Suntory Sets Sights On Hometown, Tokyo -- For 2022


Until their postponement, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics loomed as a major showcase for hometown spirits giant Suntory. Then came the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. And now: Wait till next year.

Literally. The brand is running a “Next Stop: Tokyo” social media contest, which offers a $30,000 five-day trip for two to the city -- in 2022, “only after leisure travel from the U.S. to Japan is deemed safe.”

The contest, dubbed #SuntoryTime, celebrates the Toki Highball, a three-ingredient cocktail (Suntory Whisky Toki, soda water, grapefruit peel) that originated in Tokyo pubs during the 1950s.

Perhaps ironically, such pubs are now all that remains of Suntory’s planned 2021 Summer Olympics tie-ins, as CNN Business recently reported that the company had abandoned the idea of an Olympics partnership, but “planned to tie up with restaurants and bars around the sporting venues to promote its drinks, and open several establishments to serve its products exclusively.”



“I don't know why the games were not delayed," Suntory CEO Takeshi Niinami told CNN.

Nonetheless, "this summer, all eyes will be on Tokyo and we're thrilled to offer fans of Suntory Whisky Toki the chance to experience firsthand the birthplace of our incredible blended Japanese Whisky and its signature cocktail,"  Jon Potter, managing director, House of Suntory, said in a press release.

To enter the contest, through August 14, consumers can post a photo of themselves with a Toki Highball, along with a caption highlighting their experience, a @SuntoryToki tag, and the hashtags #SuntoryTime and #TokyoContest.

Entries will be judged on photo creativity and originality (40%), photo quality (30%), and caption creativity/originality (30%).

The $30,000 grand prize includes: a roundtrip, coach-class plane trip, four nights at a luxury resort, local transportation, $2,500 cash, and a tour of the Yamazaki Distillery and/or Suntory Toki events.

In addition, 50 other winners will receive two highball mugs, an ice mold, a Japanese peeler, a cocktail jigger and a bar spoon, with a total value of $300 each.

Separately, Suntory has introduced a reformulated Yamazaki 25 Single Malt Whisky. A 750 ml bottle of the 86-proof blend -- composed of rare malt whiskies, all aged over 25 years in American, Spanish and Mizunara Oak casks -- retails for $2,000.

On the other hand, a Suntory Toki 750 ml bottle should cost contest entrants only around $40.

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