Exclusive Interview with Patrick Madendjian, Managing Director for Moët Hennessy Diageo Singapore & Malaysia

CONTENT: Kevin Yiew
IMAGE: Moët Hennessy Diageo

We recently had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Patrick Madendjian, Managing Director for Moët Hennessy Diageo Singapore & Malaysia as he shared more about Hennessy’s events and plans for the future event trends moving forward!

Luxe Society Asia: Could you tell us more about yourself and your role at Moët Hennessy Diageo?

As the Managing Director of Moët Hennessy Diageo (MHD) Malaysia & Singapore, my role is to define the vision and strategy for MHD, build and engage teams of exceptional talents to strengthen the desirability of our unique portfolio of Maisons, and ultimately deliver the business results to my shareholders. I started my career in Marketing before evolving into more General Management roles. My journey with Moet Hennessy has allowed me to work and live in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and now Asia. With such a background, I must inspire my teams to think big and make sure anything we do is distinctive and true to each Maison’s DNA and, most importantly, is culturally relevant.

Luxe Society Asia: Can you share with us some of the most successful and innovative luxury events that you’ve been involved in recently?

Over the recent years, Hennessy has led successful and innovative luxury events, notably the groundbreaking drone show during the Chinese New Year celebrations in 2024. This event showcased a show of 500 drones, symbolizing the unique alchemy obtained from the art of blending singular eaux-de-vie to create cognac masterpieces. It is about conjugating traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, marking a milestone in our commitment to reshaping luxury experiences.

Luxe Society Asia: What is so unique about your events and what made them stand out in such a highly saturated market?

The distinctiveness of our events arises from a deep understanding of luxury trends, driving innovation and audience engagement in a saturated market. Our approach aims not only to captivate global audiences but also to establish a new benchmark for innovative and immersive brand experiences.

An example is our collaboration with artist Yang Yongliang, resulting in a limited-edition collection that seamlessly blends art and technology. Inspired by Yang Yongliang’s digital masterpiece, “Dragon’s Odyssey,” the collection encapsulates the essence of the Year of the Dragon. This fusion took center stage in our multi-sensorial pop-ups at ION Orchard and Changi Airport, offering an interactive, larger-than-life experience seamlessly blending art and technology. This immersive journey transcended the confines of traditional celebrations, capturing the spirit of the Year of the Dragon, and emphatically reinforcing our commitment to reshaping luxury experiences.

Luxe Society Asia: Can you share examples of successful collaborations or partnerships that Moet Hennessy Diageo has engaged in to enhance the luxury experience in its events?

Our approach to collaboration goes beyond traditional marketing; it’s a dynamic engagement with culture, positioning us as an integral part of it. We never pay for mere endorsements; rather, we authentically connect with culture, drawing partners who seek a genuine association. When we partner with an artist, we give them total freedom for creation with the only constraint of remaining true to the Maison DNA. We strongly believe that humanity progresses best through culture… and Art is one of culture’s most aspirational vehicles.

Notable collaborations we’ve had for Hennessy include partnerships with Lang Lang, Alicia Keys, Kim Jones, NAS, and a recent collaboration with visionary Chinese artist Yang Yongliang.

Luxe Society Asia: How does Moet Hennessy leverage social media channels to enhance the reach and impact of its luxury event marketing?

Leveraging social media channels is integral to our strategy at Moet Hennessy for enhancing the reach and impact of our luxury event marketing. These platforms provide a dynamic space to cultivate and fortify relationships with tastemakers, brand enthusiasts and consumers, thereby amplifying the resonance of our events across diverse demographics.

Our approach involves harnessing visually stunning imagery and compelling storytelling to instil a sense of exclusivity and aspiration among our audience. Real-time updates and interactive features enrich the experience, while collaborations with influencers ensure authenticity across diverse demographics.

Luxe Society Asia: As setpieces for events get bigger and more extravagant, how do you plan to incorporate technology for future events to amaze your audiences?

When considering technological applications, we maintain an open-minded approach while knowing that the use of tech applications for us is not the end game. They are not the purpose of our brand activations. They are a means to an end. As long as they can help us on the journey of building our brand desirability and delivering aspirational experiences that allow us to connect with our fanbase on an emotional level, we will explore all of them. Especially since they can also allow us to explore concepts that are more respectful of our environment.

Luxe Society Asia: Does personalization for your brands play a big part in your events?

Absolutely, personalization is an important aspect of Hennessy, exemplified through an initiative we proudly call “Hennessy Hands.” This initiative pays homage to the House’s unique craftsmanship, merging innovation with personalization specifically for the Hennessy Paradis carafe.

With Hennessy Hands, attendees can imprint their initials, signatures, or a personalized message directly onto the carafe. To add a distinctive touch, a golden, silver, or copper patina is meticulously applied by hand. As a final flourish, we’ve curated a range of accessories using responsibly sourced leather from Tanneries Roux, a renowned French calfskin specialist since the 19th century.

Luxe Society Asia: What trends do you foresee in the luxury event space in the coming years, and how are your brands intending to position themselves to stay ahead of these trends?

As the luxury event space evolves, we anticipate three key trends reshaping experiences:

  1. A rising demand for immersive, personalized experiences, driven by a quest for exclusivity
  2. Sustainability taking center stage, emphasizing eco-conscious practices and responsible event management
  3. Advanced technology, including virtual and augmented reality, revolutionizing event boundaries.

To stay ahead, our brands embrace a multifaceted strategy. We’ll innovate, crafting experiences with personalized impact, emphasizing customization and exclusivity. Sustainability is a core focus, minimizing environmental impact and promoting ethical practices. This starts in the vineyards and forests for Maison Hennessy, and all the way to engaging with our communities of fans and consumers. Strategic integration of advanced technologies ensures cutting-edge events, seamlessly blending tradition and innovation. Aligned with these trends, our brands aim to deliver unparalleled luxury experiences resonating with the evolving preferences of our discerning audience.

Luxe Society Asia: The concept of “phygital” experiences, blending physical and digital elements, is gaining prominence. Do you plan on incorporating this approach into luxury events?

The embrace of “phygital” experiences aligns with our commitment to innovation. For instance, at a recent Hennessy Chinese New Year pop-up at ION Orchard, we integrated Augmented Reality (AR) through a QR code, offering attendees curated digital content. This strategic move reflects our dedication to leading event innovation, enhancing overall engagement and resonance. Our creative approach is not giving a brief with a top-down executional direction, making the use of such or such technology mandatory. We want to inspire our artist partners and or our agencies with our concepts and then give them the creative freedom to tell that story in the most spectacular way possible. Making use of whatever tech solution they believe is the best to bring the experience to life in organic, compelling way.

 Luxe Society Asia: As collecting limited edition bottles is becoming more popular as a form of alternative investment, does Moet Hennessy Diageo have any intentions to release any special collector bottles for their brands?

Yes of course, we have exciting collaborations in the pipeline for Hennessy and our Champagne brands, so stay tuned for more details.

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