The craft gin market has grown exponentially over the past few years – more and more niche spirits are riding to fame on the back of the...

Hendrick’s Gin presents The Great Phantasmagorical Excursion


The craft gin market has grown exponentially over the past few years – more and more niche spirits are riding to fame on the back of their ‘small batches’ and ‘extraordinary botanicals’ all distilled in the middle of nowhere by magical pixies. So even with a highly peculiar brand like Hendrick’s, it’s getting harder to achieve stand out and stay relevant and interesting

Hendrick’s tasked us with creating an audio-based campaign to ignite people’s curiosity. One that wouldn’t just be appreciated as part of an experience, but one that could be enjoyed by those unable to attend Hendrick’s curious events. Something they are famed for in the industry.

Armed with our resident researchers, we went back to the 1800s for inspiration and made a very interesting discovery. You may be familiar with Edgar Allan Poe, but were you aware of his experiments into Hypnagogia?

"Only when I am on the brink of sleep, with the consciousness that I am so..." -Edgar Allan Poe

Hypnagogia is a state of mind between the waking world and the dream world – a state in which one can explore the depths of their imagination.

Inspired by this peculiar finding, we planned a journey into people’s imaginations. And we called it ‘The Great Phantasmagorical Excursion’.

The campaign kicked off with our new fangled invention – the mind reading top hats, or ‘Phantasmagorical cogitative drinking toppers’, designed in collaboration with Ten Hertz.

After taking a quick psychological Rorschach test to determine the most accessible part of our comrades’ imaginations, the hat was placed on their head and they were played one of five stories – harnessing hypnagogic beats and strange dreamlike soundscapes to take them on a journey. Which we designed in collaboration with Sensory Agency Vetyver.

And how do we know it worked? We read their minds. The hats were built with EEG readers designed to pick up on people’s brainwaves – Alpha, gamma, beta, theta and delta.

Depending on what brainwave was being picked up, a different image was displayed in the top of the hats via a pepper’s ghost illusion – making it look like the thoughts were coming out of their heads. 

The next part of our campaign was to get those people unable to attend a topper event to come to our online experience. After signing up, the majority of people were directed to our website to take the psychological test and experience their specially selected journey.

As the excursion rolled out, people saw thoughts emanating from their minds on the screen. Happy movements like smiles would affect the visuals - creating swarms of butterflies and bubbles. Moments of awe-struck widened eyes would draw in elephants or acrobats. To name just a few.

For those who were determined to have even more extraordinary minds, we sent our final invention: Hendrick’s Hypnagoggles. The goggles were inspired by Google Cardboard. But as this is a very self indulgent one way experience, we decided to literally flip the idea on it’s head.

After summoning a drinking partner and creating a Hendrick’s and tonic, our extraordinarily minded person could listen to their track, while their drinking partner watched their thoughts through the eyes of the goggles. Ingenious.

And in doing so we brought the peculiar world of Hendrick’s to those who might not have otherwise had the opportunity. And turned craft gin lovers into Hendrick’s fans, curious for more.

Try the experience for yourself here.

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