Puig has presented its first-ever fashion activation for Rabanne in travel retail in a quaternity partnership with Avolta (formerly Dufry), JCDecaux and London Heathrow.
Taking over Heathrow Airport’s largest pop-up space, located in Terminal 2, the activation is the brand’s first to unite its fashion and beauty pillars in travel retail, allowing travellers to engage with Rabanne’s new branding and products through digi-retailtainment and gifting elements. DFNI was on location to tour the media site this week.
Launched in August, the activation initially showcased the Rabanne rebrand and new fragrances Fame and Phantom Parfum. The 85sqm space was transformed in October to feature several of Rabanne’s fashion pieces, including The Maison’s statement XL link jewellery and iconic 1969 bag series.
The animation features an exclusive customisation atelier, a unique feature only available at the pop-up for four weekends between October and December. During those four key weekends, travellers will have the opportunity to customise the 1969 bag with charms. The original 1969 design has recently undergone a noticeable transformation: the heavy steel has been replaced by a lighter aluminium embellished with lustrous golden and silver finishes.
The eye-catching animation also features an educational fragrance bar, where Rabanne’s key fragrances can be found, an immersive experience for the new Phantom Parfum, and a GWP keyring personalisation area for those purchasing a bottle of Phantom Parfum or Fame Parfum.
The media site at London Heathrow was complemented by other animations across top EMEA airports in cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome. Puig has developed a 360° digital approach that aims to reach travellers at each touchpoint of their journey through display advertising, paid social media, influencer marketing and advertising on retailers’ e-commerce sites.
Brand building platform
In fact, global travel retail was the first channel to unveil Rabanne’s new brand identity, speaking volumes about “Puig’s belief in the potential of travel retail as a brand building platform” said Puig Executive Vice President Global Travel Retail, Kaatje Noens.
The rebrand sees the fashion and fragrance house enter a new era under one unified image. Simplified and more international in spirit, the name change to Rabanne represents a pivotal moment for The Maison as it celebrates a decade of growth and looks forward to shaping a new future uniting fashion and beauty “as one signature and lifestyle.”
Speaking to DFNI, Noens explained: “The new Rabanne identity sees fashion and beauty live under one image with one logo. The beauty of this activation is that you really see the identity and the elevation of the brand and its connection with fashion come through in the gold and silver colours and mesh. We’re looking at deploying the new image in the coming 12 to 24 months around the world.”
Puig is also set to release Rabanne’s new makeup collection, which launched in European and US domestic markets in September, in global travel retail in 2024. ” We have exciting plans in terms of spaces, but for sure Rabanne makeup in coming into travel retail in 2024,” she confided.
The animation builds on the partnership forged with Avolta and London Heathrow for the launches of Phantom and Fame in 2021 and 2022. “We made a big bet by putting travel retail at the core of the launch of Phantom back in 2021, when we were in the middle of the Covid crisis. But we believe in that long-term core business channel for the brands. It has been a pleasure to work with Avolta and Heathrow. This is the logical next step in our partnership and the media site here at Heathrow is the right one; it is the right size, the right passenger profile and the right image,” Noens told DFNI.
Heathrow Senior Account Manager Advertising & Media Rory Ford told DFNI: “It’s very important for us to recognise the quaternity partnership that has come together for this activation, which brings together fashion and fragrance for the very first time at Heathrow.
He added: “The location of T2 is great in terms of the key metrics which all brands are looking for – the volume of passengers and demographics. In fact, Heathrow’s passenger figures for October show that we’re back to being the fourth largest airport in the world for passenger volume and also the busiest airport in Europe as well. I think it’s appreciated by all of our brands that we’re delivering that volume of footfall throughout the airport.
“Furthermore, the space itself is incredibly unique, set within this atrium effect it has a sense of theatre. It’s the biggest pop-up space at Heathrow, giving brands a great blank canvas to work with.”
Noens revealed initial performance and sales have been a success, particularly with certain passengers. “What is also interesting is that although Rabanne is the brand with the biggest worldwide footprint for Puig, it is less known among Asian passengers. It has a solid footprint in the Americas, Europe and the rest of the world.”
However, bringing the fashion element into this activation has unlocked a new potential customer base for the brand. “Asian customers are very much engaged with fashion and we have seen how they are intrigued by the fashion side of [the pop-up] which has led them to discover the fragrance side of the brand. It’s very exciting for us to see how through the brand elevation and fashion element we are starting conversations with a new customer or a new demographic,” she divulged.