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Hennessy: Major by Droga5

Agency: Droga5
Client: Hennessy
Date: Apr 2018
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Even if you are a cyclist, you may not have heard the name Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor. Cognac brand Hennessy, however, is bringing back the memory of the man who was at one time the world’s best bicycle racer.

Hennessy has launched ‘Major,’ the fifth installment of the brand’s ‘Wild Rabbit’ campaign. The creative, by Droga5, brings to life the spirit of Hennessy’s ‘Never stop. Never settle.’ mantra through the remarkable story of Taylor.

In the late 1890s Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor became the best cyclist of his time, and throughout his career dominated his competition in the US and abroad, despite fighting through blatant racism. 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, Taylor became an unrivaled champion.

A 90-second video recreates Taylor’s track racing and tells his story, and how he was never able to find a competitor as driven as himself. It ends with a shot of the Hennessey bottle and the question of “What’s your White Rabbit?”

To further tell Taylor’s story, Hennessy is partnering with ESPN to introduce the pioneering cyclist’s legacy in a short-form documentary with commentary from BMX rider Nigel Sylvester and road cyclist Ayesha McGowan. The film, airing April 22 on ESPN, invites viewers to discover Taylor’s drive, determination, and ongoing quest to pursue his dreams as he broke barriers.


Client: Moët Hennessy

Agency: Droga5 NY

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Creative Partner: Duncan Marshall

Executive Creative Director: Alexander Nowak

Senior Copywriter: Phil Hadad

Senior Art Director: Marybeth Ledesma

Group Design Director: Rich Greco

Junior Designer: Alison Lee

Junior Designer: Andrew Diemer

Technologist: Chloe Karayiannis

Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer

Group Strategy Director: Ramon Jimenez

Strategy Directors: Ben Brown

Strategists: Midori McSwain

Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy

Communications Strategy Director: Delphine McKinley

Communications Strategist: Mariel Milner

Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale

Co-Directors of Film Production: Jesse Brihn, Bryan Litman

Associate Director of Film Production: Ruben Mercadal

Associate Producer, Film: Sasha Pace

Music Supervisors: Mike Ladman, Jonathan Hecht

Co-Director of Interactive Production: Justin Durazzo

Producer, Interactive: Alyssa Cashman

Director of Art Production: Cliff Lewis

Associate Director, Art Production, Bianca Escobar

Producer, Art: Frannie Schultz

Director of Print Services: Rob Lugo

Producer, Print: Rose Mahan

Group Account Director: Lindsay Cole

Account Director: Katie Lancaster

Account Manager: Jake Stopper

Associate Account Manager: Kevin Lee

Director of Business Affairs: Jocelyn Howard

Senior Business Affairs Managers: Marcelle Gruman, Ann Marie Turbitt

Associate Counsel: Erica Palaia

Project Managers: Hillary Jordan, Kristin Robinson


SVP, Hennessy, Moët Hennessy USA: Giles Woodyer

Hennessy Global Chief Marketing Officer: Thomas Moradpour

Brand Director, Hennessy VS Black: Marion Daunizeau

Moët Hennessy USA

Global VP Marketing, Hennessy Premium Range: Amanda†Hawk

Brand Manager, Hennessy VS Black: Ryan Chappell

Moët Hennessy†USA

Hennessy Trade Marketing Director: Rachel Li

Moët Hennessy USA

Production Company: Radical Media

Director: Derek Cianfrance

DOP: Roman Vasyanov

Executive Producer: Radical Media, Jim Bouvet

Producer: Tommy Turtle

Production Designer: Ged Clarke

Costume Designer†: Zelda Sellars

1st AD: Dennis Sonin

2nd AD: Mariko Atamanenko

Executive Producer: Radioaktive Film: Darko Skulsky

Head of Production: Radioaktive Film: Sasha Bevka

Key Visual Photographer: Jack Davison

Editorial: The Quarry / Wax

Editor: Paul Watts

Lead Assistant Editor: Drew Balke

Additional Assistant Editors: Audrey Weiner, Jim Robinson

Executive Producer: Wax: Toni Lipari

Executive Producer: The Quarry: Tor Adams

Producer: Wax: Annabelle Cuthbert

Producer: The Quarry: Charlie Morris

Post Production: The Mill

Executive Producer: Melanie Wickham

Senior Producer: Freya Hewett

Production Coordinator: Mia Lalanne

Shoot Supervisors and Creative Directors: Gavin Wellsman, David Fleet

2D Lead Artist: Christoph Schroer

3D Lead Artist: Jasper Kidd

Telecine Company: 3

Senior Colorist: Tom Poole

Assistant Colorist: Jenny Montgomery

Producer: Alexandra Lubrano

Supporting Production Company: Second Child

Photographer: Paul McGeiver

Senior Retouchers: John Ciambriello, Mike Vorrasi, John Clendenen

Retouching Coordinator: Michael Mockler

Music, Main Film: Woodwork Music

Composer: Philip Kay

Producer: Andy Oskwarek, Sam Phillips

Music: Teasers

Artist: Haxan Cloak

Song Title: Hounfour Temple

Sound Design: Q Department

Sound Mix: Sonic Union

Sound Mixer: David Pappa

Marshall 'Major’ Taylor Estate Research: Nickerson Research

Susan Nickerson, Chris Lutz

BTS Film

Directors: Alex Stratienko, Shoot location portion

Brian Lannin: NAS portion

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