If you're looking for iconic brand ambassadors for your adventure-themed liquor campaign, you could do a lot worse than the Piccards, the father and son who accomplished incredible—and incredibly parallel—exploring feats in the middle of the last century.
In 1931, Auguste Piccard became the first man to reach the stratosphere, touching the edge of space in a pressurized capsule and balloon. Thirty years later, his son Jacques—in a remarkably complementary expedition in which he honored his father yet did precisely the opposite—became the first man to reach the deepest part of Earth's ocean floor.
For Droga5, they were the perfect subject for Hennessy's ongoing "Wild Rabbit" campaign, which has featured great, daring, record-breaking characters from history since 2012.
And so the agency crafted the gorgeous 90-second spot below, telling the father and son's stories as one—in a clever bit of grand yet personal storytelling.
Creative directors Alexander Nowak and Felix Richter have worked on "Wild Rabbit" ads from the beginning. Here, they've managed to craft the campaign's most breathtaking visuals yet. In particular, the transition between the two stories is transfixing in the way it disorients the viewer—what at first seems to be Auguste breaking through some barrier in space turns out to be Jacques beginning his plunge into the oceanic depths.
The spot was directed by Daniel Wolfe. He brought in photography specialist Chris Parks, who has produced mind-bending visual effects for movies like Tree of Life and Gravity. The effect is a remarkable cinematic look worthy of the spot's inspiring subject matter.
The :90 uses on-screen text at the end to explain what you've just seen. That's followed by a product shot and the line "What's Your Wild Rabbit?" (The Wild Rabbit, in the context of the campaign, represents any deeply held passion that the cognac brand's target consumer is chasing.) The spot wraps with the tagline, "Never stop. Never settle. Since 1765."
A :60 and a :30, meanwhile, feature voiceover narration by Nas, who says he felt a personal connection to the material.
"The part of the Piccard story that resonated strongly with me is the generational bond," he said in a statement. "My father traveled the world driven by his music and passion. That relentless chase and will to achieve that's at the heart of Hennessy's campaign has also helped shape my musical path. It's in my blood."
"For the past five years, Droga5 has strived to help the Hennessy brand continue to chase its own Wild Rabbit," said the agency's global chief strategy officer, Jonny Bauer. "In the spirit of The Piccards, the brand refuses to be satisfied and continues to reach for new heights."
Giles Woodyer, senior vice president of Hennessy U.S., added: "The Piccards boast a rich family history of pioneering spirit, a narrative that parallels our own storied legacy and the constant pursuit to create the perfect cognac, year after year. It's this spirit of chasing one's Wild Rabbit that really resonates with people, and we're excited to continue the campaign's momentum by sharing the inspiring journey of these extraordinary men."
Client: Hennessy V.S
Campaign: Wild Rabbit
Title: The Piccards
Launch Date: 4/16/16
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Creative Director: Alexander Nowak
Creative Director: Felix Richter
Copywriter: Phil Hadad
Art Director: Marybeth Ledesma:
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
Executive Broadcast Producer: David Cardinali
Associate Broadcast Producer: Sam Marx
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Strategy Director: Elaine Purcell
Senior Strategist: Danielle Travers
Senior Strategist: Zack Cohn
Senior Communications Strategist: Delphine McKinley
Executive Group Director:: Steven Panariello
Account Director: Patrick Rowley
Account Supervisor:: Kendra Schaaf
Account Manager: Andrew DeMatos
Associate Account Manager: Rebecca Warren
Project Manager: Dean Farella
Client: Moet Hennessy
CMO & EVP of Brands, USA: Rodney Williams
SVP, Hennessy, USA: Giles Woodyer
SVP, Strategic Marketing, USA: William Paretti
Brand Director: , USA: Allison Varone
International Marketing &: Thomas Moradpour
Brand Director: Amanda Hawk
Production Company: Anonymous | Somesuch
Director: Daniel Wolfe
Anonymous, Managing Director, Exec Producer: Eric Stern
Anonymous, Executive Producer: SueEllen Claire
Anonymous, Head of Production: Kerry Haynie
Somesuch, Founding Partner: Tim Nash
Somesuch, Founding Partner: Sally Campbell
Director of Photography: Tom Townend
Somesuch, Producer: Lee Groombridge
Special Photography: Chris Parks
Editorial: Cosmo Street | Trim
Editor: Tom Lindsay:
Assistant Editor: Julie Walsh
Assistant Editor: Magda Plugowska
Assistant Editor: Elise Butt
Cosmo Street, Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
Cosmo Street, Producer: Anne Lai
VFX & Design: The Mill
Executive Producer: Sean Costelloe
Producer: Bugs Russell
Shoot Supervisor: Jasper Kidd, Eric Pascarelli
Creative Directors: Gavin Wellsman, Jasper Kidd
2D Lead Artist: Gavin Wellsman
3D Lead Artist: Jasper Kidd
2D Artists: Andre Vidal, Ben Kwok, Heather Kennedy
3D Artists: Jimmy Gass, Laurent Giaume, Katie Schiffer, Justin Diamond, Edward Hassan, Eshan Parizi, Paul Liaw, Joji Tsuruga, Greg Gangemi
Matte Painting: Cedric Mernard
Designer: Sally Reynolds
Production Coordinator: Jacqueline Sand
Music Company: Woodwork Music
Composer: Phil Kay
Sound Design: Q Department
CD, Sound Designer: Drazen Bosnjak
Sound Designer: Jean Baptiste
Sound Designer: Saint Pol
Executive Producer: Zack Rice
Producer: Guin Frehling
Sound Mixing: Sound Lounge
Partner, Engineer: Tom Jucarrone
Engineer: Rob Sayers