100 Years: Pharrell Williams and LOUIS XIII Dare Us to Care
The year is 2117. From the cellars of LOUIS XIII, a Fichet-Bauche safe is uncovered. Inside is a record, made from the chalky soil of Cognac, France. From it, a song entitled “100 Years” recorded by Pharrell Williams is played for the first time in a century. This is one reality.
The other reality unfolds in the same place and same year. But no music is heard. The region where LOUIS XIII has been made since 1874 is now underwater. Civilization did not act fast enough to combat climate change and rising sea levels. So much, including “100 Years,” has been lost or forgotten. The choice between which scenario takes place in the future is ours.
LOUIS XIII and Williams came together in 2017 to motivate us to take action and get involved in the fight against global warming. They held a special listening party in Shanghai, where “100 Years” was played for their ears only. The idea conveyed was that if we don’t get our act together, a greater portion of earth will be submerged underwater, meaning future generations will never get to hear Williams’s work . . . and so much more.
While concerns for our environment should be universal, they are paramount for LOUIS XIII, a cognac maker that is very much dependent on nature. Each eaux-de-vie-filled decanter relies on the unique soil composition of the Grand Champagne terroir. Always thinking a century ahead, given the process of creating and aging, 14 years ago LOUIS XIII joined the United Nations Global Compact organization, which is dedicated to corporate social responsibility.
“Nature and time are at the heart of what we do. If the environment is unstable, even the greatest cellar master would not be able to compose the exceptional blend that is LOUIS XIII. Global warming is one of the most important issues of the 21st century; with “100 Years”—The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care,” we hope to inspire people around the world to take action,” said Ludovic du Plessis, global executive director of LOUIS XIII.
“I love the fact that LOUIS XIII thinks a century ahead,” said Williams. “We should all do the same for the planet. We have a common interest in preserving nature for the future. Each bottle is the life achievement of generations of men and women. It’s all about legacy and transmission.”
After its premiere in Shanghai, LOUIS XIII launched an international tour in cities around the world to raise awareness and funds through a series of events and dinners, hoping to inspire change on a local level. “As a company, we must do the best we can every day to make the world a better place,” explained du Plessis. “But no single person or brand can stop global warming on their own—it must come from the unified global actions of all people around the world. Together we are much stronger than any person or brand is on their own. This is not about any one city or country but the future of our planet as a whole. Our concern is not primarily for Cognac, but for every city around the world.”