- Bacardi Rum debuted its first holiday campaign in over a decade with a "Winter Summerland" effort themed around bringing Caribbean warmth to the colder months, according to a press release.
- Three 15-second ads, titled "Chalet," "Ice Domes" and "Trees," star a bartender/DJ character who peddles a combined bar cart and sound system rig into traditionally wintry scenes and blasts music to shake off the snowfall and reveal tropical elements hidden underneath, like palm trees and sunbathers. Created with agency BBDO New York, the creative will run from Nov. 19 to Jan. 31 across Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, iHeart Radio and national TV.
- The concept includes an out-of-home component, where Bacardi will host an hour-long takeover of Times Square billboards to showcase the vignettes in December. The rum brand also partnered with luxury loungewear brand Aviator Nation on a line of hats ($48), hoodies ($189) and sweatpants ($156) that are sold through Shop.Bacardi.com. The high-end merchandise could draw the interest of consumers seeking out unconventional gifts around the holidays.
While Bacardi Rum has in recent years engaged in small holiday pushes, the brand is launching its first full-fledged holiday campaign in more than a decade in a bid to provide consumers with something unexpected during the colder months. The season continues to be clouded in uncertainty as pandemic concerns wear on and supply chain issues threaten gift-giving traditions. As a potential balm, the spirits marketer is emphasizing themes of warmth and fun to break up the chilly atmosphere, including through a series of new ads led by a sharp-dressed character who doubles as a roving Caribbean DJ and bartender.
The narrative behind the "Winter Summerland" spots winds its way to a Times Square billboard takeover tying the vignettes together, a move that anticipates the New York City landmark will once again be bustling with tourists and merrymaking locals after it was quiet due to COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. Other festivities are making a comeback in the area: Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced that the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square would return to ring in 2022, with attendees required to be fully vaccinated.
Bacardi is also angling to amplify its brand around the Christmas window with the drop of a line of pricey leisurewear created with Aviator Nation. The collaborative merchandise features Aviator Nation's signature striped styling, as well as Bacardi brand elements and recognizable colorways. Demand for apparel like sweats could be high as work-from-home and hybrid setups are expected to endure for many employees. In a similar play earlier this year, Cheetos partnered with Adidas on a line of comfortable clothes inspired by its tie-up with Bad Bunny.
"Winter Summerland" at the same time tries to capitalize on the adoption of direct-to-consumer services related to alcohol. Bacardi is working with Drizly and ReserveBar on special promotions around its ready-to-serve Bacardi Coquito drink — described as a tropical version of eggnog — which has a suggested retail price of $20. The offering will also be available at select grocery and liquor stores across the U.S.
Other recent Bacardi initiatives include a pledge from its parent company to reduce the use of plastic in its holiday gift packs by 50% in 2021 versus last year. The alcohol giant aims to eliminate single-use plastic from its gift packs and point-of-sale products by 2023. In October, the Bacardi brand kicked off a nonfungible token (NFT) initiative with BBDO New York themed around music. Each asset in the collection doles out a cut of royalties of its respective mixtape to the NFT's owner so they can earn more as the song is streamed.