Grand Marnier, the award-winning French luxury liqueur, is enlisting the visual dynamism of the world’s most acclaimed music video director as it invites the world to “Live Grand” through a new brand campaign that launches this week.
The centerpiece of the campaign is an aesthetically arresting new television spot directed by Joseph Kahn, the visionary behind such iconic videos as “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift. The campaign was created in partnership with J. Walter Thompson New York and celebrates the eccentric twists in life that transform the traditional into the truly grand.
Under the direction of award-winning auteur Kahn and styled with select couture designs from Sonia Rykiel by Bjork and Lady Gaga stylist Edda Gudmundsdottir, the new television spot and digital campaign follows a distinguished gentleman, the host of an elegant party, as he welcomes guests into his mansion. As the party unfolds, our esteemed host takes matters into his own hands.
After drawing inspiration from a painting of Grand Marnier bitter oranges, he reaches for a crank wheel and turns it. A skylight opens and rain begins to fall, wiping the paint from the artwork. As colored liquid drips between the floorboards, he leads guests into a cognac cellar, which springs to life with dance, music and vivid hues; architecture comes alive and the guests’ clothing transforms from conventional to beautifully eccentric. The night has been elevated… simply put: it’s been made more grand. Guests and viewers are thus invited to “Live Grand.”
“‘Live Grand’ is about the journey of taking a good experience and transforming it into a GRAND one,” said Director Joseph Kahn. “I was inspired by the deep, rich heritage of Grand Marnier, the brand aesthetic, and the creative license to submerge viewers in a fantastical world that plays into the rich Cognac and bitter orange cues found in this iconic French spirit.”
Kahn is one of the top music video directors in the world. Beyond Swift and Perry, he has worked with Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, U2, Dr. Dre, Imagine Dragons, Britney Spears and more. Most recently, Kahn earned global acclaim for his latest film project, “Bodied,” which won the “Midnight Madness” People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017. He has won multiple Grammys, MTV VMAs, Clios, and Emmys, and has been honored with a lifetime achievement award – the Icon Award – by the UK Music Video Awards.
“Joseph Kahn has built a brilliant career defined by originality and a disdain for convention,” said Melanie Batchelor, Vice President of Marketing, Campari America. “We knew immediately that he was the perfect fit for Grand Marnier. With “Live Grand,” we’re inviting the world to join us in celebration – while reintroducing this beautiful blend of Cognac and exotic bitter orange to a new generation of stylish and sophisticated spirits drinkers.”
This is the first major marketing initiative from Grand Marnier since its new ownership under Campari Group and signifies the Italian company’s intention to elevate the brand within its portfolio. The “Live Grand” campaign is part of a nationwide broadcast, print, and digital campaign, which will include Hulu, YuMue, YouTube and other channels. It will begin running in March.
Grand Marnier’s signature expression, Cordon Rouge, was first created in 1880 in a small city outside of Paris by Louis Alexandre Marnier. He experimented for ten years before identifying the perfect balance of smooth Cognac and surprising, flavorful oranges, yielding a refined liqueur considered the height of fashion in French society. Today, the process Louis Alexandre introduced more than a century ago remains unchanged, and has become a staple at restaurants and bars around the world.
Louis Alexandre Marnier’s original idea of blending precious Cognac with a rare variety of Caribbean oranges was not only unprecedented but avant-garde. It quickly became a must-have in Parisian Soirées. At the end of the 19th century, Paris was in the midst of La Belle Epoque, which saw the creation of the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Métro, and the Palais Garnier. Millions of visitors flocked to Paris during this time, helping to elevate Grand Marnier into a global phenomenon.
The Grand Marnier family extends to a sophisticated range of Cuvées, including Grand Marnier Centenaire, Grand Marnier 1880 and Grand Marnier Quintessence. Each expression within the Grand Marnier range contains at least 51 percent or more of Cognac.