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Product / ServiceMARTELL VSOP
CategoryD01. Event & Field Marketing



Name Company Position
Hagan de Villiers, Gary Steele TBWA\Tequila Singapore Creative Director
Simon Chew, Gary Steele, Jae Soh, Danny Teo TBWA\Tequila Singapore Art Director
Justine Lee, Hagan de Villiers, Kestrel Lee TBWA\Tequila Singapore Copywriter
Simon Chew, Danny Teo TBWA\Tequila Singapore Designer
Tony Chew TBWA\Tequila Singapore Programmer
Melvin James TBWA\Tequila Singapore Photographer
Simon Chew, Aggie Jin TBWA\Tequila Singapore Illustrator
Simon Chew, Aggie Jin TBWA\Tequila Singapore Typographer
Sally Sim, Allan Pattiselanno TBWA\Tequila Singapore Production Manager
Joanny Wong TBWA\Tequila Singapore Production Manager (Print)
Haydn Evans, Sariyanti Sannie, Sam Cooper TBWA\Tequila Singapore Agency Producer
Jaclyn Lee, Bibiana Lee, Melanie Keppler, Christine Chionh TBWA\Tequila Singapore Account Service
Jessica Ong, Gabriel Song TBWA\Tequila Singapore Jnr Project Manager/Analysts
Kestrel Lee TBWA\Tequila Singapore Social Media/Search Strategist
Gerard Rodriques, Desmond Zuzarte, Amran Yussoff, Sally Lee, Albert Pang Other Credits

The Brief

Reposition Martell VSOP in order to appeal to a younger, more sophisticated market (25-35 Chinese Singaporeans). The perception amongst this market was that Martell VSOP was for their dads, uncles or ah beng guys in KTV lounges. To change perception, we had to do something surprising, interesting and out of the ordinary. So our overall objective became: reposition Martell VSOP and in so doing disrupt the alcohol category in general; and the spirits category in particular. We wanted to shift VSOP from being a brand that showcases success (category convention), to a brand that enables success.

Creative Execution

The campaign took place during the world’s worst financial meltdown in history. People were taking pay-cuts, losing their jobs, and losing hope. We wanted to use these circumstances to reposition Martell VSOP as a brand relevant to them and their daily lives – owning your own business is a massive aspiration amongst the target market. The existing brand positioning was RISE ABOVE – we knew we had to deliver on that promise with a real-world, tangible action. The Ultimate Start-Up Space was far more than just the promise of success (to rise above), it was a bricks and mortar commitment to success.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

We needed to start a conversation about our brand and what it meant to the guy in the street. In essence, the creative idea was to give the ordinary guy a shot at extraordinary success. So we hired a shop space in Clarke Quay for a year, remodelled it, and presented it as The Ultimate Start-Up Space: anyone could win the space (rent free for six months), they just needed a great business idea. The shop space became the advertisement for the idea - projections of potential business ideas were on a constant loop, beckoning you to enter your idea.


From the conversations online, in blogs, on Twitter, it became clear that people were surprised and enthused by this brand behaviour. We had 60,111 followers on Twitter. 29,442 fans on Facebook. There were 2,068,594 total unique views for all social media, blogs and forums. 26.3 million Google search listings for “ultimate start up space”. A 40% increase in search traffic for Martell. Over $590,000 in free PR. But most important, by the end of the campaign, Martell VSOP had made an entrepreneur’s dream come true: The winning idea, Chupitos, will open its doors in September 2010.