House of Suntory

Kingsland works with House of Suntory on brand strategy and creative work across-portfolio. Our first campaign for Haku Vodka encompasses the audacious yet authentic heart of the brand house.

Part of House of Suntory’s ‘next gen’ portfolio of innovative new liquids, Haku is a Japanese vodka made from 100% hakumai white rice. Although it’s technically a vodka, it wins over fans who traditionally dislike clear spirits with its complex sake-influenced taste profile.

Challenge: Haku lacked brand awareness in the US, especially when compared to sister brands like Roku Gin and Toki, Hibiki and Yamazaki whiskies. The brand also had a bold visual center but had not yet explored its purpose or storytelling strategy.

Approach: Kingsland created a strategic grounding for the program in the statement “Defy Definition.” Very early on, we decided on an AAPI target consumer and a program that would explore the AAPI experience through a global lens. Defy Definition – Haku’s first major brand campaign – launched in West Coast markets with a focus on Los Angeles in Q2 2021. The campaign  took an honest look at the Asian American experience, one that cannot be defined or packaged neatly with a bow. Launch content with profiles of tattoo-icon-turned-skincare-maven Dr. Woo and “The Golden Girl of Wellness” Candice Kumai as well as celebrity and influencer-led seeding, a charitable give-back component to support the small businesses of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and #STOPASIANHATE, with fundraisers hosted by both of our launch partners. Finally, a strategic partnership with Nobu restaurants and hotels, including prime real estate in the brand’s inaugural print magazine, continued to amplify the message behind Haku’s inception: to respect tradition enough to improve upon it.

Categories: Brand Strategy, Creative Strategy, Creative Campaign, Positioning Production, Copywriting, Influencer, Culture

Vision Drives Value

Kingsland Consulting LLC
Brooklyn, NY |  Los Angeles CA


Los Angeles


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