Havana Club looks to ‘own the mojito’ with new global campaign

Havana Club is hoping to become the number one rum associated with the mojito, the most popular cocktail in the UK, by pushing its association with the Cuban drink through a new global campaign.

With creative that will showcase the creation of the perfect mojito alongside the tagline “You just know when it’s from the heart”, the M&C Saatchi London-created campaign looks to capture the “Cuban passion and spirit” in order to position Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum as “the only authentic Cuban rum distributed outside of Cuba”.

Adam Boita, head of marketing for brand owner Pernod Ricard UK, told Marketing Week: “In Cuba, it’s about passion and enthusiasm, and making mojitos from the heart.

“The ultimate objective of the whole campaign is about making mojitos at home with the same care and attention you would put into a dinner party or entertaining friends,” he adds. “It’s also about keeping mojito at top of mind when people walk into a bar or supermarket.”

Boita says that the campaign will be digitally focused, as the brand believes this is the best space to drive its association to the cocktail.

“Nobody is owning the mojito online search, and aligning Havana Club with the mojito will increase natural organic search rankings,” he says.

The campaign will also be promoted through social, print, billboard and cinema advertising as well as PR in several markets including the UK, where the mojito is the number one cocktail according to recent CGA data cited by the company.

Experiential events will include gift with purchase promotions as well as a touring “Casa Havana Mojito Bar” pop-up throughout London markets this summer including Brixton, Spitalfields and Taste of London, aiming to show people how to make an authentic mojito as well as provide them with the ingredients.

M&C Saatchi Sports & Entertainment are leading on the social, PR and digital activations, pushing the “three easy steps” of making a mojito, including the launch of the brand’s new online hub at Havana-mojito.co.uk and Instagram channel.

The brand will also launch a Certification Programme, which will identify the top 100 bars in the UK that make authentic mojitos.

The company says it will also work with bars on how they can improve sales and profit by making the UK’s favourite cocktail a featured menu item.

The campaign builds on the success of the brand’s “Nothing Compares to Havana” campaign, which the company says resulted in growth in various markets, including the UK, after it launched in 2011.

However, the brand has increased investment by 20% year on year according to Boita, and is now using a platform that allows it to “leverage the rest of the Havana Club portfolio” by aligning its channels.

“The mojito has always been at the heart of Havana Club, but this year we’ve ensured that everything from on-trade to off-trade, PR to experiential has come under one branded umbrella,” Boita says.

“We’re making out assets work harder for us and making sure they’re aligned.”

Havana Club is the number three international rum brand in the world outside the US, selling over 50 million bottles last year according to Pernod Ricard’s 2014 financial results,

While the company sees over 50% of its Havana Club sales in the summer and claims 60-70% of its investment will be on the mojito campaign, the platform will allow it to push other variants such as Havana Club Especial or Havana Club 7, known for their use in Cuba Libre or on the rocks drinks, in cooler months.

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