- Captain Morgan this week started waving goodbye to 2020 with a digital campaign that retells the classic poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" in a version for the global pandemic. The Diageo-owned brand of spiced rum enlisted actor Josh Gad to read "'Twas the End of 2020" on Spotify and its channel on YouTube, per an announcement.
- The brand's version of the poem by Clement Clarke Moore starts with the phrase, "'Twas the end of 2020, we're locked in the house, mandatory quarantine has us stuck with our spouse," and ends with, "Good riddance, 2020, there's more fun to be had – next year."
- Captain Morgan will post more holiday-themed content including cocktail recipes on its Instagram and Twitter accounts for the holiday season. The brand also partnered with actor and comedian Benito Skinner to create videos on social channels that offer a holiday-themed tribute to 2020 and message that there's fun times in the coming year, per the announcement.
With many people spending the holidays at home during the pandemic and celebrating on social media, Diageo's Captain Morgan seeks to participate in those conversations with a holiday-themed campaign that promises, "There's More Fun to Be Had." To spread its messaging, Captain Morgan worked with Josh Gad and Benito Skinner, who each have 1.2 million followers on Instagram, to create humorous content for people to view and share on social media. Gad's reading of "'Twas the End of 2020" looks to connect with consumers who are looking forward to the end of a frustrating year marked by the coronavirus pandemic and a contentious election.
Diageo has been active with digital campaigns for the holiday season, including one that asks people to moderate their alcohol consumption and promote water sustainability. The marketer of brands including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness two weeks ago launched "The Balance Challenge" that urged people to share selfies created with its augmented reality (AR) filter and donate to a charity focused on water conservation. The campaign followed Diageo's announcement of a 10-year sustainability action plan called "Society 2030: Spirit of Progress" to promote moderation of alcohol consumption.
Diageo this year reported that sales had declined 8.7% to £2.1 billion for the 12-month period ended in June. Organic net sales, or those generated within the company instead of through acquisitions, fell 8.4% as regions outside of North America saw declines, according to its preliminary results. Management blamed the effects of the pandemic for the decline in sales.
The campaign for Captain Morgan comes as alcohol sales outside of bars and restaurants have jumped 24% during the pandemic, while beverages with higher alcohol content like distilled spirits have increased 27% from a year earlier, per Nielsen data cited by NPR. With many populated areas like New York and California clamping down on restaurants and bars, off-premise alcohol consumption is likely to increase as people celebrate the holidays.