Droga5 Brought Some Wild Tech Bells and Whistles to This Interactive Hennessy Site

Mirroring the craft of making a bottle of V.S.O.P Privilège

Some of the best marketing embodies the brand promise you're trying to communicate. This is especially true of well-crafted products, whose advertising had better be well-crafted, too. Droga5 takes that idea to impressive lengths with a new interactive site for Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège (the agency's first work for this particular Hennessy brand).

V.S.O.P Privilège is known for its remarkable consistency—it's precisely the same cognac in every glass and every bottle, year after year—despite myriad variables at play during its creation. So, Droga5 set out to tell this story of creating harmony from chaos through the digital experience.

"Harmony. Mastered from Chaos" is a responsive WebGL campaign microsite featuring an interactive film experience highlighting the complexity, mastery and tradition that goes into Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège. Among the advanced technologies it employs: 3-D LiDAR scanning, depth capture and binaural audio recording, merging with live-­action footage.

There's also a 60-second spot that's related to the interactive piece (above). We spoke with Droga5 executive interactive producer Justin Durazzo about the site.

AdFreak: Where did the idea come from to do an interactive site like this?

Justin Durazzo: When we first discussed a production approach for this project, we were very inspired about various technological techniques that could tell the story of harmony created from seemingly unrefined elements or components. We riffed on this using a musical soundscape as the basis for it all and building the rest of the experience around it. We explored worlds and ornate, organic visuals comprised of magnetic ferrofluids to help us envision this notion of particles breaking apart and coming together to form the perfect bottle of Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilége. And a rich, immersive website seemed to allow people the most opportunity to be hands on and explore these concepts while also allowing us to bring together live action photography, highly responsive WebGL graphics and dynamic audio that could change as users make different choices. We wanted to make people feel that notion of creating something from nothing or working with the ingredients you have carefully in order to create something complex and special.

There are some crazy technologies here. Can you explain how a few of them work, and do you have a favorite visual effect in the piece?

We employed the use of LiDAR and 3D Kinect scanning, as they all offer us a great deal of depth information with which we could recreate entire environments from Hennessy in Cognac, France. The point clouds created by these capture techniques are also very beautiful when rendered, and it was a look/feel we were aesthetically drawn to. We articulate them further using CG in post-production for film and WebGL for a fluid interactive experience that works seamlessly across most devices and browsers. The integration of all of these advanced technologies was a challenge we imparted upon ourselves in order to metaphorically speak to the challenge and craft of making Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilége.

What's the relationship between the film and the interactive site? Was one developed before the other, or both concurrently?

They are directly related, complementary and were developed in tandem. All of the film content also lives on the site in some way. The site is a longer format, interactive version of the same story we're telling in the :60, only it allows people to stop and further explore, play with things and get immediate tactile feedback for each 'chapter' in the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilége production process. It allows you to become the creator so to speak – or at the very least gain a greater appreciation for what the experts at Hennessy in Cognac are doing year after year.