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Leo Burnett Singapore and Beam Suntory tell a daring odyssey in special Lunar New Year packaging

SINGAPORE — Ushering in the Year of the Dragon, creative agency Leo Burnett Singapore and beverage company 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 Executive Creative Director. “The story of transformation is heightened by the pack mechanism itself which, when opened, reveals the majestic dragon at the 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 the 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 the World Brand Design Society and earned itself a shortlist at the New York Festivals Advertising Awards, and several metals at other notable award shows.


Sharim Gubbels: Executive Creative Director

Wei Cong Chong: Creative Director

Janath Gamage: Senior Art Director

Ravindu Wilegoda: Senior Copywriter

Nicholas Leong: Junior Art Director/Calligrapher

Adela Andrei: Group Account Director

Syazwani Soenar: Senior Account Manager

Teng Fon Wong: Senior Planner

Jackie Lim: Head of Print Production

Joice Lee: Print Manager

Ricky Haryadi: Senior Retoucher

Vojislav Milanovic: CGI Supervisor

Kenn Lam: Illustrator

Justin Jam: Design Director

Caecilia Halim: 3D Designer

Callista Koh: Creative Services Manager

Teo Studio: Photography

HH Global: Pack Production

Partner with adobo Magazine

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