These Smart, Sexy Campari Ads Will Teach You How to Drink an Upside-Down Cocktail

Finally, a practical application for our giant block of ice

Bottoms up!

Campari turns expectation on its head in "How to Drink a Campari," a sleek and surreal series of videos from Japan.

In each short film, a woman must figure out how to drink a glass of Campari that has been turned upside-down. Given that we've all faced this confounding situation at one time or another, this campaign could save your life!

"We wanted to present a cool, contemporary and smart woman who would show viewers the mystery of Campari," says Lernert Engelberts of Amsterdam-based directing duo Lernert & Sander, who created the spots with Tokyo ad shop Mori Inc. "Someone with a sexy, clever brain. An enticing problem solver—a modern take on the Campari Girl of years past."

That said, our heroine gets a little bit of help putting things right(-side up)—from a pair of guys who literally bring on the cool—without spilling a single drop.

In the case of the clip below, "we thought that something iconic, like a big, red C, would be appropriate for the classic Campari and soda pairing," Engelberts says.

Next, the notion of "turning tables" is taken to new extremes for the Campari Shakerato cocktail, with visuals Engelberts describes as "cunning, yet precise":

Finally, with the spot below, "we wanted to add a bit of mischief to the frozen Negroni aperitif film," says Engelberts. Don't try this at home unless you're stone-cold sober:

Aimed at 20- to 49-year-old men, the videos are running in Japanese media owned by Campari distributor Suntory. They're novel for the category (though perhaps restrained by the standards of Japanese ads, which tend to be unusual at the very least). The white, minimalist sets and spare, jazzy score add to the quirky fun.

Of course, it wasn't easy creating a campaign with so much upside.

"Because everything was done practically and filmed in camera, we had to work nimbly during production—there was no room for error," Engelberts. For example, "the ice block was formed over six weeks in order to achieve the beautiful transparency that we were looking for, but it was so big that there were technical difficulties. Mainly, it kept melting. We ended up using LED lights on set so it wouldn't melt as quickly."


Client: Campari Japan, Suntory

Concept, Direction: Lernert & Sander

Creative Director: Morihiro Harano

Director of Photography: Patrick Otten

Art Director: Tom Darmstaedter

Styling: Thomas Vermeer

Makeup: Florence Teerlinck

Editor: Simone Rau

Grading, Online: Hectic Electric

Music, Sound Design: Diederik Idenburg

Casting: Alexandra Carrée

Models: Layna, Nicola, Olav (Dominique Models)

Project Managers: Misato Tachibana, Motoko Shimizu

Producers: Marie-Hélène Van Quickenborne, Bram Sterckx

Executive Producer: Maarten Le Roy

Creative Agencies: Mori Inc.; Lernert & Sander

Production Company: ADULT (

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: November 13, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT