Liquor supplier Diageo Global Travel and Middle East (GTME), duty-free operator Gebr Heinemann subsidiary Magyar Duty Free and Budapest airport have joined forces to deliver the airport’s first trinity activation in a Johnnie Walker promotion linked to the brand’s sponsorship of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team. The campaign focused on the Gold Label, Green Label and Black Label variants of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky and used Diageo’s ‘Winners always stay in control theme’.
During the promotional period, which ran from July 1 to August 5 to tie in with the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 1, any purchase from the participating range entitled the customer to an entry in a prize draw for a full-scale replica F1 steering wheel signed by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. A gift with purchase—a Johnnie Walker-branded trolley bag—was also given to customers who spent over €90 ($113.60).
The campaign included billboards on the airport approach routes, citylight posters and branding at strategic positions throughout Budapest airport terminal two, as well as “extensive in-store promotional displays and materials, including uniformed hostesses offering sampling”, according to Diageo.
Budapest airport director consumer Bob McFadyen said: “The Johnnie Walker promotion demonstrated an inspirational example of brand presence, providing a high degree of colour, vibrancy and excitement throughout T2 during this important travel period. We are now certainly open to the possibilities of similar activities in the future to create similarly inspiring and engaging activities for our passengers and driving revenues for our business partners.”
Magyar Duty Free managing director Fritz Janach added: “It is vital that travel-retail creates new attractions that are not only engaging and thrilling for the shopper but also deliver effective results by driving footfall and penetration—this F1-themed event certainly achieved those criteria superbly. Budapest airport, Diageo and Magyar Duty Free shared the intensive planning and preparation and it delivered some exceptional results…The careful scheduling of the activity to coincide with the peak of F1 interest in Hungary was combined with the strength of our relationship to create an exceptional experience and we increased Johnnie Walker sales by over 50% against the same period last year.”
Diageo GTME sales manager Máriusz Peres said: “This was a significant Johnnie Walker activation at Budapest airport, not only for the powerful expression of trinity-style partnership but also in bringing to medium-sized airports such as Budapest [which handles about 8m passengers a year] a format of activation that has previously been restricted to the world’s major airports. This project demonstrates that, through closer and smarter sharing of the ‘trinity-style’ approach, we can actually open up exciting new opportunities share greater returns.
“T2 is currently at the centre of a major development programme underway at the 60-year-old Budapest Ferihegy airport, including its demolition and replacement with SkyCourt, a new terminal building,” he continued. “SkyCourt will be the heart and soul of the new T2, with check-in areas expanded by 40%, and all passengers will pass through a central security area. The ground floor will host the retail offer while a mezzanine level will provide a large selection of restaurants, cafés and bars. The retail areas will be expanded by 40,000sq m [430,556sq ft], doubling the terminal’s current retail space. The project is scheduled for completion later this year.”