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“El Culto Tour” Category: Beverages-Alcoholic Brand/Client: Havana Club / Pernod Ricard - Portugal Primary Agency: Nylon Media Agency: Nylon Contributing Agency: Cities2Night

Strategic Challenge Bacardi had over 80% of the market share in Portugal and even when we asked young adults if they knew what Havana Club was they would typically replied. “Sure, it is a club in Lisbon.” – typical young adult “Until 2009, Havana Club had never controlled more than 7% of the market share in Portugal and was averaging 5.8%.” (Source: Nielsen’s – July 2009)

Even though Havana Club rum was loved by many bartenders it was relatively unknown by the average consumer and even when recommended by bartenders people still did not want to try it due to Bacardi’s strong media influence. (Source: Nylon Study – June 2009)

Rum also accounted for less than 2% of the white spirits market in Portugal and was on a downward trend. (Source: Nielsen’s – July 2009)

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We had a tiny market with a product that most people didn’t know what it was and wouldn’t try it even when bartenders recommended it. The only support Havana Club was receiving was from bar owners that loved the product and distribution contracts that Pernod Ricard had made, which even then most people asked for Bacardi.

Objectives The Havana Club brand manager, Gonçalo Jorge, had set very clear objectives and one very simple success mile stone. 

Have the highest trial rate within the Pernod Ricard portfolio

Execute 100 nationwide events.

Transmit Brand message

Success would be measured by reaching those simple objectives.

The Insight The on-premise (on-trade) white spirit market in Portugal does not have bottle service like in many places in the world so quickly we realized what we were selling was Havana Club cocktails and not Havana Club itself. We used our member base to conduct research into what people truly felt about rum and why it is not so popular. Our findings revealed exactly what we were looking for: 1. They only had 2 drinks that were TOM a. Bacardi Cola b. Mojito 2. Consumption of Coke-Cola were among the lowest in western Europe 3. Their palate is citric and sweet

The Big Idea We decided that in order to promote trials we needed to offer customers something new, something that spoke to their palate and not only what were the Havana Club classic cocktails since those were also Bacardi’s cocktails in which they had invested much more capital in owning. Create a promotional package for the on-premise (on-trade) that would be more of an educational piece and demonstration of what could really be sold with rum if they were to showcase the “new” rum cocktails while still being entertaining.

Bringing the Idea to Life El Culto Tour was brought to life. In order to bring our idea to life we needed to create a sales sheet for the event sell-in for the salespeople of Pernod Ricard. We needed to logistically plan for 100 events in 1 year as well as create a real-time reporting system for the brand manager to create his own reports to Pernod Ricard headquarters. Target Audience Our target consumers were white spirit drinkers, 18-34, single, well-educated who were inclined to entertain at home as easily as go out to bars/clubs with friends. Psychographically, these were people who sought new experiences, yet preferred the authentic as their brands of choice. Ambiance Strategy POS Branding was focused on the 3 top effective areas and not much ambiance was brought in due to budget nor did we find it necessary through our experience with other brands. We also brought a professional flair bartender to call more attention to the bar area as well as entertainment value. Trial Rate Strategy While most other brand searched for promotional models that were attractive we search first and foremost for promotional models that knew how to sell and would be rewarded based on the trial rates of the night. Education Strategy Prior to the start of the event our professional bartender would do an education on the new cocktails and encourage them by offer them a custom t-shirt at the end of the night for the staff that sold the most cocktails. Pre-Event Strategy We would reach out to this consumer in media that reflected the brand’s tonality and sensibility, but could deliver high-impact and contextual messaging that would provide grounding for the ‘El Culto Tour’ campaign. We also understood the importance of establishing grassroots credibility for the brand in places where knowledgeable drinkers sought cues to enhance their savviness, where people who had been exposed to our brand messaging would go for validation, and where people of all kinds could engage in the conversation. From a geographic perspective, we actually viewed competitive messaging as proof points for our story, and developed a national campaign with focus markets aligned with the largest CDI. The major vehicles we utilized were: •

Our proprietary social network ( – National and local consumer came to our site to find out where to go at night for entertainment. This would be the perfect place to influence young active adults.

Digital Media – Our digital display and grassroots efforts married the ‘El Culto Tour’ theme with placements in the digital landscape that aligned the brand with Havana Club content.

Post-Event Strategy We would conduct a questionnaire to the staff and bar owner that in reality was a sales piece to show the benefits of them selling Havana Club cocktails by having them see a real life situation on how the cocktails could affect their bottom line. We also understood the importance of establishing credibility with the consumers, staff and venue owner. So we needed to create a mechanism that would allow for a constant contact as well as showing the consumers that we are not just promoters but also a trusted resource about nightlife. The major vehicles we utilized were: •

Picture Marketing ( – Both staff and attendees would have their pictures taken, at minimum 100 pictures would be taken. This would then direct them to which was not only a trusted nightlife resource but also a way for them to share their experience with others by sharing branded photos. A lead capture page was put into place that would collect the email of every person that wanted to view their photos for later communication.

Cocktail menu add – After speaking with the venue owner and staff we asked if they would leave our suggested cocktails on their cocktail menu in exchange for promotion on our social network. This got more people to their venue to try our cocktails even after the event was finished.

Things to do Newsletter – Ever month a new newsletter would go out to the new database that was collected from the prior events that would suggest places that had agreed to add our cocktails to their cocktail menu. This again added more consumers to their venue, to drink our cocktails.

Communications Touch Points TV Spots Branded Content Sponsorship Product placement Radio Spots Merchandising Program/content Print Trade/Professional Newspaper Consumer Magazine Print partnership Direct Mail Email PR Events

Packaging Product Design Cinema Interactive Online Ads Web site Viral video Video skins/bugs Social Networking sites Podcasts Gaming Mobile Phone Other________________ OOH Airport Transit Billboard Place Based Other________________

Additional Marketing Components: Integrated Campaign

Reach: National Total Media Expenditure: $0 – We provided all on-line media as an incentive for the first year.

Trade Shows Sponsorship Retail Experience POP Video In-Store Merchandizing Sales Promotion Retailtainment Guerrilla Street Teams Tagging Wraps Buzz Marketing Ambient Media Sampling/Trial Consumer Involvement WOM Consumer Generated Viral Other ___________________

Results We had performed 32 events up until December 2009, At which time not only had Havana club gained 12 market share points, bringing them to 19% market share, a 300%+ increase, but it was also the highest depletion numbers for rum during winter months. At this time Havana Club changed brand manager and our campaign was halted for several months which also resulted in a decrease in market share almost immediately. (Source: Havana Club internal sales data)

Our campaign was then re-launched with the new brand manager in June of 2010, which thanks to our post event strategy enabled us to quickly gain ground on the market share that was lost during the time that the campaign was halted. Havana Club’s rolling 12-month market share was increased by over 100% within one year, making it the fastest growing rum brand in the Portugal, and achieving its 2 year goal of being the second most sold rum brand in Portugal,

QM - Volumes 80%



63% 62%







30% 20% 10%

1% 1% 1%


6% 6%

7% 8%






in one year. (Source: Neilsen’s data 2009)

(Source: Havana Club internal sales data)

Our on-line campaign resulted in over 2,000,000 unique views without including the 35,000 photo and fan shares we received throughout the campaign. An ad catalyst brand study indicated that our digital campaign aided in the lift of Havana Club Brand awareness, resulting in a 94.8% lift versus the baseline. (Source: Vizu) Anything else going on that might have helped drive results?

The brand manager’s goal of having the highest trial rates within the Pernod Ricard portfolio was almost

Double of any other cocktail trial program within their portfolio even against the whiskey market which is 42% of the spirits market in Portugal.

Havana Club on-premise (on-trade) Case Study  

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