TOCCATA AND FUSION

Music may soothe the savage beast, but can music from some of the world’s best composers be linked to hip-hop?
New York’s Ellenson Group thinks it can in two new radio spots for Paris-based REmy Martin’s REmy Red liqueur. To the strains of works by Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi, the voiceover says that if cognac were a piece of music, it would be classical.
As REmy Red–a new liqueur made of cognac, exotic fruit juices, ginseng and guarana–is described, hip-hop beats and cool rhythms are added to fuse the old and new. The tagline: “Another side of cognac.”
Shop president Richard Ellenson, who wrote the spots, is a classical-music fan and said the venture was a personal effort.
“Alcohol and spirits–they’re about being in a place,” he said. “You’re always drinking them around music.”
Ellenson hired a full chamber orchestra to provide the music, adapted by composer Michael Carroll. The agency had not done radio for REmy Red before–just print.
Spots are breaking on stations in top U.S. markets, including New York and Chicago.
–Simon Butle