Silver Spike
Product / ServiceMANDALAY
CategoryE02. Drinks
Idea Creation BRAND UNION Hong Kong, HONG KONG


Name Company Position
Reed Collins Ogilvy & Mather Group HK Chief Creative Officer
Andy Reynolds Brand Union HK Creative Director
Mike Pearson Ogilvy & Mather Group HK Associate Creative Director / Copywriter
Gianluca Crudele Brand Union HK Designer
Malcolm Pryce - Copywriter
Amy Thompson Ogilvy & Mather Group HK Copywriter
Vincent Wong - Illustrator
Barlo - Illustrator
Yanessa Fung Brand Union HK Client Executive

The Campaign

Mandalay is an evocative, and mysterious city - steeped in history, the former British colonial outpost has long kindled the imagination of explorers and adventurers alike. We built a brand that celebrates the colonial period, when Mandalay Rum was created, evoking a world of eccentric colonial settlers and parodying life in a rum soaked Mandalay township.

Creative Execution

We designed a bottle inspired by old rum receptacles from the colonial period, opting to purely engrave rather than apply any form of printing, to achieve an antique and imperfect finish. The typography was drawn to be evocative of the era, whilst the pattern work was inspired from carvings found at ancient Mandalay temples. To accompany the bottle we created the Mandalay Gazette, a parody of a colonial outpost broadsheet. We populated it with humorous content and stories imbued with Mandalay Rum. The Gazette became the bottle wrap, and was repurposed to form a series of print ads as well as posters. We also crafted bespoke coasters for bar promotions that feature the illustrative elements from the bottle along with labels and stickers that highlight the brand elements & visual style.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

The packaging and collateral was sent to distributors and bar owners across South East Asia in order to garner attention and drive orders during the launch phase of the campaign. Hence, the design and messaging had to be unique to stand out in this cluttered and busy environment. It has already had the desired effect, with the unique packaging and collateral already generating interest and response – from consumers and distributors alike.

The current small batch liquor market is saturated with brands that celebrate the quality and craftsmanship of the product - resulting in serious brand personalities. We decided to do something a little different. As a first-time export, we wanted to express the personality of Mandalay but in a light-hearted way. We wanted to evoke a sense of the colonial era, which is firmly rooted in the minds of many consumers, and create a nostalgic, humorous nod to the brand’s history and the fun effect the product can have on the mind. This was rolled out across high-visibility product and packaging design as well as point of purchase and in-bar elements, to attract trial for the introductory phase, without incurring enormous media cost. This also created hype with the distributors themselves, who are one of our primary targets.