Italian spirits company, Campari Group takes flight with a unique virtual exhibition stand experience to wow the travel retail industry.
Campari Group, in partnership with connected experience agency SharpEnd, disrupted the global travel retail industry with a radical approach to delivering a virtual brand experience as part of The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020.
The inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo ran as a replacement for the cancellation of the leading annual travel retail conference. It ran online from 12-16 October, 2020 and brought together over 4,000 retailers and brand owners across categories such as Wine & Spirits, Confectionary and Beauty & Fashion.
By considering how brand activation can change when moving from a physical environment to a digital one, SharpEnd collaborated with Campari Group to come up with a fully immersive, 360-degree virtual experience that would transport attendees around the world to discover the homes of three iconic brands.
Part of the activation’s priority would be Aperol – a global phenomenon and the fastest growing spirit brand in the travel retail channel over the past five years.
Campari Group is also accelerating investment in brown spirits with The Glen Grant premium aged single malt scotch, and is bringing something new to the American whiskey category with its Wild Turkey premium progressive bourbon range.
A solution was therefore needed so that visitors could discover these brown spirits, as well as engage with Aperol, and for the activation to showcase brand priorities in a relevant, yet disruptive way to excite retailers.
Instead of a conventional booth, the creative solution was to land a virtual private jet in the middle of the exhibition hall and invite every show visitor to enjoy a pre-flight cocktail in the Campari Group Departures Lounge, before embarking on a round-the-world brand experience with flights to Venice, Kentucky and Speyside to discover the three spirit brands individually.
A SharpEnd team, led by creative technologists and 3D, UI & UX designers, set about developing the experience, whilst Campari Group secured a ‘Gold Package’ stand, located right in the middle of the virtual exhibition hall – providing a large footprint for maximum impact.
On boarding the private jet, visitors selected a drink that corresponded with their choice of destination before ‘fastening seatbelts’ and being transported to Venice, Italy, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky or Speyside, Scotland to visit the homes of Aperol, Wild Turkey, and The Glen Grant.
After exploring each 360-degree environment, complete with interactive touch-points delving deeper into each brand, visitors had their virtual passport stamped and could either travel on to the next destination or return to the lounge and speak with a brand representative.
There was even a live cocktail-making masterclass, hosted by global brand ambassador, Davide Fornasiero, which was then available to view on-demand.
By being warm, welcoming and open to all retailers, the Fly Campari Group Virtual Brand Experience matched the brand’s values and delivered key information in ‘the Campari way’ – through a blend of business professional and friendly engagement.
The 3D environments were delivered through an interactive web page, accessible to trade show participants across all browsers.
Hosting this environment on SharpEnd’s infrastructure and integration with its io.tt platform provided real-time analytics.
Effectiveness & Results
The Fly Campari Group experience was the number one most visited stand at The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020, across all exhibitor categories.
The average number of visits per competitor stand totalled 1,530, whereas Fly Campari Group received 2,257 visits (47% higher than the average) – with an average dwell time of three minutes and 10 seconds.
45% of visitors returned to enjoy the Fly Campari Group experience more than once.
“No-one expected us to decide against a traditional exhibition stand, let alone replace it with a virtual private jet experience and whisk customers away to three different brand destinations,” Campari Group Global Travel Retail marketing director, Biancamaria Sansone says. “The impact was staggering and with the technical expertise of SharpEnd onboard, we were able to demonstrate new innovative ways to connect with a more digitally aware customer base whilst maintaining true brand tone of voice.”
Campari Group global brand manager, Jennifer Smith says: “The team at SharpEnd were fantastic from initial concept through to superb execution and technical support. They helped us to reimagine the trade fair experience with a virtual brand activation that wowed our target audience.”
SharpEnd founder and CEO, Cameron Worth, concludes: “In times of change, it paves the way for new creativity. We were trusted by an amazing client to deliver something truly memorable and I’m very proud our solutions delivered so much success to Campari Group. As more events go online, we hope that our approach will be adopted as an industry standard to make things more interactive and insightful.”