Advertising, At home

Some guy making a Daiquiri

You won’t be able to tell from watching the video, but this is my good mate Marty Newell, Melburnian brand ambassador for the most superior Superior Rum on Earth, Bacardi.

It’s a nice bit of vision, and an easily followable recipe for one of life exquisite little pleasures, a well made Daiquiri.

Nice work buddy.

Advertising, Spirit

Put it in your mouth. Smart (ass) marketing from the fine folks at Stolen Rum

Smart marketing from the boys at Stolen Rum. As part of their Open letter to Bacardi, they’ve sent out samplers of Stolen and Bacardi to generate some attention for their brand.

Essentially they’ve done some research and found that 61% of people prefer Stolen Rum over the Bacardi Superior and written this open letter to Bacardi offering up their recipe for the good of rum drinkers worldwide.

As part of their outreach, I received two mini bottles and instructions on how to conduct my very own taste test.

Product A had green bananas on the nose and through the palate. Good sweetness and a rich almost creamy finish. Product B wasn’t quite as sweet, and I got more ethanol of the nose. The palate delivered caramel, banana and notes of cacao that I found extremely pleasing. I also like quite a “dry” mojito, so I enjoyed the slighty less sweet mouthfeel and finish.  Overall it was B for me.

Confirmed by Stolen, sample B was Bacardi. I’m not sure this diminishes their campaign.

As Pepsi proved when they went up against Coke, most consumers will gravitate towards sweetness in this type of activity. As the shift towards Coke 2 and the pull back to the product showed that brands are built on more than taste.

I continue to look forward to receiving smart marketing and award winning rum in my mailbox. While I might not have made the “right” choice blind, my sighted one will always go for the upstart brand trying something different.



Advertising, Sydney

Something a little more Refined

At last, a little refined instruction is coming to the classes convict cesspool that is Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

Hendricks Gin is bringing some of it quirky marketing experience to the general public. The brand is known for breaking step with the rest and happily expounding a nineteenth century weltanschauung for a twenty first century world, Sydneysiders will have a chance to experience both the brand ideal and some old worldy charm for the last three days at the end of this week.

Press release follows:


A new service offering etiquette tips to both singletons and couples looking to woo potential suitors and develop their relationships with a level of decorum that will make those Victorian-era principles proud. The Hendrick’s Refined Courtship Clinic is a public drop-in surgery, run by Dr Humphrey SixWivs and Mrs Isabella Forlornicate in Sydney’s vivacious Paddington.


Hendrick’s Clinicians will be offering 1-2-1 advice, free of charge, on all matters from polite body language to acceptable topics of conversation and procedures of courtship to reading signals from a lady’s fan movements. The clinic will also offer tips on a most unusual, yet wonderfully eccentric, way of the basics of chivalry for gentleman and advice on general appearance for ladies.



In a day when public displays of affection from one to another – wolf-whistles, forthright chat-up lines and robust embracing – are often perceived as vulgar or inappropriate, the Hendrick’s Refined Courtship Clinic will educate that the route to success is through good manners and etiquette when courting. It was author Og Mandino that once said: “I seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted.”



387 Oxford Street, Paddington, Sydney 2021.


Hendrick’s Refined Courtship Clinic. The surgery is a beacon of promise amongst the frightfully explicit protrusions of the area, in Sydney’s buzzing Paddington.



Public opening on the following dates –


Thursday, 23rd of June (2pm-8pm); Friday, 24th June (2pm-8pm); Saturday 23rd of June (12pm-8pm)



Advertising, Spirit

Not Tequila

I know what I said yesterday, but I just watched the new Bundaberg Rum spot and thought it worth giving a share.

I have to say, I didn’t think that this one had the humor of the Drop Bear commercials of the magnificent Mr Logan, but they do open up a conversation on the history of the brand and the place it has in Australian culture.

I also think the first commercial is much better for the addition of the second.

Huzzah! Now if only they’d make the rum as good as the advertising.


This just in – Sex Still Sells

Well obviously if you’re pushing Bourbon liqueur it does.

Gruppo Campari have taken over the marketing of the Wild Turkey brand as part of their establishing an office in Australia. As far as I’ve seen this is the first big push of marketing activity, leveraging the American Honey Calendar.

A down home version of the Pirelli Calendar, Wild Turkey bring together12 ambassadors of the brand for a not too risque but headed in that direction photo shoot that is then sold and distributed. This year two Australians, Zoe Balbi and Megan Brunskill, will be amongst that hallowed company. There will also be a launch event for the calendar later in the year.

Hopefully this is not a trend that will see Angus Winchester, John Gakuru and Jacob Briars, oiled and in posing pouches, extolling their own tasty beverages. God willing, at least.

Advertising, Competitions

Is Belvedere your dream job?

Win this contest and spend your time with blonde cougars

Well, someone obviously noticed the Best Job in the World and how it succesfully garnered an audience for Tourism Queensland.

Belvedere are taking to the interwebs to find their next Global Brand ambassador. The prize does sound pretty cool, $100,000 and a chance to travel the world with Claire Smith, the cutie in the pink frock in the picture above, pushing Belvedere vodka.

Head to the Facebook page if you want to submit a video and get involved. You’ll also be able to find more info on the Belvedere Global Site. Also, if you can’t or don’t read, you can watch the announcement here.


A dash more insight into the True Originals campaign from Bacardi

I saw this turn up in the thread that followed DigiBuzz, an Australian Digi marketing blogger tearing down the holes in the campaign and the utterly bad ROI. It prompted a response on one of the crew responsible:

Graham Hodge Says:
August 3rd, 2010 at 9:51 pm

May I offer a few words in defence of Bacardi? I feel I have a valid point-of-view having proposed, developed, launched and run this programme for Bacardi.

Weirdly, I pretty well agree with everything you say Aden (especially the bit about the films being “fantastic” and “amazing” – thanks for that!). Judged by the standards of consumer campaigns, it’s a fail. We used hardly any of the usual tricks you can deploy to reach as many as people as possible and achieve the holy grail of “going viral”.

But that wasn’t the objective. The objective was to engage the global community of professional mixologists with some really cool content that highlighted Bacardi’s role in the genesis of many of the world’s favourite cocktails.

Top-tier bartenders use Facebook – a lot. We wanted to create a home for the content that didn’t require the audience to go into the usual Bacardi enivronment. (You’ll notice that the films are barely branded – that’s the real innovation here.) Facebook fitted the bill.

We have also been working with some influential cocktail bloggers (e.g., and premiered the most recent film at Tales Of The Cocktail, a trade-show in New Orleans where pretty well all of the world’s top bartenders gather. Facebook and YouTube were just two of the channels we used to reach that audience, not the end in itself.

As for ROI, given the objective and the audience, we think 60,000 views and 1,000 fans are great results – though not as great as the comments we’ve had from some of the world’s most highly regarded bartenders.

But the real ROI comes when you, a consumer, order a Cuba Libre at your favourite bar, and the bartender tells you that Bacardi was the rum used in the first Cuba Libre ever made, back in 1900, and that you should really think about having that Cuba Libre with Bacardi, not Havana Club.

Now, is there an opportunity to evolve this project for a larger audience? Of course there is, and all of your suggestions are 100% valid (watch this space for a competition — but again, it’s very targeted!). But for the time being, this initiative is for bartenders, and isn’t one of the great things about the Internet that it enables communities – of any size – to come together and share stuff they care about?

I’m not sure how a video targetted at bartenders is going to get a consumer to ask for a cuba libre, and while the Mojito, Daiquiri, Pina Colada and the Cuba Libre are all Bacardi “Originals” there isn’t a lot in the way of story in addition to tell these little facts.

Maybe it’s like Tom Cruise said in Cocktail, “Why didn’t you just tell me it was a rum and coke?’ a sentiment that is backed up by this 1984 print ad.


True Originals #4

Another chapter in the Bacardi campaign has launched. This time the classic is twisted by a flair tender, Nicholas St.Jean in a bar with a hidden entry, PDT styles.

The content has sparked discussion around the world with the spin the bottle or nots coming out to voice their opinions as the only ones worth hearing. I have hated flair more than I’ve loved it, standing at a packed bar waiting to have you order taken while some cock flings a bottle and sets the bar on fire has turned me off more than a couple of places, but I have to say, in a hidden speakeasy, where flair is show for you individual drink and there are not 100 others queued up waiting, that might just work.

Not too sure about the more than regulation pour though, doesn’t seem all that responsible…

Advertising, Industry News

And now, for something a little different

Bacardi have had a long history of producing advertising that appeals to a mass market. From their days in the fold of David Ogilvy until the more recent muddling the shit out of the Mojito in Miami, the direction has always been more about the consumer than the craft.

These, then, represent a pretty substantial step away (or towards, depending on where you sit) from the light. With slick, beautiful drinks being presented in modern bar environments. I’ve also heard tell of a third one featuring a Brit making a Mojito for the mystery guest. I’ll keep my ears to the ground for that one.

These three ads cover the main types of great cocktail experiences that are talked about currently. The Samurai could be in any standing bar in Tokyo, or indeed much of Japan, his holds, pours and cuts exemplify the Japanese style. I could only really fault the eye contact and the lack of a double strain. The Hummingbird is a very Miami style setting, and while I’m sure some will fault her for tasting the drink openly, behind her bar, I think it works. The third movie, is meant to be set in a more intimate bar where cocktails are worked out of the ether using new combinations and amazing ingredients. Think Jim Meehan in PDT, the boys at Milk & Honey or Sydney’s Eau de Vie.

I’d love to think that this was part of some larger effort, where true originals are going to picked out from around the world and invited to the private Bacardi Island for the most amazing contest the world has ever seen. I’m happy to put my hand up to be the mysterious stranger, just in case Facundo Bacardi or Seamus McBride find this at the end of a Google Alert.

Travelling the world, handing out golden (well, red and black) tickets sounds like my kind of gig.