Hennessy Teams With Ridley Scott for Bold New Cognac Campaign

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Hennessy, the famed Cognac house headquartered in Cognac, France, sells about 50 million bottles a year—representing more than 40% percent of the world’s cognac sales.

In a bold move for the brand, it will partner with famed director Ridley Scott, who returns to advertising to direct his first commercial in over 15 years. The pair are creating a series of groundbreaking commercials for Hennessy X.O cognac, which will premiere globally in 2019.

“Complementing the idea that ‘Each drop of Hennessy X.O is an Odyssey’, the director of Alien, Bladerunner and Gladiator creates an epic visual journey that explores seven taste-scapes in a surreal, sensory narrative,” according to a press release.

Other ads in the “Worlds of Greatness” campaign focus on the tasting notes for Hennessy X.O, as described by the brand’s Comité de Dégustation tasting panel. Each one illustrates a different element of the Hennessy X.O taste profile: sweet notes, rising heat, spicy edge, flowing flame, chocolate lull, wood crunches, culminating in infinite echo.

Earlier this year, Hennessy launched “Major,” the fifth chapter of the brand’s award-winning “Wild Rabbit” campaign, reflecting its “Never stop. Never settle.” tagline through the story of Marshall “Major” Taylor.

Taylor became the best cyclist of his time in the 1890s, and became the first African-American to win a world championship.

The campaign has featured celebrities like rapper/entrepreneur Nas, film director Martin Scorsese, boxer Manny Pacquiao and singer Erykha Badu.

Cognac has specific categories: VS (very special), aged at least 2 years in cask; VSOP (very superior old pale) is at least 4 years old; Napoléon is aged a minimum of 6 years; and as of April 2018, XO (extra old) spends at least a decade in a barrel.

Beyond XO is Hors d’Age, often used for a house’s finest blends like Hennessy’s Paradis Imperial – that comes with a price tag upwards of $3,000.

A newly redesigned visitor’s center at Hennessy HQ is a multi-sensory journey in the Maison’s birthplace on the banks of the Charente River that offers a look at the making of Cognac and centuries of heritage unique to Hennessy.

This year the brand introduced a complement to its ongoing programs with a more experiential one: Le Voyage, a retail and on-premise education initiative to promote cocktails and the different qualities of Hennessy.

“We aim to really open the world of Hennessy to a whole new generation of consumers,” said Giles Woodyer, Hennessy SVP. “Bartenders are curious about spirits themselves. They’ve started to research the history of classic cocktails and have discovered that Cognac cocktails were at the forefront.”

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