DDB Paris Gets Conceptual in First Work for Hennessy

By Erik Oster 

DDB Paris launched its first work for Hennessy last week with a (roughly) 90-second spot directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, entitled “Odyssey XO.”

Stylistically more reminiscent of a fashion ad than your typical alcoholic beverage fare, the spot explores Hennessy’s seven different flavor notes. The only narrative told by the spot is one meant to call to mind what a sip of the beverage does. Beginning with “Sweet Notes” and traveling through “Rising Heat,” “Spicy Edge” and more before ending with the “Infinite Echo” of aftertaste, the spot utilizes distinctive abstract representations of the tasting experience itself, a refreshing change of pace from your typical ad in the category that makes for a visually impressive and conceptually interesting ad.

“The film is a journey through taste, based on the impressions and notes of the Hennessy Comité de Dégustation,” DDB Paris executive creative director Alexander Kalchev told AdFreak. “When we read these notes, we realised that they form a sort of a narrative, with each chapter adding another layer of meaning, both symbolically and in terms of taste.”

“We want to raise desire amongst existing brown spirits drinkers while recruiting a new generation of luxury drinkers,” added Hennessy global CMO Thomas Moradpour. “This new generation claims a contemporary luxury mind-set; they’d rather collect experiences than possessions. They look for substance beyond status and badges, value the ‘now,’ and question the traditional archetypes of success.”

Client: Hennessy
Global CMO Hennessy: Thomas Moradpour
Hennessy Brand Director Prestige: Antoine Varlet
International Marketing Manager Prestige : Aurélie Lim
Head of Visual Identity : Khoa Dodinh

Agency: DDB Paris
ECD: Alexander Kalchev
Creatives: Alexis Benbehe, Pierre Mathonat
Head of TV: Sophie Mégrous
Managing Director: Xavier Mendiola,
Associate Director : Marine Hakim
Senior Account Manager : Jessica Ferris
Strategic Planning : Martin Mangez

Production Company: Stink Paris
EP : Greg Panteix
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
DoP : Natasha Braier
Editor : Matt Newman
Sound production: The
Composer: Cliff Martinez

Photographer : Dan Tobin Smith