It’s been a busy couple of months in the world of Cognac. Each of the major houses has announced big news, and there’s a definite trend towards using entertainment of all genres to further promote brand messages and products.

The Hennessy marketing team are getting in on the movie scene, Remy Martin and Courvoisier are embracing their inner hip hop, and Martell invite you to indulge your senses with an innovative new visitor experience.

1. Hennessy: Movie placement and bigging up the sports scene

So let’s start with the global giant that is Hennessy Cognac. And for fans of the silver screen, you’ll be delighted to know of a strategic Hennessy—Tarantino product placement in the movie director’s latest blockbuster: “One Upon A Time… In Hollywood”.

Clever product placement by Hennessy in one of the eagerly anticipated movies of the year, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Due to be released in July 2019, this is the 9th offering by Quinten Tarantino and stars a plethora of A-listers, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. Oh, and the classic that is Hennessy XO

It might be a cameo appearance, but it’s a master stroke in product placement. And it appears in a scene where Al Pacino’s character, Marvin Schwarz,  orders a “Hennessy XO on the rocks”. A good choice indeed, and one that echoes 8th generation family member Maurice Hennessy’s choice of how to enjoy the blend as a lively aperitif.

Industry Round Up: Hennessy, Courvoisier, Rémy, & Martell
The delights of a Hennessy XO Cognac can be enjoyed on the rocks, neat, or even icy cold direct from the freezer

Basketball, boxing, and Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Cognac

The latest chapter of the campaign for Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Cognac has the catchy name of “Repeat the Unrepeatable”. A set of four videos, it was first aired during the recent NBA games 4 and 5 in celebration of the partnership between the Cognac house and basketball team, the Golden State Warriors.

Industry Round Up: Hennessy, Courvoisier, Rémy, & Martell
Hennessy VSOP Privilege—the subject of a concerted marketing campaign depicted in a series of videos

The series of movies, lasting between 15 seconds and a minute, have been created by the marketing firm, Droga5. Together they bring us a visual depiction of the three phases required to bring a Hennessy blend to fruition. The main movie is backed by three supporting films, entitled Cultivation, Selection, and Blending.

The Hennessy campaign will be rolled out over the course of 2019 on channels such as AMC, ESPN, and The History Channel. The penchant of Hennessy to advertise their products via such means is a great ploy. This will run concurrently with the Ridley Scott Masterpiece, The Seven Worlds, that hit the screens at the beginning of April 2019.

Not content with just dominating the basketball scene, the house also brings us more top sport with a strategic Hennessy boxing collaboration. Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez retained his Middleweight Champion of the World title at the beginning of May at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. Right in line with Hennessy’s “Never stop. Never settle” mantra, Giles Woodyer, Senior VP of Hennessy US said of the partnership,  

The unwavering dedication and determination to push his body to the limit, coupled with a commitment to family, culture, and legacy, embodies all hallmarks of the Hennessy brand,” said Giles Woodyer, Senior Vice President, Hennessy US. “We are proud and honored to continue our partnership with Golden Boy and Canelo during their continued reign of boxing.”

2. Courvoisier: Bringing life to a new generation of hip hop artists

It’s always a delight when large business gets behind new talent, so it’s great to see the new Courvoisier Def Jam partnership. The Cognac house is to become the official spirit of Def Jam Recordings in a campaign that’s called, Amplified: Icons on the Rise.

A series of events are planned that will celebrate new and emerging musicians, not only in hip hop, but all genres of urban music. Performances already announced include those with musicians, Valee, Arlissa, Bobby Sessions, and Amir Obe.

Chairman and CEO of Def Jam, Recordings said of the musical platform, 

 “A major focus for Def Jam and our brand initiatives involves connecting to our audience in authentic ways. Courvoisier and Def Jam are two iconic brands that run deep within culture. We’re thrilled to partner with Courvoisier as we engage our audiences through exciting new platforms with incredible new artists.”

This initiative perfectly matches Courvoisier’s “Honor Your Code” that’s being launched simultaneously. This celebrates all the life lessons, influences, and ideas that shape our life choices. 

18 shows have been announced between June and November  2019 in seven cities throughout the US. You can also expect to see plenty of touchpoints via social and digital media, as well as a targeted advertising campaign.

3. Martell: The Journey & a star who’s switched allegiance

Often a house to follow a slightly different path to its competitors, Martell  has announced a brand new multi-sensory visitor experience in the town of Cognac. If you’re lucky enough to visit then this truly is a must-see opportunity.

Martell the Journey showcases the 300 year history of this iconic French brand, and allows visitors to make their own personal voyage of discovery. Using state-of-the-art digital instillations, each person chooses their own pathway through the experience, which offers three different themes: Heritage, Savoir-Faire, and Part des Anges.

Martell: The Journey is a brand new interactive visitor experience

This is a cleverly designed interactive experience that moves visitors seamlessly from spectator to actor, with plenty of experts on hand to answer any questions that spring to mind. From a 360 degree experience to that of lingering aromas, expect to be wowed the whole way through this innovative experience.

Of course, it can’t be truly multi-sensory unless you get the chance to actually taste some of Martell’s treasures. And the experience ends in the tasting boutique where visitors can choose from Martell NobligeMartell Blue Swift, or Martell VSOP Aged in Red Barrels.

Martell: The Journey perfectly complements the house’s other cutting edge attractions, the Fondation d’Enterprise Martell and the Indigo by Martell rooftop bar. Cognac Expert’s, Sophie, was lucky enough to be invited to the preview event of Fondation d’Enterprise Martell, and you can check out the pictures in our preview launch article.

Brand loyalty? Definitely a thing of the past

Another headline grabber is the new collaboration between dancehall legend Bounty Killer and the house of Martell Cognac.  However, if, like many of us, you thought that the guy was committed to a different brand of Cognac, then you are most definitely not mistaken.

Bounty Killer and Hennessy were a “thing” from 2016, following a schmoozy 43rd birthday announcement when the largest global brand presented him with him with a bottle of the exclusive Hennessy 250 Collector Blend. He was well known for dropping lines about his love for Hennessy into his songs. So this new pairing with Martell is a very public breakup indeed.

In true 21st century style he announced this via his Instagram account, with postings such as: 

“Get familiar from KARTEL to MARTELL starts WELL!! #LEGENDmeetsLEGACY #MAKEurSTATEMENT |Martell ITS A PARTY June 15th UDC Car Park Water front”

We don’t know how Hennessy feel about this public display of affection, but we’re pretty sure there won’t be any revenge tweets or the like from the No 1 brand—they’re far too grown up for that.

4. Rémy Martin go Hip Hop

Never one to be left on the sidelines, Remy Martin announce their latest collaboration with the South African man of the moment, Riky Rick. One of the most influential rappers in South Africa, he’s now not only known for being an ambassador for Remy Martin and Hip Hop, but is a star who’s almost as well known for his string of different aliases.

Names he’s gone by over the years in include Boss Zonke, King Kotini, and Master Makhado. Riky Rick is his latest, and a moniker he’s sported since 2018.

Once again he chose social media to make the announcement, teasing first with a video on Twitter about working with a big name in the Cognac industry, before making the announcement on June 05, 2019. 

Phew! That’s a helluva round-up. And we’re not even half way through the year yet. It’s definitely shaping up to be one to remember, and a very real excuse to perhaps expand your Cognac tasting repertoire to indulge in some new-to-you masterpieces from these top brands. Check out all that Hennessy and their competitors have on offer in the Cognac Expert online shop. Not only can you take advantage of global home delivery, but also the chance to buy Cognacs that are often hard to get hold of outside of France and/or Europe.


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Industry Round Up: Hennessy, Courvoisier, Rémy, & Martell

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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