Campari is officially unveiling the full campaign and the many stories that make up Campari Red Diaries; a holistic (r)evolution to the late Campari Calendar – in Rome – the symbolic hub of Italian cinema.
Representing a step-change in the brand’s communication, Campari Red Diaries is a multi-layered campaign that brings to life the powerful ethos that “every cocktail tells a story”, celebrating cocktails as a powerful vehicle for expression by shining a light on the influences that inspire bartenders to share their craft. Killer in Red, the pivotal piece of the project, is a brilliantly executed short film written and directed by the Italian internationally-renowned award winner, Paolo Sorrentino and starring Hollywood actor, Clive Owen.
Set in a high-end bar, the typically Sorrentino-esque noir sees Golden Globe winner Clive Owen move from ordinary man to take on the guise of Floyd, a notorious bartender back in the early 1980s, as Clive’s character imagines the story behind the creation of the eponymous cocktail creation, the Killer in Red. The film moves between two time periods, brilliantly portraying the high-energy zeitgeist of the time using a cast of more than 170 and through the use of original costume from the era.
According to legend, Floyd has a talent for reading his clients and crafting them with the perfect cocktail for their character – as the story unfolds this so-called talent soon introduces him to the ‘Lady in Red’, played by French/Swiss actress, Caroline Tillette. Yet, as the story develops, the audience begins to suspect that the ‘Lady in Red’, is far more complex than Floyd could ever have expected. As with many of Sorrentino’s films, the film’s ending leaves the audience with the intrigue to draw their own conclusions, while reinforcing Campari’s ethos that every cocktail tells a story, with the bartender serving as the narrator.
Clive Owen, Killer in Red Star and Protagonist, comments: “Campari Red Diaries was a very easy project to say yes to – I loved the fact it was a short movie with a proper story as opposed to a commercial, while the fact it was being directed by Paolo Sorrentino was also a great attraction. I think Sorrentino is one of the best directors out there – an imaginative visionary.”
Paolo Sorrentino, Director and Screenwriter of Killer in Red, adds: “I am proud to have been involved in this Campari project for two reasons – mainly because of all the other incredible artists that had the privilege to work with the brand in the past – my name is now mentioned in the same breath as Depero, Fellini and others, even if it probably shouldn’t. I am also proud because this project, at least in Campari’s intentions, is unusual – I like being involved in pioneering projects.”
Killer in Red is the ignition of the masterful campaign, yet the Campari Red Diaries journey is about bringing to life the artistry of bartenders in an authentic way. 12 cocktail stories created by some of the leading bartenders from all around the world, with each brought to fruition through the medium of video by young and emerging Italian director Ivan Olita. Viewers are guided through the magic behind the creation of each Campari cocktail, placing the culture of mixology and its many facets centre-stage. Each of the stories captures the personality of the bartender and their narrative in an intimate fashion, absorbing the audience in the very same way that one is absorbed when choosing a cocktail.
Keeping with the tradition of the Campari Calendar of days gone by, as well as to ensure Campari Red Diaries is a true (r)evolution, the Killer in Red protagonists and the bartenders behind each of the 12 cocktail stories, are to be immortalised with the creation of the Campari Red Diaries Calendar Book, shot by acclaimed Argentinian photographer, Ale Burset, who captures and encapsulates the true essence behind each story and its narrator. As in previous years, only 9,999 copies have been printed and will not go on sale but will be internationally distributed to friends of Campari around the world as a memoir.
Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer of Gruppo Campari comments, “I am excited to launch this year’s truly unique campaign in Rome, allowing us to once again surprise and delight Campari fans all over the world by taking the brand into unchartered territory. Using film as a vehicle for the campaign has allowed us to depict the multifaceted artistry of cocktail making as well as continuously challenging ourselves to drive our iconic status as a world-renowned contemporary global brand.
“This year’s campaign takes on a new medium without severing ties with our past Campari Calendars which is exactly our approach to the brand – to innovate without ever forgetting our heritage. I am extremely proud of the result, which I must attribute to the array of professionals we have been lucky to work with from Paolo Sorrentino, Clive Owen, Ale Burset and Ivan Olita, all of whom have left their own special mark not only on the campaign but the history of Campari.”
J. Walter Thompson Milancreated the Campari Red Diaries concept, including the original story of Killer in Red, of which the screenplay was written by Paolo Sorrentino. Campari Red Diaries, including Killer in Red, was produced by Filmmaster Productions.
by Arrnott Olssen
Editor Rogue Homme