First sold in 1862 in Cuba by Facundo BACARDÍ Massó, who was the first to figure out a distilling process to make clear rum, BACARDÍ is one of the most well-known rums around the world today. It’s been a family-owned brand and business for eight generations, building strong presences in Cuba, Mexico, and the US, surviving Cuban earthquakes and revolutions and the US prohibition. Today, BACARDÍ is owned by Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world with a portfolio of more than 200 brands that include Dewar’s, Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose. In November, BACARDÍ introduced a new global campaign — “BACARDÍ Untameable Since 1862,” that “tells the stories behind BACARDÍ rum, its origins in Cuba and inspires consumers to embrace life and live boldly to showcase their own ‘Irrepressible Spirit.’” — by BETC London and a new logo by here design. No bottle redesign has been announced yet.
Update: The logo was designed by here design; ads and spot by BETC London.
Looking deep into the BACARDÍ archives to uncover the treasured, authentic, artisan bat designs over the past 151 years, the new logo is a creation inspired by BACARDÍ bat hand-drawn designs from the early 1900s. It stays true to the integrity of the original symbol, which in Cuban and Spanish heritage represents good luck, good fortune and family unity.
The BACARDÍ word mark has also been updated, influenced by the Cuban Art Deco style from the late 1920s to early 1930s. The most famous example of this Art Deco style is the former Bacardi sales office in Havana known as El Edificio BACARDÍ (The BACARDÍ Building). To this day, the 11-story building remains crowned by a BACARDÍ bronze bat and emblazed with the Art Deco stylized typeface.
While both logos are perfectly appropriate and BACARDÍ not having the same logo equity as, say, Absolut, a logo change isn’t as monumental — unless you are trying to build the same logo equity as, say, Absolut. And I think that’s what BACARDÍ is going for: establishing a memorable visual device and typography by replacing its generic serif wordmark with something more noticeable like a bold uppercase sans serif that commands more attention. It’s a decent wordmark, and it looks much more contemporary and interesting than the old one — the biggest problem is the flag-like accent over the “I” that stops looking like an accent and more like a leaf of some kind. The better improvement in the logo is the updated bat. The previous one had been abstracted a few too many steps, looking more like a melting Bat Signal than a tropical bat. The more detailed bat has a cool, vintage look to it that pairs really well with the new typography and getting rid of the yellow color makes it all more clean. Unfortunately, as evident on their website, the bat looks like a bug on a windshield when rendered small.
There is nothing nice to say about the lock-up above.
The ads offer snapshots of the BACARDÍ history during prohibition, exile from Cuba, and showcase how the BACARDÍ family had the original irrepressible spirit to overcome earthquakes, fire, war and revolution—none of which could defeat their spirit, because “True Passion Can’t Be Tamed.” The campaign is designed to engage millennial consumers to pursue their passions no matter what—much like the BACARDÍ family did—encouraging camaraderie and strength of character.
The print ads are almost great. I mean, they don’t do anything beyond what most advertising-looking ads do, but they have cool, moody photography, and the usual centered typography with mixy-matchy fonts that advertising agencies like to do that, perhaps with a little additional design/typography consulting, could have yielded really strong ads.
“BACARDÍ Untameable Since 1862” will be supported by 30-, 60-, and 120-second TV advertisements, as well as robust outdoor billboard, print and digital executions. The television spots—named “Procession,” because of the frame-by-frame timeline and sequence of events viewers experience—were directed by award-winning Dante Ariola, star actor Jordi Mollà and has voiceover of actor Jason Isaacs. The ads, filmed on location at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ouro Preto, Brazil, are highly stylized and have a blockbuster movie feel. The ads exude a realism that commands attention—engaging consumers to feel that with every sip, the BACARDÍ brand story is their own.
The main attraction of this whole campaign, though, is the “Procession” spot above which is remarkably good. The idea is solid and bombastically executed with restraint (as much of an oxymoron that is) and there is bats. Had they done it in a single take, it would have been epic. Overall, this is a solid update for a well-known brand trying to reach a younger generation. Of legal drinking age, of course.
Thanks to Brandemia for the tip.