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

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.