American Marketer


Hennessy entices holiday gifting with limited-edition charity bottle

December 13, 2013


LVMH-owned Hennessy is appealing to philanthropic cognac drinkers with limited-edition magnum bottle of Hennessy V.S with label artwork designed by renowned Brazilian artists Os Gêmeos.

Proceeds from the limited-edition bottle, available only at select retailers, will benefit Brazilian charity Reciclazaro. With spirits among one of the most gifted items during the holiday season, Hennessy is likely to see a rush of interest in this bottle due to its connections to both art and charity.

"The bottle offers a new experience for Hennessy fans with its eye-catching, larger-than-life design, while still providing the same smooth taste revered by Cognac fans for almost 250 years," said Rodney Williams, senior vice president for Hennessy USA, New York. "The limited availability of these magnum size, individually signed bottles will appeal to art and spirits collectors.

"Qualities we admire in Os Gêmeos are ones that are reflected in Hennessy’s 'Never stop. Never settle,' character as well: passion for craftsmanship, ties to our roots, and desire to continuously achieve excellence," he said. "For Os Gêmeos, those qualities are manifested through being true to their inspiration and São Paulo roots and pushing themselves for the love of art.

"For us, it is about eight generations of the Hennessy family, seven generations of master blenders, and the endless pursuit of creating the perfect cognac, year after year."

The spirit of giving
The limited-edition, numbered bottles of Hennessy V.S bottle are signed by identical twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo who work under the pseudonym Os Gêmeos, which translates to “the twins.”

Os Gêmeos signed 100 of its 1.75-liter collaborative bottles that benefit Reciclazaro, a Brazilian organization that works to reintegrate disadvantaged individuals into the community through art and cultural programs. Hennessy has pledged 50 percent of the net proceeds from sales of the collector’s bottle to benefit Reciclazaro.

The twins were commissioned by Hennessy to create its V.S bottle’s artwork to show the spirit makers’ values and sense of place. Os Gêmeos created a warm scene of a rustic village and landscape for the bottle’s label that was inspired by a trip to Hennessy’s origin Cognac, France and its drastic difference to their birthplace in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Label designed by Os Gêmeos for Hennessy V.S cognac

Hennessy V.S’ limited-edition numbered and hand-signed bottles are available only at select retailers in the United States such as Hillside Liquors and 215th Street Liquors in New York, for collectors in California, Florida and Illinois, and Spec’s on Smith Street in Houston.

The bottle is priced at $350. The accessibility of the bottle makes it an attractive gift for a blossoming collector or for aspirational consumers who are interested in the Hennessy lifestyle.

The limited-edition bottles’ main reserve is 240,000, but are not signed by Os Gêmeos. Unsigned, but numbered, bottles can be located using Hennessy’s bottle locator on its Web site.

A small sip
Crafting an exclusive and artful bottle is a common method used by distillers to gain the interest of collectors.

For example, French crystal maker Lalique continued its limited-edition decanter collaboration with Scottish whiskey distiller The Macallan to reinforce the spirit-maker’s six pillars, while introducing the crystal brand to a new consumer base.

Beginning in 2005, “The Macallan in Lalique V: The Spiritual Home” is the fifth decanter created for the six-series collaboration meant to showcase both parties as dedicated to artistry and craftsmanship (see story).

In addition, Champagne brand Dom Pérignon used its Instagram page to show off its collaborative project with artist Jeff Koons as a way to reinvent itself and appeal to younger consumers.

The limited-edition Balloon Venus bottle and gift box was unveiled at a brand event during New York Fashion Week after a two-year collaboration (see story).

Hennessy has worked with other artists to generate buzz in the art world and spark the interest of collectors.

"This is the third installment of the brand’s limited-edition bottle series," Mr. Williams said. "Past collaborators include artists KAWS and Futura, and as one of the top premium spirits brands in the world, Hennessy strives to echo that in everything we create.

"This label redesign is a fresh adaptation that people will truly savor and our special limited magnum bottle offering is a true treat for fans and collectors," he said.

Final Take

Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, Jen King