Cannes Lions


MSLGROUP, New York / HENNESSY / 2011

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Presentation Image
Presentation Image






What’s your image of the typical cognac consumer? The Hennessy Cognac brand, a leader in the category, is typically tied to a staid, older generation of consumers.

With the launch of Hennessy Black in 2010, the brand’s first major product extension since 1961, the high-class French luxury brand was looking to attract a younger, urban consumer who enjoys high-energy club/bar environments after dark. In recent years, the new generation has opted for vodkas and tequilas because of the mixable appeal, and ultra-premium brands have successfully attracted and retained this audience. So it was determined the keys to reaching this new generation of consumers was education about the "different" ways to drink cognac and product seeding and association with hip influential consumers and celebrities. The multi-faceted awareness-building and influencer effort included:• pre-launch local market events to engage target consumers and introduce the "Done Different" theme• a PR-led national launch campaign • celebrity and urban influential alliances• Dance Done Different national dance contest that had online and offline componentsThese efforts successfully shifted consumer perception of cognac and elevated Hennessy’s status beyond the cognac category. The campaign also helped build a brand connection with a new generation of consumers.


A targeted media and influencer effort was executed to generate consumer excitement and buzz for the campaign:• Pre-launch Local Market Activities: Identified appropriate markets to execute pre-seeding media efforts - such as national press release distribution, local media outreach, and influencer seeding - to generate word-of-mouth buzz for launch parties.

• Launch Event: Launched the Hennessy Black DJ program at 2010 Winter Music Conference through an engaging influencer/media event.• Ongoing Media: Secured exclusives with Reuters, Beverage World & Brandweek and managed ongoing news bureau that sustained coverage in lifestyle, entertainment, music and trade outlets.• Branded Entertainment: Aligned Dance Done Different National Dance Contest with the first-ever digital nightclub called the Hennessy Black Dance Floor.• Influencer Seeding: Arranged Hennessy Black gifts to correspond with meaningful moment/anniversary dates that served as milestone marks for each celebrity’s Done Different moment (milestone in professional career.)


• Local market efforts generated more than 72MM impressions; 2010 Winter Music Conference initiative generated more than 254MM impressions and reached over 10,000 young urban consumers.• Seeded product to more than 60 key influencers; Jose Fernandez, Bobby Jones, Alejandro Claiborne pictured in The Source Power 30 issue with product.• “Lopez Tonight” Dance Done Different National dance contest seen by nearly 3 million viewers.• More than 91,000 visited the contest on and over 100,000 visited during the contest launch.• Exclusive stories totaled 6.3MM media impressions. Sustaining news bureau generated over 60MM media impressions.

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