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Bowmore: Leap to Greatness

Bowmore: Leap to Greatness

Ushering in the Year of the Dragon, Leo Burnett Singapore and Beam Suntory present a new, special edition packaging for Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, featuring a determined carp and its story of transformation into a powerful dragon.

“For this Year of the Dragon limited edition packaging, we wanted to tell the story of Bowmore’s journey to greatness through a legend deeply embedded in Chinese culture. Bowmore is a Scottish brand that is less known in Asia. However, we see parallels between the Chinese legend and Bowmore’s history, where a shared lesson emerges: that greatness belongs to those who persevere,” said Sharim Gubbels, Leo Burnett Singapore’s Executive Creative Director. “The story of transformation is heightened by the pack mechanism itself which, when opened, reveals the majestic dragon at end of the journey, alongside Bowmore’s own triumphant creation: a single malt scotch perfected over centuries of refinement.”

With a rich legacy spanning over 240 years, Bowmore’s resilience and determination have been pivotal in shaping the distillery’s history. Even today, Bowmore remains dedicated to the art of handcrafted whisky, faithfully passing down the traditions, skills, and expertise forged in 1779 during the earliest days of Scotch whisky.

To capture this spirit of resilience, Leo Burnett Singapore found inspiration in an old Chinese proverb: “鲤鱼跳龙门” (The carp has leaped through the Dragon’s Gate).

The proverb tells of a humble carp’s journey to conquer the peak of a raging waterfall. Braving a turbulent journey, with waves cascading from above, the carp ultimately prevails in a final, triumphant leap at the peak, that miraculously transforms it into a majestic dragon – underscoring the enduring truth that only those who persevere can attain greatness.

Singaporean illustrator Kenn Lam captures the moment of the carp’s transformation into a triumphant dragon, revealed as the package glides open to reveal the Bowmore Single Malt nestled inside.

On the back of the box, an original spring couplet (a two-line poem traditionally written during Lunar New Year) tells the story of the carp and the dragon, written in hand-drawn, contemporary Chinese calligraphy.

The 2024 special edition packaging for the Lunar New Year features the Core 15-Year-Old bottle (available in Canada only), and an exclusive 18-Year-Old bottle (available exclusively in travel retail doors in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Macau, among others). The pack is currently available for purchase, leading up to the Lunar New Year.

The 2023 special edition packaging was recently awarded the Bronze award for illustration by World Brand Design Society, and earned itself a shortlist at New York Festivals® Advertising Awards, and several metals at other notable award shows.


  • Agency/Creative: Leo Burnett Singapore
  • Article Title: Bowmore: Leap to Greatness
  • Organisation/Entity: Agency
  • Project Type: Packaging
  • Project Status: Published
  • Agency/Creative Country: Singapore
  • Agency/Creative City: Singapore
  • Market Region: Asia
  • Project Deliverables: Graphic Design, Illustration, Packaging Design
  • Format: Box
  • Industry: Food/Beverage
  • Keywords: packaging, lunar new year

  • Credits:
    Executive Creative Director: Sharim Gubbels
    Creative Director: Wei Cong Chong
    Senior Art Director: Janath Gamage
    Senior Copywriter: Ravindu Wilegoda
    Junior Art Director/Calligrapher: Nicholas Leong
    Group Account Director: Adela Andrei
    Senior Account Manager: Syazwani Soenar
    Senior Planner: Teng Fon Wong
    Head of Print Production: Jackie Lim
    Print Manager: Joice Lee
    Senior Retoucher: Ricky Haryadi
    CGI Supervisor: Vojislav Milanovic
    Illustrator: Kenn Lam
    Design Director: Justin Jam
    3D Designer: Caecilia Halim
    Creative Services Manager: Callista Koh
    Photography: Teo Studio
    Pack Production: HH Global


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Implementation: Attention, detailing and finishing of final solution
Presentation: Text, visualisation and quality of the presentation