When Music and Rum Collide
Bacardi has never been one to sit on its laurels when it comes to marketing, and this year is no exception. Now, it has partnered with EDM trio Major Lazer to put on a series of dance parties with an island theme. The events will feature Major Lazer's DJ, Jillionaire, who has been designated the "Minister of Rum." Since both Bacardi and Major Lazer have Caribbean roots, this theme is an excellent tie-in for them.
While the parties, which go under the title "Sound of Rum," will all have the same general theme, the specific presentations will vary between events. This ensures that everyone will experience something unique and the concept will remain fresh throughout the campaign.
Attendees at all of the shows can count on one thing being present, and that's new music from Major Lazer. The group has written at least one song, written just for the series of dances. It is named after the party series: "The Sound of Rum." Other new releases will also be played.
Major Lazer isn't the only partner releasing something new to commemorate the events. Bacardi is putting out a limited edition rum bottle with branding for both the event and the band. This is sure to be a hit with collectors.
Unlike many such corporate marketing events, the Sound of Rum parties aren't taking place as parts of larger festivals. Instead, they are stand-alone dance parties that occupy large swaths of their own space. For example, its debut party – named Spirit Up – took place on a private Miami beach. Bacardi created an entire temporary village surrounding the actual party, and within, people from various Caribbean islands served up food from their homelands as mixologists whipped up drinks. Meanwhile, Major Lazer set up giant speakers that ensured that everyone heard the music throughout the area.
This series of parties doesn't just cover the United States. It kicked off in Berlin, at the annual Bacardi Legacy Cocktail competition. From there, it is traveling around the world to bring rum, music, and a Caribbean atmosphere to several other countries.
Of course, a modern experiential marketing event isn't complete without the inclusion of social media. The two partners produced videos to share, started a program to donate studio time to aspiring Caribbean artists every time Major Lazer's "Front of the Line" track, and are counting on attendees sharing pictures and stories of their experience at the party. The follow-on effects of social sharing are typically the main source of marketing power behind such events. Through them, the experience – and the marketing message – travel far beyond the group of physical attendees.
There's no need to have Bacardi's $50 million marketing budget to put on an unforgettable event of your own. All you need is a fun event idea that ties into your branding, an atmosphere that encourages social sharing, and the right venue to hold your extravaganza. If you'll be holding your event in Miami, Florida, try having it at Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of interior space and two outdoor pavilions that are great for parties or any other type of experiential marketing show you can imagine.