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Bacardi targets rum growth with major campaign

Bacardi is aiming to pull back growth of its namesake rum with a new major advertising push – the first since the group completely restructured its marketing division earlier this year.

Bacardi’s new advertising campaign for its namesake rum brand targets Millennial consumers

The multi-channel campaign targets Millennial consumers and is described as “user-centric”. It consists of a 30-second television spot, experiential “House Party” campaign, and digital, mobile and partnership strategy.

The television advert, called The Truck, is shot with a hand-held camera and portrays a group of friends “letting nothing get in their way of hosting an amazing house party”.

Mauricio Vergara, Bacardi’s chief marketing officer for North America and global lead for Bacardi rum, described the campaign as an “evolution” of the brand’s Bacardi Untameable Since 1862 campaign.

“Our heritage and history is very important to us, and we wanted to create something where consumers feel like we can be part of their story and they can be part of ours,” he added. “That’s why the ad isn’t overly stylised or overtly ad-like.

“It’s an exciting time for the brand. We have been bold with the structural changes we’ve made and we’re going to be bold with our creative choices.

“The stakes are high and we are in this to win. It’s a real step-change in how the brand is marketed, supported by an unprecedented A&P spend. Bacardi remains the number one rum but there’s work to be done to strengthen the brand and engage consumers in a more relevant way.”

First agency campaign

In April this year, Bacardi revealed plans to streamline its global advertising business, appointing BBDO Worldwide and OMD Worldwide – both part of Omnicom Group – to handle its entire publicity, media and digital operations.

In order to “match up” with this new agency relationship internally at Bacardi, the company restructured its own marketing division with the creation of two “Centres of Excellence”, one based in North America and another in Europe.

Vergara was named CMO of North America and global lead for Bacardi and Grey Goose, while Shane Hoyne was appointed CMO of Europe and global lead for Martini, Dewar’s, William Lawson’s and Bombay.

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Bacardi’s CEO Mike Dolan said the company needed to “take a sword and make dramatic change”, admitting that a number of key executives resigned from the group as a direct result of its restructure.

Bacardi rum’s sales declined by almost 1m cases in 2014, a drop Dolan has attributed to poor marketing.

This campaign for the brand marks the first work by BBDO and OMD after its partnership with the Bermuda-based drinks group was announced.

In addition to the TV spot, Bacardi will launch a series of supporting brand activations, including mobile and online content, media partnerships and real house parties that consumers can attend.

The house party activation will launch with a Halloween celebration in Philadelphia on 31 October. The event will see Bacardi take over a flat bed truck that will then travel down the East Coast of the US.

“We want to connect with Millennials in their preferred channels, so we’ve put together a really strong multi-channel approach across the entire program of activity,” said Fabio Di Giammarco, who was recently appointed to the new role of global vice president of Bacardi rum.

“House Party, in particular, is an occasion where we can bring the Bacardi Untameable brand story to life in a more relatable way and celebrate those who use their ingenuity to let nothing get in the way of a great party.”

Click on the link below to see Bacardi’s The Truck advertisement.

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