SINGAPORE. To celebrate Chinese New Year, Moët Hennessy has partnered with DFS Group and Changi Airport Group in a travel retail-exclusive pop-up at Singapore Changi Airport.

The pop-up, which runs until 19 February at the Terminal 3 Departure Hall, is said to be the only one of its kind globally. It features interactive consumer experiences that can only be found at Changi Airport.

World exclusive: Hennessy’s Changi pop-up is set to be the only one of its kind globally.

Travellers are invited to take part in digital games and taste a Hennessy cocktail, named Firecracker, created especially for the pop-up. Limited-edition offers and exclusive GWPs are also available.

For the first time in travel retail, Hennessy is offering a bottle-engraving service, giving customers the chance to personalise their purchases.

Travellers can receive Chinese New Year blessings via a digital game, and share them with friends and family over e-mail or on social media with personalised messages.

A special Hennessy cocktail, the Firecracker, will be served throughout the festive season.

Customers who purchase Hennessy can personalise their bottles at the bottle-engraving station, marking the first time Hennessy is offering this service in travel retail.

For Chinese New Year, Hennessy has collaborated with contemporary artist Guang-Yu Zhang to create an art piece to mark the festivities. Born and raised in Shanghai and a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins College, Zhang draws inspiration from both eastern and western cultures in his work, using a mix of traditional painting and digital media.

The artwork, named ‘A Joyous Reunion’, incorporates the zodiac symbol of the boar and two concentric circles, an artistic representation of Hennessy’s double distillation process. The Cognac house is further depicted by handcrafted oak barrels, grapes and a copper pot still; these are complemented by auspicious motifs such as the crane, goldfish and red lantern.

The design features on limited-edition packaging for Hennessy XO, Hennessy VSOP and James Hennessy, and is also used throughout the Changi pop-up.

“Hennessy shares the dream of harmony; from vine to grape to distillation to glass, from nature to people, Hennessy takes the best of nature and offers it to the Chinese to celebrate this special moment,” Zhang said.

‘A Joyous Reunion’ by Guang-Yu Zhang is featured on Hennessy’s limited-edition Chinese New Year packaging for Hennessy XO, Hennessy VSOP and James Hennessy.

The emerging artist was present at the grand opening* of the pop-up on 14 January, along with representatives of Moët Hennessy, DFS Group, Changi Airport Group and media, including The Moodie Davitt Report.

Speaking at the ceremony, Zhang revealed that this was his first time working with a commercial brand, and that he was “really proud and happy” about the collaboration. To mark the occasion, he presented a made-for-Singapore edition of ‘A Joyous Reunion’ featuring the five stars and colours of Singapore’s national flag, as well as the iconic Merlion.

Ringing in the new: The ribbon-cutting was officiated by (from left to right) DFS Singapore General Manager Prashant Mahboobani; DFS Group Senior Vice President Spirits, Wines, Tobacco, Food and Gifts Brooke Supernaw; artist Guang-Yu Zhang; Moët Hennessy Managing Director, Travel Retail Asia Pacific Vanessa Widmann; Changi Airport Group Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions Teo Chew Hoon; and Changi Airport Group General Manager of Advertising, Marketing and Promotions Edwin Lim.

Moët Hennessy Managing Director Travel Retail Asia Pacific Vanessa Widmann commented: “This partnership with DFS and Changi Airport Group gives us yet another opportunity to bring unique experiences to travellers at Changi Airport. We at Hennessy are also honoured to have collaborated with a world-class artist to deliver these beautiful, one-of-a-kind Chinese New Year limited editions for travellers. Hennessy is famed for its savoir-faire, and these designs truly capture this element of the brand and bring it to life.”

DFS Group Senior Vice President Spirits, Wines, Tobacco, Food and Gifts Brooke Supernaw said: “Marking Lunar New Year, an important time of celebration for our customers, DFS is proud to partner with Hennessy in showcasing the height of sophistication over the festive season. We strive to push the boundaries in cultivating interactive experiences whilst creating products that make our experiences memorable.”

Changi Airport Group Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions Teo Chew Hoon added: “We are excited to partner with Hennessy to offer travellers at Changi Airport unique and world-first experiences at this one-of-a-kind pop-up this festive season. Passengers will be able to enjoy a range of activities from interactive games to personalisation services.”

A celebration of savoir-faire, nature and a spirit of conquest

Speaking to The Moodie Davitt Report, Moët Hennessy Managing Director Travel Retail Asia Pacific Vanessa Widmann said the collaboration with Zhang was “a way to blend traditional and modern themes” for the Chinese New Year”.

Moët Hennessy Managing Director, Travel Retail Asia Pacific Vanessa Widmann.

“Hennessy is known for artist collaborations and we are excited to bring to life Guang-Yu Zhang’s work at the pop-up, showcasing Hennessy’s master of savoir-faire, love for nature and pioneering spirit of conquest. The design at the heart of the pop-up celebrates these key themes and values.”

The idea was to create “a unique and engaging experience for travellers during this special, festive time of year”, she said.

“The pop-up allows us to engage in a different and unique way with our consumers, to create an immersive shopping experience, to share our brand’s savoir-faire, to build awareness and brand image, and to educate consumers on new ways of enjoying our products.”

The pop-up concept is exclusive to Changi Airport so will not be rolling out anywhere else in travel retail. The products featuring the limited-edition Chinese New Year packaging will be available globally.

“Singapore is a strategic market for Moët Hennessy given the diverse consumer profile in the domestic market and the people travelling through the airport. Changi is the leading travel hub in the region and offers a qualitative retail environment that plays well with our brand efforts to build desirability,” Widmann noted.

“Changi is one of our top airports globally and our portfolio of brands here, ranging from Cognac to single malt to Champagne and wines, allows us to reach a diverse traveller profile. Our consumer mix here varies significantly by brand, with the Chinese being the largest nationality as a percentage of our overall sales.”

The auspicious design of the Chinese New Year celebrates “Hennessy’s savoir-faire, love for nature and pioneering spirit of conquest”, according to Moët Hennessy.

Widmann underlined the importance of the partnership with DFS Group and Changi Airport Group in delivering the worldwide exclusive concept: “We are thankful for the continued support from Changi Airport and DFS. The Trinity partnership is something that is very important to Moët Hennessy. This close collaboration is based on a common goal to craft new travel retail experiences and offer uniqueness to the Changi traveller, and we are always looking at ways to engage the consumer differently to move from a transactional to an experiential relationship.

“The consumers are in a different state of mind when they travel and they are more willing to experiment. It is upon us – the airport, the operator and the brand – to deliver an experience, emphasising the sensory and human touches that a physical store can offer and an online competitor cannot.”

Moët Hennessy’s partnerships with airport authorities and retailers were a key driver behind its strong performance in 2018, Widmann revealed, alongside “a robust brand delivery” from its teams in the key airports where it is present. One of the key main highlights of last year was the opening of the House of Hennessy at Hong Kong International Airport, which is delivering “amazing results”, she added.

Commenting on her aspirations for the business in 2019, Widmann said: “What we want to achieve, together with our retailer partners and airport authorities, is to transform and to elevate the travellers’ journeys into memorable experiences. As the leader of the premium wine and spirits category, it is our role to lead with innovation and show the way.”

*Footnote: The Moodie Davitt Report provided on-location coverage of the launch of Hennessy’s Chinese New Year pop-up at Changi via Instagram Stories – check out the ‘HennesyCNY2019’ Story Highlight on our Instagram profile at this link.