SOUTH KOREA. The second Ballantine’s Golf Championship, held on the holiday island of Jeju on 23-26 April, proved to be a major success for brand owner Pernod Ricard/Chivas Brothers – particularly in travel retail, where a high-profile promotion* was conducted in Europe.
“We have been very pleased with the success of the Ballantine’s Players Lounge activity implemented in European travel retail these last six months,” said Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Europe Marketing Director John Smailes.
Click here to listen to the interactive message on the cover of the limited-edition version of Korean Air’s Sky Shop inflight sales magazine
“This concept has allowed us to tap into Ballantine’s sponsorship of this first-class tournament and provide some very impactful in-store animations that really resonate with our core consumer.”
South Korean national carrier Korean Air celebrated the event in inimitable fashion – producing a limited-edition version of its Sky Shop inflight sales magazine, featuring an image of a golf ball on a Ballantine’s Championship green on Jeju.
When the reader pushes the golf ball on the cover it plays the sound of a ball landing in the cup, followed by the roar of the crowd and the words “Welcome to the 2009 Ballantine’s Championship”. The standard edition of the magazine features the same image though not with the sound effects. [Each month Korean Air produces a quirky limited-edition cover -Ed].
Traveller Guy Hatton was the winner of the VIP trip to the tournament after playing the Ballantine’s Player’s Lounge interactive golf game in Johannesburg Airport in January. He commented: “In January, I was browsing through Johannesburg Airport duty free with a few hours to spare when I came across the Ballantine’s stand. A VIP trip to a major golf championship with Ballantine’s – who wouldn’t want to go? And playing the interactive golf game took just three minutes.
“Sophie [his wife] and I had a great time at the Ballantine’s Championship in Jeju. It was a first-class event with loads of top golf players. It’s not every day you get to rub shoulders with people like Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and Fred Couples – and then get a few tips from pros at a golf clinic. The good thing now is that for me a glass of Ballantine’s will always be a pleasant reminder of the trip,” he enthused.
As well as running in Johannesburg, the Ballantine’s Player’s Lounge promotion also featured in airports in Moscow and Colombo from October 2008 to March 2009. Around 100 travellers entered the competition.
*Background on the promotion
Travellers were offered samples of Ballantine’s super-premium 17yo, 21yo and 30yo, to encourage trade-up. The promotion aimed to target avid golfers and particularly Asian and Russian consumers, as well as to boost awareness of the global association between the brand and golf.
Ballantine’s is the leading super-premium whisky in travel retail, where it is also the number three scotch overall by volume. It is the number one-selling super-premium whisky in Asia, where South Korea is its main market.
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