Christmas Spirits

Wordplay abounds in a new Hennessy ad, which urges Chinese consumers to buy Hennessy X.O cognac for holiday gifts.
The print ad, by Admerasia, New York, was slated to launch Dec. 4 and is the New York client’s first ad created specifically for Christmas that targets Chinese in the U.S., said shop account supervisor Rehana Dutta. The ad is a variant on a September execution focusing on the Chinese Moon Festival.
The red-hued effort shows a yellow ribbon shaped like a Hennessy bottle and plays on the abbreviation “X.O,” which, said in English, sounds out a Chinese word meaning, “the best quality.” Chinese copy reads, “Hennessy X.O, the X.O gift.” The tag: “The Original X.O.”
“Hennessy kind of recognized that this is a time of celebration, a time when the Chinese community consumes a lot of cognac and [participates in] gift-giving,” said Dutta.
The ad will run through 1999 in national Chinese-language publications, such as World Journal and Sing Tao. The shop expects to launch a “Golden Dragon”-themed millennium campaign for Hennessy in 2000, said Dutta.
–Simon Butler