A Former Sumo Star Travels to Scotland in Havas’ New Spot for Chivas Regal Mizunara

By Erik Oster 

Havas London and Havas Tokyo have launched a campaign for Pernod Ricard’s Chivas Regal Mizunara brand with a 30-second spot featuring former sumo star Takanohana Oyakata traveling to Scotland to visit the Strathisla Distillery.

Havas worked with LS Productions on the spot, which sees Oyakata meet Chivas Master Blender Colin Scott, described by the brand as “the custodian of the signature Chivas Regal style.” Oyakata, meanwhile, as a yokozuna, the highest rank of sumo wrestler, is responsible for preserving long-held traditions as well. “There is man in Japan preserving a 1,500 year-old tradition” begins the voiceover in the bi-lingual spot, before showing Oyakata arriving at the distillery for a tasting with Scott. The campaign celebrates the mix of cultures that go into the  limited edition, Japanese-influenced Chivas Regal Mizunara, which incorporates Mizunara Oak, “a type of wood used in the Japanese whisky industry that gives the whisky distinctive flavours of vanilla, honey, blossom and fresh fruit.”

To bring the spot to life, Havas, LS Productions and director Takayuki Niwa had to work around a busy Strathisla Distillery mixing schedule and logistical constraints, completing the shoot in two days at a bar in Aberdeen and the distillery in Keith. “Finding a bar that appealed to the Japanese whisky market was crucial,” explained LS Productions location manager Amy Morement. “We completed a lot of research into how the culture of whisky here in Scotland translates. We used this research to inform our scout for the ideal bar and searched Aberdeenshire high and low for a location that was just right.”

“The second day of shooting was at Strathisla Distillery, where Mizunara whisky is made,” added producer Wendy Isaac. “Health and Safety is of paramount importance at Distilleries, especially with the potential for flammable liquids. Working closely with the staff we prepared all necessary plans weeks in advance so every department could comment and ultimately provide approval. Four members of crew undertook training before filming could even begin.”



Client: Pernod Ricard
Brand: Chivas Regal Mizunara
Agency: Havas London/Havas Tokyo
Agency Producer: Carol Powell/Mariko Niwa
Creative Director: Andre Moreira (London), Tomo Tanaka (Tokyo)
Art Director: Katya Crichton (London)

Production Company: LS Productions
Head of Production: Sarah Drummond
Producer: Wendy Isaac
Director: Takayuki Niwa