Brown-Forman Aims to Raise Rum’s Pedigree

CHICAGO Northlich looks to push rum into the premium spirit category with a new campaign for Brown-Forman’s Appleton Estate Jamaican rum.

Print ads, breaking in October magazines, are headlined, “Raise your rum.” The ads show a photograph of a hand lifting a glass of rum over background settings such as a smoky jazz emporium, a sophisticated backyard party and an upscale club. Copy reads, “Sip or mix. But always raise.”

“Our research shows that most consumers think of rum as a ‘casual party drink’ rather than a premium spirit,” said Erin Schlader, vice president and marketing director for developing brands at the Louisville, Ky., company, in a statement. “In much the same way the vodka market has exploded, we think there’s an opportunity to leverage the quality of Appleton V/X to help establish the premium segment within the rum category.”

The campaign will run through the end of the year in magazines such as Cargo, FHM, GQ, Maxim, Men’s Journal and Playboy.

The work is the first for the brand from the independent Cincinnati agency, which also handles Finlandia vodka, Tuaca liqueur and Don Eduardo tequila for Brown-Forman.

Campaign spending was not disclosed. Brown-Forman spent just over $4 million on Appleton Estate last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.