The 5.9 per cent ABV beer will be available in the on and off-trade in 330ml bottles from the end of the month (24 March). It mixes the rum flavour with citrus, orange zest lime and has the aroma of caramelised cane sugar and treacle, the brewer says.
It targets what AB InBev claims are “tech savvy trendsetters” aged between 18 and 25 with a series of digital and experiential promotions. The campaign, developed by agency Ralph, focuses on inviting drinkers to exclusive parties in return for supporting the brand online and following its network of influencers from the creative industry.
The events include nightclubs and secret pop-up events and feature acts such as live art performances to create a “trendier” brand experience. Content from the events will be posted on Twitter and YouTube while tickets will be made available through Facebook.
Fans will be invited to join the network of Cubanisto advocates as the campaign progresses in an effort to accelerate buzz.
Emily Kraftman, senior brand manager for Cubanisto told Marketing Week the focus on hosting exclusive events for fans aims to position the beer as a premium alternative. Rum was chosen as the mixer because it was the best performing spirit in the UK between 2012 and 2013, she adds.
Kraftman says: “We really want consumers to connect differently with Cubanisto and so focused on crafting these theatrical experiences where it feels like they’ve discovered something new for themselves.
“The people we’re targeting are looking for a drink that has a sweeter taste profile to what they are used to. We talk about building a network of influencers and trendsetters but ultimately it’s about providing a drink that people can share with friends. It’s as much about appealing to the university crowd as it is the trendsetter in Shoreditch.”
Flavoured beers are tipped to be the next big battleground for brewers particularly through spirit beers following the emergence of Heineken’s Desperados in 2012. The tequila-flavoured beer accounts for around two thirds of a market currently worth £30m, according to IRI.
Phil Tate, chief executive at alcohol consultants CGA Strategy, says the category could lift sales in pubs and clubs where consumers are more “promiscuous and fickle” than ever before.
He adds: “This is leading to consumers trying and demanding new products and innovation to engage with. As a result, consumers engaging with spirits a lot more as part of their “big night out” occasion. The innovation within spirits based beers are currently so successful as they tap into so many of the current needs: something new/different, matched to the mission and with a sweeter taste profile to appeal to the 18 to 34 year old demographic in the party spirit.”