Pernod Ricard-owned Martell Cognac has partnered with American singer Janelle Monáe to launch the next chapter of its ‘Soar Beyond Expected’ campaign.
The Cognac brand and the Make Me Feel singer first collaborated in September 2021. The next chapter of ‘Soar Beyond Expected’ campaign also includes former vice-president of the US Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) of New York, Franky Marshall.
Titled The Unexpected Effect, the video campaign was directed by filmmaker Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah, and presents the ‘unexpected paths’ that many have taken, and sheds a light on what it means to feel joy – in ‘overcoming, in free expression and in paving paths for those that follow’.
“As a director and poet, my mission is to tell authentic stories of my community, and my partnership with Martell was another opportunity to pay tribute to the impact Black creatives have on society and one another,” said Dawson-Amoah. “My hope is that The Unexpected Effect will inspire people to follow their passion and reimagine their future.”
The spot also spotlights the impact of Black culture on American hospitality, and features Martell’s Blue Swift bottling, made of VSOP Cognac and finished in Kentucky Bourbon casks.
Monáe added: “Throughout history, whether it’s been on the stage or behind the bar, Black creatives have laid the groundwork for culture, and this collaboration is a testament to that legacy.
“Afrofuturism is a principle that is redefining culture as we know it, awakening us to the world’s ever-changing possibilities. Now, we have a new cocktail we can enjoy as we celebrate our work and create our future.”
Limited edition cocktail kit
A limited edition cocktail kit has been unveiled to mark the brand’s latest venture with Monáe, paying ‘homage to the unsung heroes of hospitality’. The kit includes a Martell Blue Swift recipe and a copy of The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock, said to be the first cocktail book published in 1917 by an African-American bartender. It is available in limited quantities until 31 March through Cocktail Courier.
“Janelle Monáe leads with her retro-futuristic flare and unapologetic individuality, and I think we’re alike in that way,” said Marshall.
“The drink is an eclectic fusion of my Caribbean heritage and the stylish French influence that Martell brings to the bar. We hope that people enjoy the cocktail at home just as much as I did while creating it.”
The Cognac brand has also donated US$200,000 to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation in support of Black History Month in February. The donation will be used to fund projects that advance opportunities and education for BIPOC women in the restaurant industry.
“At Pernod Ricard, we’re working towards an inclusive future that provides a level-playing field for all and honours the full range of people and stories that shape our diverse culture,” said Pamela Forbus, chief marketing officer of Pernod Ricard North America. “This campaign is a testament to the journey we’re on and commitment to mirror the diversity of our society in all we do.”
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Author: Alice Brooker