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.


  • Haku’s first major brand campaign – Defy Definition. Launched in West Coast markets with a focus on Los Angeles in Q2 2021, Defy Definition takes 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.
  • Content creation + cross-media “Defy Definition” campaign.
  • Celebrity and influencer-led seeding.
  • Charitable give-back to support the small businesses of Little Tokyo and #STOPASIANHATE, with fundraisers hosted by our two launch partners and over $x raised to support National ACE, an AAPI-led small business charity foundation.
  • Strategic partnership with Nobu restaurants and hotels, including prime real estate in the brand’s inaugural print magazine.
  • Capsule collection with local Little Tokyo-based brand Japangeles.

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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