David Cordoba has a pretty sweet gig

David Cordoba is the global ambassador for Bacardi. He mixes a pretty sweet daiquiri, knows most of the brand lore and is happiest when is getting a chance to share it.

It looks like now he has been given some budget and a video camera to go and explore the parts of the brand he doesn’t yet have encyclopaedic knowledge of.

Check out this little piece of true originals content and learn a little bit about where the Bacardi story really begins.


Truly Original

I have written a number of times about the Bacardi True Originals campaign that had manifested itself in some quite compelling, standout video content featuring three characters and perhaps the most incredibly smooth flair bartender that has been seen on this green earth.

Another piece of the puzzle dropped into place a few days ago. The campaign now has a website. www.trueoriginals.com 

It is a facebook connected community site, complete with game theory badges for members to unlock by growing the community, interacting with content and contributing their own. The technology is rather impressive, but so was the technology behind the Groove Armada record release which signaled a great degree of focus from the brand in breaking into the digital space in a meaningful way.

True Originals feels as though it has a great chance of succeeding. Engaging, as it does, the most interested part of their brands audience. Bartenders, and the odd hanger on like me, are rewarded with some quite striking and innovative content. Check out the video above, it represents a significant change from the established front on bar shoots made famous by the american bar school, and emulated by many since…

The quality of the content, the decision to keep the videos unlisted, the use of facebook (already the default way most in the global bartending community keep in touch) to spread and control accounts all point to success for this as an idea. Couple this digital environment with the Legacy Cocktail Competition and a set of engraved bar kits that look really stunning and it all adds up to a bold move that should by all accounts succeed.

Get on there and check it out.


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.http://www.adashofbitters.com, http://www.mixology.eu) 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…


Win this Book!

Yes, that is a first edition Savoy Cocktail Book. If you could find one for sale you’d be looking at spending about three hundred and fifty of Her Majesty’s quid to secure it. This one is a bit more special than that, signed by the master of the Savoy himself, Mr. Harry Craddock. After retiring from a life behind the bar at the age 0f 74 in 1947, with more than 250 original recipes under his belt , Harry, quite unfortunately, did not go on to live to the ripe old age of 137 and as such, it is quite literally impossible to get any more signed copies of his book, despite what Tony Robbins might say.

To go in for a chance to win this fabulous piece of Cocktail history you need to visit the Bacardi sponsored True Originals facebook page and post a twist on the classic Mojito. If you need further inspiration watch the Apothecary making his here.

The prize booty also includes a Yarai seamless Japanese mixing glass and a spoon to twirl within it.

This new campaign to hero the classics and the bartenders who are inspired by them seems to very much on the money, if the prize is anything to go by. Only 115 people “like” the page so far, so your chances of winning are pretty good at the moment.

Oh, you’ve only got ten days to enter, the contest closes on the 28th of May.