Courvoisier announces new campaign inspired by Paris’s Golden Age

courvoisier new bottles 2015

Cocktail ideas, bartender competitions and other marketing activity is being planned for Courvoisier as part of a new global vision for the brand inspired by Paris’s “Golden Age”.

Beam Suntory has unveiled a global marketing campaign, including new advertising, consumer events, and new signature Courvoisier cocktails, under the banner of “The Toast of Paris”. It follows the previously announced new designs for the core VS, VSOP and XO (pictured).

The new brand vision, including the bottle designs, is inspired by the Belle Époque, or Golden Age, in Paris between 1870 and 1914 which was a vibrant period for arts, culture, architecture, design and industrial progress.

It also taps into Courvoisier’s connections with Paris as Emmanuel Courvoisier founded the business with Louis Gallois in 1809 as a wine and spirit company in Bercy on the outskirts of the city, selling cognacs produced for them in Cognac.

The new brand campaign was launched at a party on Monday night up the Eiffel Tower, re-creating aspects of a star-studded party held there in 1889 to celebrate the opening of the Paris landmark.

It featured dishes inspired by the great Paris-based chef Georges Auguste Escoffier who devised the menu for the 1889 party. This is feeding into aspects of the new campaign promoting Courvoisier for cooking and food pairing.

The late 19th century was a time when Courvoisier was soaring to new heights in terms of sales and won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle world fair in Paris for which the Eiffel Tower was built.

Commenting on the new brand vision, François Bazini, VP of Marketing, International at Beam Suntory, said: “It is all rooted in Paris in the Belle Époque and the celebratory occasion. It’s a true historical brand provenance that appeals to consumers around the world.

“Why is the Paris Golden Age relevant to today’s consumers? Everything that people around the world know and love about Paris, the architecture, the music, the art, the romance, the Eiffel Tower itself – it’s all from this Golden Age.

“Even if they don’t know it because they are not art historians – what they love about Paris was all born during La Belle Époque. This is why this time is so relevant to consumers around the world today – and why Courvoisier is right to claim that heritage.”

He said they wanted to tap into the DNA and heritage of Courvoisier and be relevant to a new generation of consumers as well as older cognac lovers. “We needed to be very relevant for cognac consumers but not alienate the broad audience that will drink cognac in the future.”

Promoting Courvoisier for mixing in cocktails such as punches has helped to make it the number-one cognac brand in the UK. Beam Suntory hopes to build on this success in other markets around the world where there has been less of a revival of cognac-based cocktails – once a staple of 19th-century bartending.

Future activities will include a global cocktail competition for bartenders themed around The Toast of Paris and the Belle Époque. New signature serves will also be promoted to highlight that Courvoisier is an easy-to-use ingredient in cocktails.

François added: “We are embarking on a new brand campaign which will connect with a broad range of global luxury consumers. The brand transformation celebrates Courvoisier’s unique Parisian heritage and French luxury credentials in an innovative, modern way and it will act as an incredible growth platform for Courvoisier globally.

“We are already delivering a strong performance across many key markets, and we expect the brand re-launch and new campaign to accelerate this growth.”

As part of the brand transformation, Courvoisier is to launch the Courvoisier Paris Golden Age Tour, a bespoke curated luxury tour through Paris which takes visitors on a journey to experience landmarks of the Belle Époque.

Jeanette Edwards, director of cognac at Courvoisier, said: “We wanted to create a customer experience that brought people right to the essence of the brand. Courvoisier is much more than simply cognac: it’s about celebrating and toasting to Paris.”

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