Bacardi Set to Ring in the Holidays

NEW YORK Bacardi plans to strengthen its category-leading position with its first brand-wide holiday-focused campaign in more than a decade. The push comes as the upscale rum category continues to gain popularity among consumers.

The effort will be led by TV and print, via Young & Rubicam, New York. TV breaks on cable networks around Thanksgiving and will run for eight weeks. Print will also launch next month. Support includes outdoor, Internet and on-premise promotions, the latter via Moosylvania, St. Louis. Consumers will also be driven to Bacardi.com, where cooking show-style videos offer ideas for holiday treats and cocktails.

Bacardi will spend $6 million on the seasonal effort.

Including the entire range of products meant that Bacardi’s Gold and Select labels would make their first TV appearance. Traditionally, only Superior and Limon have been used in TV that ran during the holiday season as part of regular promotional campaigns.

“It’s a big departure for us in many ways,” said Joe Metivier, brand director at Bacardi, Miami. “The idea is to promote that Bacardi has a variety of products that can be used in a wide range of food and drinks to enhance consumers’ holiday home entertaining.”

The spot opens with a young man arriving at a party and presenting the hostess with a bottle of Bacardi Gold. As a remix of “Sleigh Ride” plays, the camera works its way through the house to show the various ways people are using Bacardi’s products. Bacardi Select is included in an eggnog recipe, Limon is used to make sweet confections and Bacardi Gold is mixed with soft drinks for a cocktail and poured in as the base for a rum cake. Tag: “Happy Holidays from Bacardi.”

Rum sales in the U.S. have grown by more than 6 percent in each of the past two years to more than 19 million cases. Bacardi sales in 2006 were up 3.3 percent to 9 million cases sold. Bacardi spent $72 million on ads in 2006 and $40 million January-August 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.