Sailor Jerry rum has held a tattoo demonstration in Auckland International Airport, thought to be a world-first.

At Duty Free Hunter we love it when a brand and a retailer add some theatre to their travel retail efforts. When passengers have a bit of time to spare why not lay on a show and give the consumers a chance to learn about a product and understand its story. At Auckland Airport last week, The Loop Duty Free and Rum brand Sailor Jerry really went for it with the live tattooing of some brave chap’s leg by highly talented tattoo artist, Craig Lee.

Located in the departure lounge of Auckland’s International airport, passengers were invited to experience the live tattooing while sipping on a Sailor Jerry & Ginger. The activity was held as “a legacy to the spirit of adventure” of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, the person behind the rum. Collins is said to have contributed to a new style of cocktail art and he is known as a father of American-style, “old school” tattoos. He inked soldiers and sailors during the 1940s and 1950s with his own designs at his studio in Honolulu.

Recreating Collins’ style in the airport was Wellington-based tattoo artist, Craig Lee. With his grandfather in the navy and parents in the motorbike community, Lee grew up around tattoos. He travelled the world as a tattoo artist before joining the Speakeasy Tattoo Parlour in Wellington, New Zealand.

“I have tattooed at some of the world’s biggest tattoo conventions in London, Frankfurt, Sydney, Norway and Oslo, but tattooing in an international airport has to be by far the most unusual place I have ever worked,” said Lee.

“I tattooed two of Sailor Jerry’s original masterpieces; the traditional Sailor Jerry girl’s head and the wrapped snake, and I combined these two pieces into one larger piece.”

William Grant & Son’s APAC travel retail director, Scott Hamilton, said: “We are delighted to partner Aer Rianta and Auckland Airport Retail on this truly unique activation. We have done many exciting activities around the world but this Live Tattoo demonstration is certainly a first!”

Tom Byrne, general manager, Aer Rianta Auckland, added: “We are delighted to partner with William Grant & Sons for this unique, world first, in-store activation. It epitomises what we, The Loop Duty Free, are all about innovation, in store theatre and most importantly creating an excellent customer experience every time.

“William Grant & Sons categorically share our vision for duty free in Auckland and this is a fine example of their commitment. It is another instance of how duty free shopping at Auckland Airport is more exciting at The Loop Duty Free!”

Speaking on behalf of Auckland Airport Retail, Paul Divers said: “We encourage our retailers to find new and exciting ways to engage with passengers, so we congratulate The Loop Duty Free on this world first. It’s a great extension of the Sailor Jerry brand story and an innovative way to promote this popular spiced rum.”

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