Bluemarlin – Ballantine’s Seoul Limited Edition 17YO Blend
Brief and Market: The 17YO Seoul Limited Edition from prestigious Scotch whisky brand Ballantine’s, was lovingly created by Ballantine’s Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, specifically for the Korean Duty Free market. With signature honeyed sweetness and vanilla flavours that contrast with a layer of fresh, effervescent citrus and subtle spice, the Seoul Limited Edition is described as an elegant and delicate expression, and offers a fresh perspective of the blend.
Exclusive to travel retail stores in Korea, this special brand offering combines the vibrant, urban energy of Seoul with the traditional, whisky craftsmanship of Scotland. It was our role to bring these juxtapositions of ‘traditional craft and modern vibrancy’, ‘East and West’, ‘rural and urban’, and ‘vibrancy and depth’, to life through the packaging design.
Approach: Our starting point was getting under the skin of what ‘traditional craft and modern vibrancy’, ‘East and West’, ‘rural and urban’, and ‘vibrancy and depth’ meant to this limited-edition whisky. While looking into what makes Seoul vibrant and special, we came across emerging artist Jieun Park. She describes her work as an ‘interplay of opposite attractions, a virulent process of construction and reconstruction, light and dark, fiction and non-fiction’.
As a native Korean working with these juxtapositions, there was no better collaboration than the up-and-coming artist to create something truly unique and authentic for the brand and market.
Brand expression: Using Seoul as the stimulus, we commissioned Jieun Park to inspire a box and bottle design that celebrates the sprawling Korean metropolis, while also honouring Ballantine’s superior quality and commitment to craft.
Park personifies the modern and vibrant image that Ballantine’s intended to convey, and she has brought the energy of the city to life with broad, sweeping, calligraphy-like strokes combined with intricate and meticulous painting to represent Seoul’s landscape. Reflecting her love for travel, the work captures Jieun’s visceral responses to the environment and tells a captivating story of wonder and discovery.
Impact: The collaboration with a critically-acclaimed, up-and-coming artist has brought another layer of credibility and kudos to the whisky – one that is truly authentic and celebrates the very best of Seoul. It has resulted in a truly breath-taking design that has captivated and enchanted consumers, leaving them with a beautiful interpretation of this vibrant city.
Matthieu Wattel, International Marketing Director at Ballantine’s says, “Ballantine’s Seoul Limited Edition 17YO is a delicious blend that provides whisky connoisseurs with a moment to pause, reflect and contemplate life’s beauty. In balancing Eastern and Western values, celebrating Korean culture and Scottish tradition, and blending art creation with whisky craftsmanship, the design has appealed to consumers looking for something truly special, unique and coveted.”