To change perceptions about its brand and create some space between its products and the rum category’s less sophisticated competitors, Brugal Extra Dry Rum in May hit Boston, New York and Chicago with a series of upscale Rum Redefined events. The tasting events served as a jumping off point for regional events the brand has been activating all summer.
The evenings began with an educational session about Brugal Rum, complete with tastings. The idea was to bring the conversation away from what people think they know about rum (from college parties and pirate movies) and uplift it to the more premium space in which Brugal wants to live. After a brand ambassador guided consumers through a tasting room, the visitors headed into the mixology room, where each guest got a chance to work with a local mixologist and learn how to make a hand-shaken gourmet daiquiri before taking up the shaker and making themselves a tasty, premium drink with fresh ingredients like strawberries, ginger, jalapeño and basil.
Brugal extended the reach of the three anchor events through social media to generate interest in the subsequent events. To meet that goal, the brand invited sharing of impressions, photos, insights and experiences across social media under the hashtag #rumredefined. And extend it they did, garnering about 500,000 social impressions. Check out the video here.
“We needed to communicate that this is a sophisticated, premium rum and we recognize the value of high-touch experiences when there’s a lot of work to be done to change perceptions,” says Brian Avenius, US brand director at Brugal Rum. “We tried really hard to bring the distilling process to life for [the guests], to transport them to the Dominican Republic where we distill our rum. These events helped us educate them without it feeling like a lecture and helped them to understand more about our rum than they did at the start.” Agency: Soho Experiential, New York City.