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Behind Louis XIII’s Museum of Rarities for its Impossibly Rare N°XIII Decanter


FRED & FARID Los Angeles speak about representing scarcity and luxury for cognac brand Louis XIII’s rarest decanter yet

Behind Louis XIII’s Museum of Rarities for its Impossibly Rare N°XIII Decanter

Rémy Martin’s luxury brand of cognac, Louis XIII, is famous just as much for the ornate decanter it comes in, as it is for the flavour and quality of the drink itself. Now, in an effort to make a statement against industrialisation and mass production, Louis XIII has created an extremely limited edition decanter - with only 200 of the hand-crafted bottles being produced by French artisans each year.

The new ‘N°XIII’ decanter is forged with a secret method and will only be available from a hand-picked selection of venues, where only one bottle can be consumed per night. To communicate the extreme rarity of the product, Louis XIII partnered with FRED & FARID Los Angeles and director Christine Yuan to create the promotional spot ‘Scarcity’, which plays with the concept of probabilities and shows off the decanter’s stunning red design.

In the spot, we are led through a museum of depictions of rare events - from achieving a hole-in-one to becoming an astronaut - all of which are purported to be more likely than acquiring one of the N°XIII decanters. Inspired by the deep ruby colour of the product, a red laser passes over all of the surreal exhibits that emphasise just how ‘scarce’ the product is.

To get a behind the scenes look into the campaign, LBB’s Ben Conway spoke with the FRED & FARID Los Angeles team about visually representing rarity, imagining a world for the new crystal decanter and why Christine Yuan was the director for the job.   

LBB> Where did the initial creative spark for the spot come from?

FRED & FARID LA> The idea of the campaign is directly inspired by the launch of Louis XIII’s rarest decanter: N°XIII. A unique new product, a red decanter, built around the idea of scarcity. The legendary French luxury company Louis XIII has decided to produce and sell only two hundred decanters a year worldwide.

LBB> Did Louis XIII have a brief or did you have creative freedom to approach them with an idea?

F&F LA> FRED & FARID Los Angeles worked closely with Louis XIII to find the name and positioning of this new product. The clients approached us with the idea of a new outstanding red crystal decanter that is handmade by exceptional ancestral French craftspeople at the oldest glass manufacturer in Europe. Each decanter is mouth-blown, a secular process mastered in 1586. We imagined a ‘world’ for this striking red N°XIII red decanter.

LBB> Have you worked with Louis XIII previously? What are some key characteristics or components of the Louis XIII brand that are vital to include in a campaign? How do you represent them in the spot? 

F&F LA> FRED & FARID has been working for more than seven years with Louis XIII. And the FRED & FARID Los Angeles team has developed Louis XIII communication concepts globally since its opening in 2019.

Louis XIII worships scarcity over industrialisation and mass production. Each decanter of Louis XIII Cognac is a unique mix of the best spirits, up to 1200, some of those being secular… And each decanter is the life achievement of generations of cellarmasters. Today Baptiste Loiseau, Louis XIII cellarmaster, is putting aside the finest ‘eaux de vie’ for the century to come. This unique Cognac has a ‘soul’ and that’s what FRED & FARID Los Angeles aims to express in all of its communications.

In the spot we can feel the luxe and refinement of the brand, but also its philosophy.

LBB> How was the concept developed? 

F&F LA> At FRED & FARID Los Angeles we like to involve the directors and production crew we will work with really early in the process - to craft with them the best solutions to express simple and clear concepts. We partnered with artist and director Christine Yuan for this project and gave her a lot of creative freedom to express this notion of scarcity we wanted to demonstrate.

LBB> The copy is simple and effective - how was the process of concepting and creating the copy based around probabilities?

F&F LA> N°XIII is one of the rarest products in the world. But it might have been difficult for people to understand and realise it if we would only describe the product. Taking the approach based on metaphors and analogies helped us put the overall creation in perspective with the world we live in. And we worked closely with the brand’s legal department to define and calculate the statistics.

LBB> The product itself is beautifully crafted - what aspects of the spot are influenced by the product and its design? 

F&F LA> The red of this unique decanter was the key element. The vibrant hue can only be achieved using a secret process, which requires the addition of gold and a minimum of 16 artisans to create. The essence and energy of the decanter is shown through the moving red laser. The red laser is highlighting the concept of scarcity. It helps to reveal the impossible, the unimaginable. 

Each of the sets complements each other, they build on the other to go deeper into scarcity each time. We wanted a diversity of examples and fields of expertise - they live together for the concept. The set and costumes were inspired by Christine Yuan’s art and imagination. Each set was built for real in a giant studio, in Los Angeles, where we shot the film.

LBB> How was the production process? Were you on-set?

F&F LA> We shot the campaign in a really large studio in Los Angeles, and we built all the sets in the space to compose the film. The FRED & FARID Los Angeles team was on set to build the narrative closely with production and the director.

We loved working with Christine Yuan and we pushed at each step to respect and push her artistic vision. Every creation is a collaborative discovery and we truly believe that only by the addition of great talents and working together, can we achieve good things. Christine has proven to add a strong and deep artistic vision to all of her films and projects. The choice to work with her was simple and the collaboration was amazing all throughout the production.

LBB> How closely did you work with the VFX and post-production teams? What were some of the key creative decisions you made regarding these aspects of the production?

F&F LA> The VFX team was on set, and worked closely with us and the production to give life to the vision of the director. We really wanted to capture a solid base on set versus full VFX, to pay tribute to the way this unique Cognac is coming to life...

LBB> What was an interesting creative challenge you faced on the project?

F&F LA> The main challenge was to express scarcity without being condescending. To keep a certain humanity in the approach and a real cheekiness in the way the story is told. And certainly Covid… as our clients could not attend the shoot in person.

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FRED & FARID, Fri, 10 Dec 2021 17:20:00 GMT