How are big brands bringing in the Year of the Dragon?
People born in Dragon years are said to be ambitious, confident and charismatic, but can international brands match up? Eloise Feilden takes a look at the new products and marketing campaigns marking the Lunar New Year across wine, beer and spirits.
Dragon people are known, also, to be naturally lucky and gifted, and gold is the colour associated with the Year of the Dragon. But will big brands be keeping this in mind as they launch artist collaborations, limited edition packaging and travel retail initiatives?
Asahi, Japan’s top selling beer brand, has collaborated with Japanese pixel artist Hermippe to launch a brand-new Pixel Art edition can. Celebrating the year of Dragon, Hermippe’s intricate dragon design uses “mixel”, which is a technique that combines several types of dot sizes to create a complex and figurative illustration. The campaign key visual also depicts a futuristic Tokyo cityscape drawn with crisp lines in a flat composition, reminiscent of traditional Japanese painting and woodblock prints.
Pixel art is originally associated with Japan’s 1970s videogame culture. These exclusive design beer cans are available in the Asia-Pacific region including Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore.
Every year Maison Martell releases an exclusive edition of an ultra-premium Cognac to mark its historic ties with China. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the house has unveiled L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition – Assemblage du Dragon, consisting of more than 1,400 eaux-de-vie from four of the Cognac regions crus.
Martell has collaborated with French fine crystal manufacturer Baccarat on the design of the decanter, whose neck is embellished with engraved 19-carat gold and features a sculpture of a dragon’s head.
L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition – Assemblage du Dragon is available in: Switzerland, France, the US, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Austria, Netherlands, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Global Travel Retail destinations and the UK.
The second in our line-up to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with an artist collaboration, Carlsberg has teamed up with contemporary artist Ofen Hu to release the fourth artist edition developed for the brand by Somexing Art Agency.
Ofen Hu is a Chinese artist who revisits and reinterprets traditional elements of Chinese culture through a modern lens, working across mediums including paintings, prints, digital illustrations, sculptures and toy design.
Over the years, Somexing has created for the Danish beer brand a local CNY art strategy, in an attempt to boost its sales among young Chinese consumers. This year, Carlsberg extends the release of its new year artists editions to other Asian markets: Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia.
LVMH has taken to travel retail to bring in the new year, unveiling an activation for Maison Hennessy in partnership with Singapore’s Changi Airport Group and Lotte Duty Free. Hard to miss, the pop-up displays a white dragon weaving through the retail space entrances. Within the duty free retail space, LVMH is also showcasing the special Chinese New Year collection, a creation of Chinese artist Yang Yongliang, and inspired by the artist’s digital art piece ‘Dragon’s Odyssey’.
The 2024 exclusive Hennessy Paradis has launched with a limited 485 bottles worldwide, featuring a handcrafted porcelain decanter complete with gold dragon artwork, hand painted by Bernardaud in France.
Masi Agricola, which has resided in Italy’s Valpolicella Classica since 1772 — a Dragon year itself. To celebrate the 2024 zodiac, the producer has launched Nectar Costasera Lunar – New Year of the Dragon, a limited edition of Nectar Costasera Amarone Classico 2018.
The exclusive edition has been conceived and developed in partnership with China Duty Free Group, the representative of the duty-free industry in China and the largest luxury operator in the country. CDFG will be the exclusive distributor of the wine.
Masi has been distributing its Amarone wines in Asia for over 40 years. Pier Giuseppe Torresani, export and travel retail sales director at Masi, said of the latest launch: “Travel retail has always been a key pillar of Masi’s distribution strategy. In recent years, the growing interest and passion for wine in Asia, have led Masi to establish new collaborations with the most important operators in the area. The Nectar Costasera Amarone Lunar edition not only celebrates the new year but also symbolizes the partnership between Masi and CDFG.”
Want to read about how the Year of the Dragon is set to impact the secondary market? Click here.