JOSHUA FOSTER
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MARTELL COGNAC - 1715

Our challenge was two fold:

1) Absolve the perception of Martell Brandy which was seen as middle market with very little prestige and
2) Launch Martell Cognac into a crowded market as an established, dominant player.

To do this we shunned a typical advertising campaign and chose instead to design and construct a highly customised concept bar - 1715 by Martell Cognac, that was open to the public for six weeks. Located in Sandton, Johannesburg’s high-end business hub, it catered to a sophisticated target audience seeking out individualised experiences. (1715 is also the year that Martell Cognac was first distilled).

With its contemporary luxury look and feel, peppered with French elegance and bespoke design features, 1715 was the epitome of Martell’s exuberant and indulgent approach to living life. A mix of old and new the space itself was inspired by the brand’s colours and used these to dramatic effect, offering guests a 3-dimensional experience of the brand.

1715 by Martell Cognac was constructed from the ground up. We began with nothing but a shell inside our chosen Sandton location and over a period of few months created what was to become the brand’s home for six weeks. 

One of Martell Cognac’s brand pillars states that “life is better together”, so interior seating was designed with this ideal in mind. We created what we called “crew couches”, these were C shaped couches designed so consumers faced each other, and thus interacted, no matter where they sat. 

A collection of concept posters inspiredly the Martell Cognac print ads of old, contrasted with modern day scenes of Johannesburg and its high-life.

These posters show the history of Martell Cognac while creating relevance for the brand with their consumers of today.

 
A celebration of the redevelopment of Johannesburg CBD and the people who choose to move back.  Illustrator: MW van der Walt

A celebration of the redevelopment of Johannesburg CBD and the people who choose to move back.

Illustrator: MW van der Walt

A celebration of Johannesburg’s world-class railway – The Gautrain  Illustrator: Andrew Ringrose

A celebration of Johannesburg’s world-class railway – The Gautrain

Illustrator: Andrew Ringrose

A celebration of the modern Johannesburg gentleman, driven for success and always immaculately dressed.  Illustrator: Jodia Steenkamp

A celebration of the modern Johannesburg gentleman, driven for success and always immaculately dressed.

Illustrator: Jodia Steenkamp

 

The Martell Cognac liquid was also one of our major design cues and influenced everything from posters to wall art. 

Illustrator: Andrew Ringrose

Illustrator: Andrew Ringrose

Which brings us to Cognac, the reason we designed and built 1715 in the place. The whole point of the venue was to offers consumers a 3-dimensional experience of the brand, but at the same time put liquid on lips. 

To do this we created a range of 30 signature cocktails, and offered consumers access to exclusive Martell Cognacs such as Martell L’Or de Jean Martell which retails for almost $3000 a bottle. 

To further entrench the idea of Martell Cognac and luxury we collaborated with famous South African Chefs Caro De Waal and Vicky Crease to create cognac inspired dishes. 

While the décor at 1715 by Martell Cognac was a mix of old and new, we carried this theme through into our entertainment too. Our entertainment programme showcased a line-up with a twist’ and saw jazz artists collaborating with urban house legends Euphonik and Black Motion.

Credits

Client: Pernod Ricard
Product: Martell Cognac

Agency: Publicis Machine
Executive Creative Director: Jake Bester
Art Director: Joshua Foster
Copywriter: Giran Adams
Designer: Joshua Foster
Illustrators: Andrew Ringrose, MW van der Walt, Jodia Steenkamp