British actor Daniel Craig like never before and more. Flavia Di Giustino, Senior Brand Manager of Moët Hennessy Italia, talks about the group’s projects
Edited by Margherita Calabi and Elisa Copeta
trIn addition, research, innovation and a dash of daring characterize the brands of Moët Hennessy, the world leader in luxury spirits. From Belvedere Vodka and its campaign that wowed the world with Daniel Craig to Volcano XA, latest version of Mexican tequila NOM1523. To say it is Flavia di GiustinoSenior Brand Manager of the spirits portfolio of Moët Hennessy Italy.
Daniel Craig in the Belvedere Vodka campaign photographed by Juergen Teller at the Cheval Blanc in Paris
How has Moët Hennessy’s spirits portfolio developed in recent years?
“Our portfolio has grown significantly over the past two years. In 2021 we started in Italy Volcán De Mi Tierra, a Mexican tequila brand born from the joint venture between Moët Hennessy and the Gallardo family, which has a proud history of Mexican tequila production for over four centuries. The BlancoThe Reposado and the crystalline form the main assortment and differ in age, complexity and price. The latest gem is Volcano XA, Bottle distributed in the most famous places, presenting an incredibly rare and precious blend of aging. Last year we launched Eminente, a Cuban rum created thanks to the skillful art of César Marti, Cuba’s youngest Maestro Ronero, who wants to bring back the style of 19th-century Cuban rum by bringing the Aguardiente to the absolute protagonist. Eminente is available in two versions, Ambar Claro 3 years And Reserve 7 years. Finally, in 2022, our portfolio welcomed Whistle Pig, an American rye whiskey made at Vermont’s first farm distillery, already the most awarded in the world.”
Volcano De Mi Tierra Cristalino, Reposado and Blanco
Flavia Di Giustino, Senior Brand Manager Spirits at Moët Hennessy Italy
Your portfolio also includes Belvedere Vodka, the first brand to transform vodka into a luxury product…
“Belvedere Vodka It’s a story I never tire of telling. The distillery was founded in Poland in 1910 and Belvedere Vodka was introduced to the American market in the 1990s. At the time, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms defined vodka as a colorless, tasteless, and odorless spirit. The market was saturated: all vodkas tasted the same and cost the same. Belvedere wanted to be more. The brand decided to create the first vodka in the world with an unmistakable character, choosing a very refined raw material, rye (at that time vodka was mainly made from potatoes), in order to obtain a more decisive organoleptic profile. Thus was born the first luxury vodka in history. Belvedere invented a new market segment and thus laid the foundation for the segmented market as we know it today.”
The Belvedere vodka campaign with Daniel Craig he had amazing success with numbers and interactions. How did the idea for this unexpected project come about and what do you think is the key aspect of the campaign?
“The Belvedere Vodka campaign starring Daniel Craig, directed by Academy Award winner Taika Waititi and featuring a soundtrack by Rita Ora and Giggs, was a resounding success. The project had an unprecedented global impact and resonance. The campaign launched in November 2022 in Times Square, New York, and then rolled out to the rest of the world in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and Italy. In December 2022 we conquered the city of Milan with the images of the iconic photographer Juergen Teller. The ironic element proved its worth: Belvedere Vodka chose a face known around the world for its elegance, sovereignty and charm and proposes it in a different guise. The campaign video received over 6 million views on YouTube in two months and was confirmed as a real “trend” around the world, everyone was talking about it and the online gain was unprecedented. I think the world has fallen in love with this rather tongue-in-cheek Daniel Craig, walking the corridors of one of the finest hotels in Paris, sipping a glass of Belvedere Vodka. Even Madonna reposted the video on her Instagram profile.”
The Eminente Reserva 7 Years Rum
Belvedere launched the new product last December Belvedere vodka heightWhat does this project mean to you?
“Belvedere vodka height is a limited edition bottle released exclusively in Italy, France, Austria and Germany with the aim of becoming the undisputed queen of the ski season and protagonist of après-ski. The geographic heart of the project in Italy is Courmayeur, where we have built a real flagship – the Loge du Massif – that interprets Belvedere vodka height with a range of signature cocktails. It is a further expression of the brand’s values: style, uncompromising quality and authenticity. We wanted to celebrate these values with a group of personalities who have become “friends of the brand”: for the official launch of Belvedere vodka height in Italy last December it was Cecilia Rodríguez and Ignazio Moser, models Korlan Madi, Amina Ladymia and Mattia Narducci and finally digital talents Luca Macellari Palmieri and Marco Fantini.”
The pandemic has changed many habits, including the way alcohol and spirits are consumed. How has consumer attitudes to Moët Hennessy products changed?
“The pandemic has changed our habits, but consumers couldn’t wait to get back to sharing moments of socializing away from home and sipping their favorite beverage at a trusted bar. 2022 was a record year for Belvedere Vodka in Italy and worldwide. Today, consumers are more and more informed, they are passionate about the world of distillates, they challenge bartenders to interpret their tastes and indicate the brand with which they want to mix their cocktail. They no longer ask for a simple gin and tonic, but for a specific brand of gin and tonic. Not only that, the will is to drink less, but drink better. Even those who are not great experts are willing to pay a little more for the quality of a cocktail. It’s official: the tequila era is booming and the open bar is ending. All of these trends are incredibly positive for luxury and quality products like those in our portfolio.”
Finally, what will be the challenges of 2023 for Moët Hennessy?
“Consistent with the momentum of recent years, 2023 will also be no exception: Volcán De Mi Tierra will present its three Blanco, Reposado And crystalline in a new guise. This new packaging will be launched in Italy in a few months: the silhouette of the bottle will be even more striking, a tribute to craftsmanship and to the tequila volcano from which the brand takes its name. Ardbeg, the world’s favorite peated whisky, will launch a very rare series of special editions and Glenmorangie and Hennessy will launch their annual limited edition. Belvedere Vodka will surprise its consumers even before summer, thanks to the pioneering spirit that has always characterized the distillery. And finally our newest jewels: Whistle Pig and Eminente. We are developing new communication platforms to make these brands the undisputed leaders in their respective market categories.”