Product / ServiceHENNESSY V.S.O.P
CategoryA05. Best Launch or Re-Launch

The Campaign

Challenge: Hennessy was considered an old-fashioned drink for an older generation. Our assignment was to create a modern image for the brand that would appeal to younger consumers (and the retailers that sell to them) thus growing sales. Objectives: Our two communications objectives were therefore (1) to appeal to CONSUMERS: attracting younger consumers to ask for Hennessy; and (2) to compel RETAILERS: convincing key venues to stock the brand. Strategy: To highlight Hennessy's relevance to a younger consumer, while continuing to celebrate its history, the agency developed a campaign called "The Global Art of Mixing." The campaign's purpose was to encourage mixing: mixing of the old and the new, mixing of drinks, mixing of cultures, and mixing a traditional product launch with a bigger brand-building campaign. Execution: To communicate this message of mixing we highlighted a modern, dynamic new bottle, designed by a celebrated automotive designer for Hennessy V.S.O.P, and organised experiential tasting dinners that magically transformed in front of guests into informal parties featuring cool music and great cocktails using Hennessy V.S.O.P. Outcome: The results seduced 31 new outlets into stocking the brand and helped grow sales by 30% in sales Y2012 through maximum media exposure driving huge word-of-mouth about the event.

The Brief

The marketing challenge was to grow sales by refreshing the Hennessy brand image for a younger audience and simultaneously gain new stockists. Our communications objective was to drive engagement with Hennessy as a key ingredient in hip and delicious cocktails among Indonesia’s tastemakers (including liquor distributors, restauranteurs, magazine and newspaper editors, bloggers, society figures), introducing them to the product in a bold, engaging (and cost-effective) way.


Against a marketing objective to increase sales by updating Hennessy for a younger audience and simultaneously gaining new stockists, we helped grow sales by 30% in 2012 through: - More than 31 new venues stocking and promoting Hennessy - 600 event guests generated online word of mouth for 6.5 million social media impressions - 38 media outlets covered the event creating 14.2 million traditional media impressions This was the first Hennessy event in Indonesia to successfully weave a traditional product launch and a bigger brand-building effort, and also reflected the client’s own evolution from traditional liquor into dynamic, modern spirit that could be seen as a natural ingredient for a great mix.


Pre-Launch: Guests were invited to what they were told was the launch of a new Hennessy V.S.O.P bottle.  The invitation was for a tasting, featuring a five-course-meal, pairing Hennessy with haute cuisine and a discussion of the cognac and its new bottle, crafted specially by celebrated automotive designer, Chris Bangle.   Identification of the right influencers and guests, and tailored invitations to ensure attendance without revealing the "Mix" surprise, were critical. Luxury media were given exclusive access before the event to ensure timely coverage. Launch: The event took place over three nights in October 2013 at the fashionable Ocha & Bella restaurant in Jakarta. The first two nights focused on trade and media, and the last night focused solely on a concert/party for consumers and lifestyle media. Post-Launch: The client saw value in the events and has now extended the concept. The agency is now planning more than 30 follow-up events.

The Situation

Hennessy is the largest cognac producer in the world with 40% cognac market share.  More than 250 years of history is a real asset to the brand, but in Indonesia the brand was perceived as too traditional, old-fashioned, and a spirit your parents would drink neat (source: Client research, 2012). Market share was tracking at about ¼ of the level of the hipper “cocktail set” competitors such as Bacardi, Absolut, Smirnoff and Jack Daniels (source: Euromonitor Spirits Brand Shares, April 2013).

The Strategy

“The Global Art of Mixing” was created to mix the tradition and elegance of Hennessy VSOP with a new world of hip people, culture and design ideas. The campaign was grounded in the idea of mixing in every facet: food, guests, music, interior design and, critically, drinks. Events featured traditional dinners transformed into cool cocktail parties with modern Hennessy cocktails and music by local and international performers. Seemingly impromptu concerts/parties featured entertainers performing songs they were not known for (e.g. classical musicians performing alongside DJs), collaborating across genres, with artists they wouldn’t normally work with.  The idea was to communicate the benefits of “mixing”—in many different ways—and Hennessy as the perfect catalyst for dynamic, rewarding mixes.


Name Company Position
Andrianto Surohadikusumo Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd Brand Manager
Hansen Hadinata Wongso Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Marketing Manager
Nick Lee Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Chief Representative
Erry Safryan Pulse Communications Sr. Account Executive
Silvia Caroline Pulse Communications Account Executive
Sinatria Pringgondani Pulse Communications Account Director
Eugene Laksono Pulse Communications General Manager