Five brilliant failures from the creator of Baileys

A shot at beating Bacardi

Picture source: ‘That S*it Will Never Sell!’

Invited by IDV in 1985 to create “an idea for a white rum that might really attack Bacardi,” Gluckman looked for a chink in the latter brand’s armour.

Having done a couple of focus groups, he learned that Bacardi was “about tropical paradises with palm trees”, and it was “perceptibly sweeter than vodka” – and “very sweet indeed” when blended with Coke, while, “at 38% alcohol it was below the standard level for stronger spirits”.

In short, Gluckman discovered that Bacardi had “strong feminine appeal”, so he decided to devise a new rum with a strong masculine persona.

This would be done by creating something “significantly drier in taste” as well as “higher in alcohol”, and, in terms of source, a rum from Australia: “Australia was about as macho as you could get and it had recently been put on the map by the film Crocodile Dundee which was taking America by storm.

The new rum, which would be made from freshly-pressed cane juice, not “treacly molasses like Bacardi”, would be called Stubbs – which was “a name from our archive”.

“The design, by the late Howard Waller, was stunning”, adds Gluckman.

However, the IDV team “failed to engage the local Australian company in selling it in their market, which would be the Stubbs homeland. That was a major error.”

“Perhaps the bigger error was not engaging the key target market, the US, in any stage of this process,” he then says.

“The Americans were never really on board and so for Stubbs, the music died. The Bacardi people could relax, for a while anyway. A pity, really. It was such a good idea.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Representative - Private Customers

Corney and Barrow
Central Hong Kong, HK

Export Manager UK On Trade

AdVini
Home based in London or the South East, GB

Global Head of Marketing

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, GB

Sales Executive

Three Wine Men
Home-based but must be available to travel throughout the UK with frequent trips to London, GB

Senior Sales Operations Executive

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

On Trade & Corporate Accounts Manager

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Customer Service Assistant

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Key Account Manager - Distilling Sector - Scotland

Boortmalt
Scotland - call for exact details, UK

UK Brand Ambassador - Ableforth’s

ATOM Brands
Field-based, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th January 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

Deadline : 23rd February 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more