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Hennessy Cognac partners with Italian auteur on new ad

The LVMH-owned Cognac brand has recruited Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino for its new Hennessy V.S.O.P advert.

Sorrentino behind the camera while working on the new advert.

Hennessy, the internet’s most popular spirit brand according to one study, has unveiled a new advert that tells viewers to “expect the unexpected”.

Titled Enter the Show, the five-minute-long film is also available in 95 and 30 second cuts. Its retro styling combined with an amusingly absurd plot involving the search for a peacock named ‘Edgar’ offers an energetic and quirky escapade, with all of the stylised shots and glamour that one has come to expect from the director.

Hennessy V.S.O.P (‘Very Superior Old Pale’) is in the background throughout the short film before becoming the centre of attention for the finale, when the revelry truly gets underway. The specific decanter design shown in the ad will become available in March 2023.

Chinese singer, actor and Hennessy ambassador Jackson Wang makes a cameo, an appearance that offers some indication of the brand’s ambition to appeal to the Chinese market. Gifting has become a growth area for Cognac brands operating in China, and, indeed, across the world.

Sorrentino said of the work: “I hope that people, when watching this film can appreciate its lightness, the light-heartedness…The times we live in…we need this light-heartedness as much as we need water.”

His oeuvre includes The Hand of God (2021), Il Divo (2008) and The Great Beauty (2013), the last of which won him the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He also created and directed the HBO series The Young Pope (2016) and The New Pope (2019), starring Jude Law and later John Malkovich.

But, this is not Sorrentino’s first foray into drinks advertising – he previously worked with Clive Owen on a campaign for Campari.

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