Godawan, a rare whisky brand to save a rare species

Last year, Godawan was introduced to the world, putting India on the luxury whisky world map with its artisanal Indian single malt with conservation at its heart. With Godawan Series 02, the world of Godawan continues to grow – establishing itself as a uniquely Indian luxury brand, setting a new standard for mindful luxury. And most importantly, helping to fund vital work to save a precious bird, the Great Indian Bustard, or Godawan.

From the start, the Godawan bird was our focus and inspiration. On our first visit to the distillery in Rajasthan, we learned its rare state bird was in danger of extinction. With only 128 remaining, the opportunity to save this rare species was born. Building on the insight that there are few brands launched with the sole intention of being purposeful, we decided this would be a brand born to do good. One with purpose at the heart of all its identity, comms and actions, that would connect with the emerging younger luxury consumer in India.

We created a new set of design cues that reflected a more responsible and sustainable stance, using these cues to create the brand from the ground up. Our creative platform of ‘desert bloom’ is an ode to Rajasthan, the home of the Godawan and a land of scarce resources, yet abundant with ingenuity and craftsmanship. From the Godawan wordmark, a contemporary interpretation of a traditional local typeface, that blooms from a colour-blocked horizon line symbolic of the vast desert landscape; to the hand-drawn bird illustration which acts as a seal of quality and mark of dedication to its conservation. Through the layered typography and locally inspired, pattern-work that evokes the local crafts. Whilst the subtle serenity of the colour palette contrasted with vibrant pops of colour conveys the life and soul of Rajasthan set against the stark desert landscape.

Every touchpoint is an invitation to discover the rare craft of Rajasthan, such as the serve, inspired by the theatre of the region’s traditional Kavad storytelling boxes. A live demonstration of the meticulous craftmanship involved in making our whisky, revealed by bartenders with folding doors, hidden drawers and exquisite details.

Our on & off-trade displays invite deeper discovery. Proudly bringing to life our desert provenance and inspired by the natural elements you find in Rajasthan, such as sandstone, handcrafted metals, natural paper stocks and cotton papers. The form and shape of point-of-sale items such as the glorifier and free-standing unit, rise from the desert horizon line and bloom outwards – a 3-dimensional representation of ‘desert bloom’. Elegant copper rods nod to the copper stills used in the production of Godawan’s rare spirit.

The sustainable impact of the brand was a key consideration. The distillery is now an Alliance of Water Stewardship-certified water-positive distillery, the whisky’s key barley ingredient has been sourced locally and the packaging was responsibly specified. The bottling supplier was local, the glass weight optimised for the category, the paper labels were FSC-certified with recycled content and the carton-board outer was produced with Diageo India’s first locally sourced FSC stock.

An award-winning Indian-born global brand with mindful luxury at its heart, Godawan has already made an impact. Since the launch, the brand has gained remarkable traction, achieving the highest rate of sale of any Diageo India brand, with 20 new listings in the United Arab Emirates and distribution in key luxury markets in the US, UK, France and Benelux underway. To date, it has earned £2.36m in media value. With over one million rupees already invested to protect over 200 acres of habitat for the feeding and nesting of the Godawan bird.

“We are ecstatic about the quality of Butterfly Cannon’s work on our ‘rare whisky to save a rare species’ – Godawan Artisanal Indian Single Malt. With us from the very start, their strategic thinking and meticulously crafted, powerful designs across all touch points have been an integral part of establishing Godawan as an Indian born global brand with mindful luxury at its heart. It’s no exaggeration to say that the astonishing success of Godawan would not have been possible without our partnership with the Butterfly Cannon team.”

Hiren Dedhia, Design Head, Diageo India

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