Bacardi-Martini has axed its controversial Beautiful People campaign in the UK in favour of more “serious” advertising, as the Italian market prepares to unveil an ad featuring US film star Sharon Stone.
The UK arm of the global drinks company is taking the brand back to its roots with two TV ads through HHCL & Partners set in a Italian bar featuring stylish drinkers. The campaign broke in the Granada TV region a week ago, and will go national in November and December. It is aimed at the over-30s.
Stella David, UK marketing director, says: “We are entering a new stage of advertising. The ads have a more serious tone, they are not designed to be funny or to shock.”
She says the Beautiful People campaign raised awareness of what was a brand in serious decline, and gave the company a platform from which to launch new products, such as V2, aimed at younger consumers. A TV ad for this drink, also through HHCL, will air on September 5.
The Beautiful People campaign prompted complaints to the Independent Television Commission after one execution urged ugly people to resort to cosmetic surgery.
David says: “Martini’s sales have been in decline. Sales are now stable, which is a huge achievement.”
Meanwhile, the Italian marketing department for Martini is to launch a TV ad featuring Sharon Stone for the asti variant. However, it is unlikely to appear in the UK.