Pernod Ricard has produced a film called "The Legend of Akhtamar" as part of a campaign to relaunch what it hopes will become an Armenian cultural touchstone: Ararat brandy.
The drinks giant tapped Amsterdam Worldwide to produce the long-form film, which never highlights the product. The movie, instead, focuses on Ararat's Eastern cultural heritage, and will be the first in a series of re-crafted classic Armenian tales produced for the screen by Amsterdam Worldwide.
"Ararat is a household name in the former Soviet Union and a legendary Armenian brand, but one that needed updating," says Brian Elliott, founder and chief executive of Amsterdam Worldwide. "Ararat's parent company, Pernod Ricard, wanted to associate the brand's authenticity with a more sophisticated and contemporary image."
The film is a modern reworking of a traditional Armenian love story: a young Muscovite travels to meet his girlfriend and during his journey he encounters a mysterious taxi driver who senses his troubled state of mind and recounts the dark legend of Akhtamar.
The cast includes Armenian-born actor Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, Ravshana Kurkova, winner of Best Actress at the International Film Festival of the CIS; and former Bolshoi Theatre pupil, Grigory Dobrygin.
Part of a global campaign targeting Russians, Armenians and Eastern European expat communities across the World, the film is being supported by a print, outdoor, blogger and social media campaign. It launches this week at Ararat Legends' website.
Age Action Turns to Film
Another example of advertiser-turned-filmmaker is illustrated by the Irish charity Age Action, which produced a short movie showing seventy-something Dubliners learning to rap (via the Sunday Business Post).
Called Growing Up Is Optional, the movie was made in part to test what sort of content might work as a viral video. "We've used traditional media in the past, but this is a first for us," said Eamon Timmons of Age Action. ''Our primary market would be older people. But it's obvious that, if we're serious about addressing age discrimination, we need to start talking to younger people."
The movie shows the elderly dancers learning to rap, interspersed with footage of the core characters talking about their lives.