Case study: Courvoisier’s escapist strategy that drives sales

  • See how brands are helping consumers escape reality in our cover story, click here
  • To learn more about the phenomenon which combines a fusion of live theatre and cinema – Secret Cinema, click here
  • “People are looking for travel where their BlackBerry won’t work and you won’t be able to get a 360-degree virtual tour of the house you’re staying in before you get there”, click here to read more

Cognac brand Courvoisier has staged numerous ’fantasy’ events in association with other brands, such as jelly makers Bompas & Parr and immersive theatre company Punchdrunk. This included an ’architectural punchbowl’ – Courvoisier flooded a London building with punch which visitors could float around on a fruit-shaped raft.

Often associated with the older generations or the hip hop community, the brand has been able to successfully communicate with a different and forward-thinking 28+ demographic with these events.

“We wanted to create some buzz and talkability through an experience associated with the brand,” explains marketing controller Eileen Livingston.

At last year’s Secret Garden Party festival the brand created a pedal-powered punch machine.


“Consumers are pleasantly surprised,” says Livingston. “They see a reason for trying Courvoisier and they associate it with being a creative brand.” The strategy is proving profitable. Courvoisier VSOP is now the fastest growing cognac in the UK, overtaking Remy Martin VSOP in sales at Christmas, and the company has a total value share of 63%.

“One of the things we’ve done is communicate the mixability of cognac, rather than drinking it straight,” explains Livingston. “At each of these events, we’ve tried to bring in the message of punch. That was what kicked off our affiliations, thinking of punch and serving it in a new way.”

This year, the brand is working with speakeasy (’secret bar’) White Mink to hold electro swing events across the UK, including the Brighton Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe that bring back the sounds and styles of the Twenties and Thirties. “A lot of people dress up when they go along to these events and, again, the Courvoisier punch will become an intrinsic part of the evening,” says Livingston.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here