Bacardi Is For Members Only

USA Today: The 1980s are back, and they’ve landed smack dab in the middle of a Bacardi Rum ad.
As moviemakers rush to revisit the days of oversized hair and shoulder pads with remakes of 1980s TV hits, the spirits marketer spoofs the era in TV ads. Why wait until next year for Universal Pictures’ Miami Vice revival when you can enjoy a parody of Crockett- and Tubbs-like characters in Bacardi’s ads now.
In the ads, Bacardi Guy and Cola are a dynamic duo saving the night — and amply endowed women — by unwittingly fixing partygoer problems. They are macho men wearing Members Only-style jackets, mustaches and well-coifed hair.
“It’s so over the top,” says David Angelo, chief creative officer of agency David and Goliath, which made the ads. “If you go back to Tom Selleck and Matt Houston days with their large cellular phones, women with exposed cleavage and guys with the big mustaches, you look at it and laugh.”
Bacardi is looking for the ads to drive sales by reaching twentysomething men who are hip to the ’80s parody. The world’s biggest rum brand has been losing share not only to its top rum rival, but also to currently chic luxury vodkas.
“In the past couple of years of tracking, we’ve been losing some share of that audience to Grey Goose (vodka) and even losing some share to (rum rival) Captain Morgan,” says Joe Metevier, Bacardi’s group marketing manager.
Captain Morgan has broken through the clutter by promoting the Captain, with his curly mustache and swashbuckling style, in whimsical ways.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. As a twnety-something partygoer and a waitress at a restaurant/bar I see a lot of people order drinks, and as annoying as these ads can be, I’ve yet to see any increase in twenty-something guys ordering rum and coke. Its typically jack and coke or some sort of whiskey.
    However, I have seen a serious drop in the girls that used to drink the product. I remember seeing an ad a few years back on a billboard in Miami that advertised Bacardi and diet as no sugar and only 60-something calories.
    To a twenty-something girl, thats important. Lately though no girl I know had ever seen the ad or knew of the lack of calories/sugar.
    When you put bacardi/diet up against a margarita’s 500+ calories, bacardi/diet would win every day.
    I don’t think these 80s ads are working towards the guys very successfully, and I think they should go a different way on advertising to women also. There’s a lot of potential.
    There are certainly ways they could go about advertising to men even using diet coke. Look at Michelobe Ultra, they made their beer a “lifestlye” and leave you thinking if you drink that you’ll look like that guy/girl. Great idea, a lot of people drink it for the fewer calories (men and women)

  2. These ads might do more for Diet Coke than Bacardi. I actually find these ads hilarious, but they really just make me more likely to ask for a diet cola with my drink. If Bacardi is lucky, maybe they can succeed in becoming the default brand for rum and Coke, like Jack Daniels is for whiskey and Coke.

  3. Hi…Yes I’ve seen that commerical for Bacardi….so basically it’s not the Bacardi that has no sugar or no calories, right? It’s the diet coke….of course everyone knows about diet coke. I only with bacardi rum would come out with a diet Bacardi. That would be great….I sure wish it did because I would mark that as my drink! LOL
    Jlee from Key West

  4. Bacardi, like all alcohol, is a poison. Assholes like “David Angelo” who try to market this poison to people deserve to be destroyed by the products they whore themselves to. He is a disgrace to the name. I hope you all die at 64, alcoholics, lonely, and as dense as the day you were born.

  5. You sound as if you need to chill out and have a beer…

  6. SWEETNESS says:

    You sound as if your life sucks so bad that wish bad health on everyone else. Get a life, get laid, and drink a beer.

  7. Any Comments? Nice post.