Brand Union Hong Kong captures rum’s colonial Mandalay spirit

Brand Union Hong Kong has partnered with Heritage Spirits Limited to produce an export version of its popular rum brand, Mandalay Rum.

The export brand, also known as “The Governor’s Choice”, is currently only available in Asia and was created to test the waters for potential larger scale exports to European and American markets.

Brand Union was tasked with creating a suite of branded materials from scratch, including the design of the bottle, packaging and marketing collateral.

The Governor’s Choice celebrates the colonial period when the rum was first produced, evoking a world of eccentric colonial settlers and parodying life in a rum-soaked Mandalay township.

The bottle itself is inspired by antique rum receptacles and includes engravings to achieve an antique patina. The pattern work was inspired from carvings found at ancient Mandalay temples.

Andy Reynolds, creative director of Brand Union, said, “We wanted to evoke a sense of the colonial era, which is firmly rooted in the minds of many consumers, and create a nostalgic, fun-loving nod to the brand’s history.”

Heritage Spirits' Jonathan Carr said, “In our label revamp for export, Brand Union’s excellent collateral has made all the difference in achieving the positive reception we have had from consumers and distributors.”

The rum bottle is wrapped in a copy of the “Mandalay Gazette”, a parody of the early colonial newspaper, featuring Mandalay Rum stories.


Client: Heritage Spirits
Agency: Brand Union - Ogilvy & Mather Group HK
CCO: Reed Collins
CD: Andy Reynolds
ACD: Mike Pearson
CW: Malcolm Pryce, Mike Pearson, Amy Thompson
Designer: Gianluca Crudele
Illustrator: Barlo, Vincent Wong