Hennessy is back with another award-winning campaign. This edition features an unsung athlete that lives up to their “Never stop. Never settle.” mantra. The advertisement features world champion cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor who became the first African American to win a world championship in 1899.
“Major” was born in Indiana, Indianapolis in 1878 and began racing professionally at 18 years old. He held seven world records by 1898. Although he competed fiercely for 14 years and fended off intense racism along the way, he retired at age 32. By 1932, he died penniless in Chicago. His story stood out to Senior Vice President of Hennessy U.S., Giles Woodyer.
“Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor’s perseverance to achieve new levels of greatness despite adversity is universally inspiring,” Woodyer said. “Hennessy has always been committed to celebrating important cultural moments and sharing the stories that help shape our world. We hope that this remarkable journey of an American hero will inspire others to push the limits of potential–to continue striving, to Never stop. Never settle.”
For the commercial, which originally aired on April 14, the company enlisted the help of rapper Nas to do the voiceover as he doubles as an Emmy-winning voiceover artist. They also used cycling enthusiast, Kadir Nelson, to channel the spirit of the champion for the commercial.
Hennessy is also working with ESPN to further share his legacy with a powerful documentary with commentary from BMX rider Nigel Sylvester and road cyclist Ayesha McGowan. The film will explore the pioneer cyclist’s drive, determination, and ongoing quest to break barriers in pursuit of his dreams. The film is set to air on April 22nd on the network at 3 p.m. ET.