Hennessy Black Ritual

Project type; Drink Strategy

A huge product launch from the world’s largest Cognac brand. Hennessy Black is a fresh approach to Cognac. A lighter blend assembled from delicate, bright and floral eau de vie. Black is ideal as a refined and versatile mixed drink base, packaged and pitched at high-energy night environments.

Objective; BAMBOO were commissioned to design a simple service ritual for the launch of Hennessy Black.

Mechanic; Shots and Highballs. An intensely flavoured shot served ‘UP’ and its more relaxed highball cousin, ‘DOWN’.

At the heart of this ritual was the short serve. We were trying to give drinkers in high-energy accounts permission to drink Hennessy short. Cognac is still treated with reverence and doesn’t  have a place in US shot culture. The whole engagement is intended for night accounts. Ice buckets of Hennessy Black are served with both tall and short glasses and simple mixers, selected based on the Art of Mixing  programme and common to night accounts. Drinkers can either pick UP the pace or slow things DOWN depending on their mood. The UP/DOWN mantra becomes a bar call, following their mixer choice. ‘Hennessy Black Spice DOWN’. ‘Black Berry UP’. You get the picture. It even gave rise to a track by Swizz Beats  that was commissioned as part of the event, downloaded furiously by Hennessy fans. (Not the first time a drink has inspired a song).

Swizz Beatz – When I Step in the Club from Hennessy_US on Vimeo.

Directed by Hype Williams in collaboration with Hennessy Black.
Download the track at http://www.hennessyblack.com

Outcome; A massively successful launch with a service ritual that had been properly thought through and an integrated part of the marketing mix. Time will tell whether customers will adopt the mantra, they seem to like it, and there is no doubt that the serves allow drinkers to see Black in its best light.

Hennessy Black NYE Le Passage from Ken Koller on Vimeo.