as we continue to blaze a trail within the world of single malt Japanese whisky.”

Sharon Beecham, Senior Vice President - Purchasing of Dubai Duty Free, added, “We are delighted to be the first airport retailer to have the high-profile airport activation to support the launch of this special Japanese whisky collection - Yamazaki and Hakushu Kogei. Suntory Global Spirts and Dubai Duty Free have been building strong partnerships to continuously work on bringing premium and luxury products to our customers. We are confident that this new collection will be a big hit for our customers, especially the whisky lover or collector.”

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