Making Cognac Cool: Remy Martin Chases China’s Younger Drinkers

Remy Martin Recently Teamed Up With Taiwanese Pop Star Jolin Tsai

Jolin Tsai VSOP

Led by growing demand among younger drinkers in mainland China, business is booming for French distiller Remy Cointreau. Currently, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for over 60 percent of Remy’s cognac sales, with China in particular responding well to intensive marketing efforts on the part of the group. Considering cognac is associated more with old men in leather sofas than youthful revelry in traditional European and North American markets, what exactly is it about cognac marketing in China that is turning the spirit into such a hip tipple?

Much of Remy Cointreau’s success in China comes down to its two-pronged marketing strategy, aimed at capturing the country’s “bread and butter” wealthier middle-aged male consumers as well as the younger nightclub-loving fu er dai demographic. Tapping older drinkers, Remy has strongly pushed its US$2,500 Louis XIII cognac in mainland China, while simultaneously angling for the increasingly lucrative 20-something demographic by promoting its China-facing Centaure line and a limited edition Remy Martin VSOP endorsed by popular Taiwanese pop star Jolin Tsai.

Last month, to burnish its more active reputation in China, Remy Martin launched a nationwide “Remy Dance” competition, with contestants going through auditions in four cities — Shanghai, Beijing, Changsha and Guangzhou — before a final competition on October 31. The winners, as judged by a panel that included Jolin Tsai and choreographer Marty Kudelka, were awarded the opportunity to create a dance with Tsai that will make its debut on December 15. Viewers could watch dances by all finalists on the Chinese video site Youku, and place votes on their favorites.

Following the dance event next month, Remy Martin is planning even more promotional events in China aimed at the country’s upwardly mobile middle-class, starting with a large-scale nightclub event hosted by Tsai on January 12, 2013.

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