American Marketer

Food and beverage

Rémy Martin nurtures vocal talent through one-on-one mentorship

August 18, 2016

Jackie Cruz for Rémy Martin’s Circle of Centaurs Jackie Cruz for Rémy Martin’s Circle of Centaurs


Cognac maker Rémy Martin is encouraging consumers to find their many talents with help from a multifaceted performer.

For its 2016 Circle of Centaurs mentorship program, the brand is teaming up with musician, actress and photographer Jackie Cruz, most well-known for her role on “Orange is the New Black,” to coach promising consumers in singing. An extension of Rémy Martin’s One Life/Live Them campaign, this project speaks to the brand’s values of promoting skillful mastery.

"The history of the Rémy Martin Cognac making process and the training of their cellar masters are built on mentorship," said Emma Medina, vice president of marketing for Rémy Martin Cognac, USA. "Creating exceptional cognacs through revealing talents is a passion and a legacy: the talents of nature, the talents of winegrowers, the talents of coopers, the talents of cellar masters who craft the blends.

"Through the Circle of Centaurs mentorship program, Rémy Martin is creating a platform to inspire consumers and encourage them to explore their own passions and pursue their multi-talents," she said.

Singing out
Rémy Martin introduced Ms. Cruz to consumers through a short film. In the video, the multi-hyphenate talks about how she is most well known for acting, but she also sings, plays saxophone and guitar and photographs.

Proving her singing chops, the video captures her singing accompanied by an acoustic guitar. She goes on to share her story, explaining how after being passed over for roles in Hollywood because she did not fit a certain type, she moved on to something else that makes her happy: music.

Further in the film, she discusses overcoming fears of trying new things, something she believes Rémy Martin’s Circle of Centaurs is all about.

On Rémy Martin’s Web site, consumers can take a virtual “class” with Ms. Cruz, hearing her talk about her own journey and the advice she would give to others in a series of three short videos.

From divulging the trip to the movies at 6-years-old to see Whitney Houston in “The Bodyguard” that elicited a desire to perform to sharing the details of the car accident that left her injured and put her career on hold at 17, she uses personal anecdotes to help inspire others.

Jackie Cruz for Rémy Martin

Consumers who want to become vocalists themselves can enter to win a mentorship with Ms. Cruz and a cash prize to help them strive for their goal by filming a 30- to 60-second clip of themselves singing an original song. For consideration, entrants have to upload the clip to Instagram or Facebook and tag it #CircleOfCentaursJackie and @RemyMartin.

Other Circle of Centaur mentors have included actress/singer/baker Samantha Barks, who focused on being a dreamer, and entrepreneur/tastemaker/event organizer/DJ Kevin Poon, who taught consumers how to be entrepreneurial.

"In the face of many challenges, Jackie has been pursuing her different passions her whole life as a singer, actress, photographer and soon to be producer," Ms. Medina said. "Her fearless spirit and willingness to encourage others to pursue their talents is exactly what the Rémy Martin Circle of Centaurs mentorship program embodies.

"It is an incredible opportunity to work with both an inspiring and aspiring multitalented person such as Jackie and we are really excited for our audience to take part in this great contest," she said.

Limitless lifestyle
For its One Life/Live Them campaign, first launched last year, Rémy Martin teamed up with multitalented actor Jeremy Renner to explore the diverse paths, passions and interests that can be tried in one lifespan. Through this campaign, Rémy Martin is hoping to not only share its own story with consumers, but solicit their own reflections on a life well-lived (see story).

Taking it upon themselves to further the careers and aspirations of the next generation of creators, a number of luxury brands have established incubator programs. Going beyond a cash prize and providing mentorship shows the brands' dedication to their cause.

German automaker BMW has created a financial services innovation lab to encourage early-stage startups to partner with its brand.

The Innovation Lab in the United Kingdom was launched by BMW Group’s Financial Services, the retail and commercial finance provider for the automaker. BMW’s Innovation Lab will target startups working on new technologies that will help deliver new and improved services to consumers (see story).

"The Rémy Martin Circle of Centaurs program is an extension of the One Life/Live Them campaign as it provides an outlet for our audience to explore their passions and celebrate their many talents," Ms. Medina said. "The mentorship piece represents an opportunity for consumers to reveal their talents and live a fulfilled life. You only have one life so live them."