Beam Suntory and International Shoppes create memorable Bourbon Legends pop-up at JFK


In an effort to educate consumers and offer them an “unforgettable Bourbon experience,” Beam Suntory partnered with International Shoppes on an inter-active “Bourbon Legends” pop-up store at Terminal 5 at JFK International Airport in November.

For two weeks the pop-up store informed travelers about the entire bourbon category and invited them to experience, through sampling, Beam’s three key bourbon brands (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek), and educated them about the differences in the range.

“Our main goal was to provide a memorable experience to travelers who, often times, have to deal with a lot on their way to boarding. We wanted to appeal to both the bourbon expert and the novice and everyone in between. What we heard, pretty universally, was how wonderful the experience was, how intimate it felt and how incredible the liquid tasted.

“I think we turned quite a few people into fans and hopefully they continue on their journey to finding a favorite bourbon,” says Andrew Meeks, marketing manager, Global Travel Retail-Americas, Beam Suntory.


“The launch of Bourbon Legends in JFK was a tremendous success and proves that the bourbon category is still red hot! Working with a partner like International Shoppes was really key in pulling this all off, as we toiled tirelessly with them to align on product, promotion and placement,” added Meeks.

“Beam has built an innovative and inviting pop-up that has attracted a tremendous amount of energy and excitement in JetBlue’s JFK T5 concourse,” says Scott Halpern, International Shoppes Partner.


Interactive elements

Beam Suntory’s objective was to increase consumer awareness of its “Bourbon Legends” lineup, focusing on the nine products offered onsite: Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Maker’s Mark, Maker’s 46, Knob Creek, Knob Creek Smoked Maple, Booker’s, Baker’s, and Basil Hayden’s.

The temporary store featured interactive elements designed to create an emotional connection to the brands within the Beam Bourbon lineup.

One highlight was a 55” interactive touch-screen sampling bar with custom built software to display videos, tasting notes for specific products, and history-rich facts regarding Beam and bourbon.

Tablets attached to branded bourbon barrels and one at the bar allowed consumers to take a Bourbon Quiz that simultaneously age-gated, collected consumer contact and demographic info, and provided them with a series of questions to determine which tasting profiles they were most drawn to. At the completion of the survey, consumers were offered suggestions on one to three products from the bourbon lineup to sample based on their answers.

A 360 degree Virtual Reality “Jim Beam Devil’s Cut” experience allowed consumers to travel through Jim Beams Devil’s Cut barrels, giving the consumer the feeling that they were liquid moving through the Devil’s Cut barreling process.

Branded Bourbon barrel charging stations were placed within the display so travelers could re-charge their technology before or after a flight.


Qualitative Data

The qualitative data collected by Beam Suntory during the two weeks of the pop-up store prove the experience an absolute success, says Meeks.

Sales increased at the International Shoppes duty free store, with a 26% increase week over week on Beam products and a 50% sales increase on brands that had the highest sample participation.

There were more than 94,000 consumer brand impressions and 6,325 bourbon samples, an average of more than 450 per day.