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This has to rank as one of the best collaborative initiatives between a brand and a travel retailer in years.
Brown-Forman Duty Free/Travel Retail has chosen an uniquely artistic way to mark the 50th anniversary of its long-time close partner DFS.
The Brown-Forman team asked artists from around the world to turn barrels in which Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey had been aged into pieces of art. The completed barrel art is on display at DFS stores in seven airports – Auckland, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York JFK.
But it’s not just an artistic and celebratory project. There’s also a fantastic Corporate Social Responsibility angle.
Brown-Forman Travel Retail Managing Director Jim Perry takes up the story: “DFS was a key player in our recent Jack Daniel’s ‘Buy the Barrel’ programme so we decided to commission a number of up-and-coming artists to take Jack Daniel’s barrels purchased by DFS and turn them into pieces of art. DFS will eventually auction the barrels on their website (www.dfs50.com/jackdaniels) with the money raised going to their special charity Hand in Hand for Haiti (www.HandinHandforHaiti.com).
He added: “From the outset the DFS charity efforts on behalf of Haiti appealed to Brown-Forman Duty Free. The Caribbean is and has been very important to us and we do a lot of business there. So when an island in that region gets hurt by a natural disaster, we want to assist as best we can.”
Which is exactly what the company has done. The proceeds of each barrel and its contents of 240 750ml Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel bottles will be devoted to travel retail’s biggest-ever collective charity effort. The participating artists were chosen by a panel of art aficionados who will also select the top barrel in the collection. The winning artist will be the guest of Brown-Forman at the 2011 London Art Fair.
Bravo to Jim (and to Jack) and to DFS. It’s what we call industry collaboration with a conscience.