|Date of First Broadcast/Publication|
|Business Sector||Spirits, Fortified Wines|
|Story|| Hennessy, the world’s best-selling Cognac, is proud to announce the launch of “Major,” the fifth chapter of the brand’s award-winning “Wild Rabbit” campaign. The creative, which first aired on April 14th, brings to life the spirit of Hennessy’s “Never stop. Never settle.” mantra through the remarkable, yet widely unknown, story of Marshall “Major” Taylor.|
In the late 1890s, Marshall “Major” Taylor became the best cyclist of his time, and throughout his career dominated his competition in the U.S and abroad. He held seven world records by 1898, and in 1899, became the first African American to win a world championship. As one of the world’s first international sports stars, Marshall “Major” Taylor became an unrivaled champion whose “Wild Rabbit” fueled his search for a worthy adversary, which he never found.
“Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor’s perseverance to achieve new levels of greatness despite adversity is universally inspiring,” said Giles Woodyer, Senior Vice President, Hennessy US. “Hennessy has always been committed to celebrating important cultural moments and sharing the stories that help shape our world. We hope that this remarkable journey of an American hero will inspire others to push the limits of potential--to continue striving, to Never stop. Never settle.”
The campaign was developed in collaboration with long-term partner Droga5 who has been at the helm of the “Wild Rabbit” creative evolution since 2012. This year’s spot draws inspiration from old photographs, books and online resources as well as interviews and Taylor’s self-published autobiography, The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World. To keep the story authentic, the scenes were shot in one of the world’s few fully operational wooden velodromes.
To further celebrate this story, Hennessy is working with ESPN to share the pioneering cyclist’s legacy in a powerful short-form documentary with commentary from BMX rider Nigel Sylvester and road cyclist Ayesha McGowan. The film, airing April 22nd on ESPN at 3:00pm ET, invites viewers to discover Taylor’s drive, determination, and ongoing quest to break barriers in pursuit of his dreams.
Hennessy is collaborating with contemporary visionaries in music, art, fashion and philanthropy who have been moved by Marshall “Major” Taylor’s story and share his same “Never stop. Never settle.” mentality:
• Long-time Hennessy partner Nas, one of hip-hop's greatest lyricists and an Emmy-winning voiceover artist, lends his voice in the new “Major” TV commercial
• Renowned artist, author and cycling enthusiast Kadir Nelson channels the spirit of the champion in a modern bronze sculpture titled “THE MAJOR,” a rare and exciting departure from the artist’s typical oil paintings
• The National Brotherhood of Cyclists (NBC) and Hennessy align to continue the NBC’s original mission of commemorating Taylor’s legacy and promoting diversity in cycling, via Major Taylor cycling clubs and tribute rides
• Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, known for his original motocross and cycling collection, unveils a bespoke cycling-inspired apparel line titled “MMT 140 x Pyer Moss for Hennessy,” available for purchase in June on PyerMoss.com; a portion of the proceeds from the collection will benefit the NBC
The holistic marketing campaign will continue to roll out across social, mobile and TV throughout 2018.
About the “Wild Rabbit” Campaign
Since 2012, Hennessy’s Wild Rabbit campaign has embraced the theme of pushing one’s potential through the stories of extraordinary individuals whose inner drives pushes them to “Never stop. Never settle.” Now in its fifth iteration, the campaign has featured celebrities like Nas, while also shining light on lesser known historical heroes like Marshall “Major” Taylor.
|Media Type||Television & Cinema|
|Creative Partner||Duncan Marshall|
|Executive Creative Director||Alexander Nowak|
|Art Director||Marybeth Ledesma|
|Group Design Director||Rich Greco|
|Group Design Director||Junior Designer|
|Group Design Director||Junior Technologist|
|Chief Strategy Officer||Jonny Bauer|
|Group Strategy Director||Ramón Jiménez|
|Strategy Director||Ben Brown|
|Strategist||Head of Digital Design|
|Communications Strategy Director||Delphine McKinley|
|Communications Strategist||Mariel Milner|
|Chief Creation Officer||Sally-Ann Dale|
|Associate Director of Film Production||Ruben Mercadal|
|Associate Producer Film||Sasha Pace|
|Co-Director of Interactive Production||Justin Durazzo|
|Director of Art Production||Cliff Lewis|
|Associate Director Art Production||Bianca Escobar|
|Producer Art||Frannie Schultz|
|Director of Print Services||Rob Lugo|
|Print Producer||Rose Mahan|
|Account Director||Lindsay Cole|
|Account Director||Katie Lancaster|
|Account Manager||Jake Stopper|
|Associate Account Manager||Kevin Lee|
|Director of Business Affairs||Jocelyn Howard|
|Business Affairs Manager||Marcelle Gruman|
|Business Affairs Manager||Ann-Marie Turbitt|
|Project Manager||Hillary Jordan|
|Project Manager||Kristin Robinson|
|Advertising Manager||Giles Woodyer|
|Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)||Thomas Moradpour|
|Advertising Manager||Marion Daunizeau|
|Advertising Manager||Amanda Hawk|
|Brand Manager||Ryan Chappell|
|Marketing Director||Rachel Li|
|Production Company||radical media|
|Director of Photography (DOP)||Roman Vasyanov|
|Executive Producer||Jim Bouvet|
|Production Company Producer||Tommy Turtle|
|Production Designer||Ged Clarke|
|Assistant Director||Dennis Sonin|
|Assistant Director||Mariko Atamanenko|
|Executive Producer||Darko Skulsky|
|Key Visual Photographer||Jack Davison|
|Editing Company||The Quarry / Wax|
|Assistant Editor||Drew Balke|
|Assistant Editor||Audrey Weiner|
|Assistant Editor||Jim Robinson|
|Executive Producer||Toni Lipari|
|Executive Producer (The Quarry)||Tor Adams|
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