Martell appoints actress Diane Kruger brand ambassador as it looks to reach younger drinkers

Martell Cognac has appointed Hollywood actress Diane Kruger as its ambassador, one of many global initiatives to mark the French brand’s 300th anniversary as it looks to change its strategy to reach younger consumers and push the influence of French culture worldwide.

The Pernod Ricard-owned brand is hoping the appointment of German-born Kruger, who will be the face of the brand’s “Tricentenaire” celebrations marking its birth in France in 1715, will give it a wider global appeal.

The Tricentenaire events will include a photo shoot of Kruger in the Palace of Versailles as well as the launch of the brand’s “France300” project, which replicates Louis XIV’s efforts 300 years ago to select the top contributors to art and culture in France.

The project will see Martell partner with France’s oldest lifestyle magazine L’Officiel to identify 300 individuals around the world who embody “modern-day French Art de Vivre” through contributions to gastronomy, art, fashion, mixology and entertainment, with the list to be published in June.

Martell will also launch events in over 30 cities worldwide, including the UK, to “celebrate the key values of Martell and the art of craftsmanship”, with a kick-off celebration at the Palace of Versailles on 20 May.

Of Kruger’s appointment, Philippe Guettat, CEO of Martell told Marketing Week: “We thought that with Martell being a truly global brand, it was stronger for someone non-French to talk about their love of France.

“We wanted someone who had the knowledge and experience of the French culture worldwide, and Diane was a great choice because she has developed a strong relationship with France and started her career as an actress here,” he added.

“She really personifies the essence of modern-day French Art de Vivre, elegance and class.”

The brand will also launch four new limited editions globally as part of its anniversary, each one having been aged in a 300-year-old oak barrel, according to Guettat.

Despite its focus on French culture, Guettat says the brand has “international roots”, something it is trying to push with the anniversary initiatives.

“The new international campaign is a symbol of the capacity for France to project itself internationally and have a strong power of attraction for an international audience,” he says.

Of her appointment, Kruger, who starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, said: “Although I still consider Paris my home, I spend a lot of time on the road and am pleased to see how the French Art de Vivre lifestyle is truly permeating contemporary society on an international scale.”

While the CEO says the Tricentenaire campaign is “for everyone” and is an effort to share with both “loyal consumers and our consumption target what Martell embodies”, he adds that Martell is looking to move in a “new direction” in the UK next year as it looks to expand its over 40 audience and recruit new consumers from the 25-35 age group.

In order to reach this target audience, Martell will promote its consumption in the “night environment” such as “discos and bars”, according to the brand, along with various ways it can be consumed with meals, such as on the rocks, with water or as part of a cocktail.

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