Bacardi spices up range

Bacardi Brown Forman is tapping into the buoyant spiced rum category with the launch of Bacardi Oakheart.

The £3 million UK launch will secure Bacardi a position within a category which has seen 24% value growth during the last year. Already unveiled in the US, Oakheart will eventually be rolled out on a global scale after its European launch this autumn.

Created from a blend of the brand’s Superior and Gold rums, the 35% abv Bacardi Oakheart will be available in both 70cl and one litre bottle formats, with an RRP of £17.99 or £22.99 respectively.

Oakheart represents the result of a three-year development process, during which time the brand conducted research with 3,000 bartenders and consumers.

The name Oakheart is not only designed to resonate well with its target demographic of 18-24 year old males, but also to encourage the “Oak ‘n’ Coke” bar call.

“It’s about mates, adventure, fun and girls,” summarised Bacardi Brown Forman marketing director, Liam Newton, at last week’s launch.

Despite the product’s tightly focused target market, Newton stressed the ability of the spiced rum category to reach beyond its core male audience, saying: “It’s less polarising than golden rum, it’s much less male skewed.

“It has the appearance of a masculine dark spirit, but people are more attuned to sweeter tastes and spiced rum is easy to drink – that’s really what is driving the growth of the spiced rum trend.”

Following its release into the UK supply chain on 1 September, Bacardi Oakheart will be supported by a major marketing push, beginning in “Oaktober.”

In particular, Newton stressed the central role to be played by digital media in the campaign, observing: “If you think of our core audience, it’s the most important part of our launch plan.”

Below the line marketing support will see 300 on-trade events take place between September and the end of the year. These will feature the “Bacardi Bats” brand ambassadors, who have already had a strong presence at festivals this summer as part of the Bacardi Together campaign.

This launch forms the culmination of the build up to Bacardi’s 150th anniversary on 4 February 2012.

Prior to kicking off its Bacardi Together campaign in April, the brand also launched its Bacardi Originals pre-mix serves in February.

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