French Cognac brand Rémy Martin is collaborating with a Grammy award-winning talent.
The spirits leader’s new “Life is a Melody” slot spotlights American singer-songwriter Usher. Featuring music from his upcoming album, the promotion intertwines the notes of Rémy Martin’s spirits and the artist’s ballads in what the label calls a perfect harmony.
“It’s interesting how Rémy is broadening the traditional Cognac experience by [producing] more creative and inclusive messaging with a campaign theme of ‘Life is a Melody,’” said Daymon Bruck, chief creative officer at The O Group, New York.
“The American market for Cognac has traditionally been centered around an African American audience, and this latest campaign from Rémy Martin does not diverge from this strategy with an Usher collaboration,” Mr. Bruck said. “This new campaign from Rémy is also more approachable and playful compared to historic category campaigns that focus on ‘excellence,’ ‘honor’ and ‘boldness’ as key brand marketing messages.
“Even though Usher is not exactly ‘fresh’ in terms of cultural relevance, his name is still aligned with the concept of ‘success,’ a key brand value, historically, for Cognac marketing.”
Mr. Bruck is not affiliated with Rémy Martin, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Out with a promotional film set to the tune of “Comin’ Home,” a song from the artist’s forthcoming LP, the next chapter of label’s signature “1738 Accord Royal” and “Rémy Martin XO” liquors are on display.
Usher speaks throughout the video, reflecting upon the melodies of everyday life and detailing how these elements converge to form a beautiful story, comparing this harmonic human experience to Rémy Martin’s excellent Cognac range.
The award-winning entertainer can be witnessed writing music and dancing throughout several lively scenes. Eventually, though, the star settles back into a recording booth, performing using the notes the day has given him with a bottle of strategically-placed Rémy Martin positioned in the corner.
“As an artist, I’ve always drawn creative inspiration from different facets of life that are expressed through my music,” said Usher, in a statement.
“I’m incredibly excited to continue my partnership with Rémy Martin, representing their exceptional cognac expressions of 1738 Accord Royal and now, for the first time Rémy Martin XO, sharing an exclusive preview of my new music in a campaign that captures the breadth and endless possibilities of beautiful composition and marvelous melody.”
Soon, digitally projected murals showcasing the campaign will appear in two major American cities.
New York City’s installation comes first, on display from July 24 to Aug. 20, 2023, while Chicago will get a glimpse of the project from Sept. 18, 2023 to Oct. 22, 2023.
The French Cognac brand has collaborated with the eight-time Grammy winner multiple times before, launching an NFT collection with the celebrity in July 2022 (see story). The year prior, the pair partnered on a short film project (see story).
This time around, Rémy Martin will take the engagement a step further, bringing the campaign into the real world with a round of live activations occurring across the United States.
Making one aspect of the campaign fully interactive, a series of roller skating-themed immersive pop-ups will appear in Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago and Atlanta, with Usher stopping into each location through the end of the year, homaging the musician’s ties to the activity as a childhood pastime.
Related, a new venture will be introduced.
Rémy Après Skate speakeasy and a wide range of Cognac-based cocktails will accompany the events. The bar’s signature drink will be “UR Way,” which uses both spirits and is styled after an old fashioned.
While Rémy Martin has worked with Usher many times before, the move to reconvene with the star arrives during a wave of audio-focused campaigns across the luxury landscape.
Beyond “Life is a Melody,” Usher and Rémy Martin have worked together previously. Image credit: Rémy Martin
In the last month, Scottish whiskey maker The Macallan (see story) and Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet (see story) collaborated with the band Simple Minds and DJ Mark Ronson respectively. Beyond other parallels, partnerships share the commonality of renewed commitments.
Each artist mentioned is a repeat collaborator, upping perceived authenticity with every repeat interaction.
Original article published in Luxury Daily, July 13, 2023