Brand Slam: Havana Club vs Appleton Estate

In this month's Brand Slam, we pitch the experiential marketing strategies of rum brands Appleton Estate and Havana Club against each other.

Brand Slam: Havana Club vs Appleton Estate
Brand Slam: Havana Club vs Appleton Estate

Appleton Estate

Event structure:

Jamaican rum Appleton Estate, part of Campari Group, has most recently worked with Wolf Brand Experience and Flourish. 

Social footprint:

@AppletonEstate has just under 5,500 followers on Twitter, nearly 600k on Facebook and 2.3k followers on Instagram. 

Recent campaigns:

Last October, Appleton Estate hosted a live rum tasting and cocktail making experience, via Twitter, as part of Rum Experience Week. The session was held at The Shard in London, with more than 400 fans invited to join in the action via Twitter by following the hashtag #AppletonLive.

Special packs were sent out to participants before the event, which was hosted by global rum ambassador Ian Burrell and Appleton Estate’s senior blender, David Morrison.

Appleton Estate also featured in a rum pop-up bar devised by surfing brand Quiksilver. The Trader Dan’s Surf Shack was hosted in Leeds at the end of June, with décor inspired by California and Hawaii. 

Latest campaign:

The Appleton Estate Rum Bus made several stops at this year’s Foodies Festival, held at various locations around the UK, including Alexandra Palace in London. On board the bus, bartenders served the very best in Jamaican cocktails made with Appleton Estate Signature and Reserve Blends, such as Mai Tai and Jamaican mule, with visitors also having the chance to taste Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 year old and Appleton Estate 21 year old.

Food including traditional jerk chicken was also served, while a sugar cane press, sugar cane, hammocks, picnic tables, rum barrels and music enhanced the authentic Jamaican experience.

Havana Club

Event structure:

Part of Pernod Ricard, Cuban rum Havana Club has devised activations with agencies including Found Studio and Whynot.

Social footprint: 
@HavanaClub_UK has just under 6k followers on Twitter, 15.3k followers on Instagram and 621 likes on Facebook. 

Recent campaigns:

The Cuban rum brand launched a series of pop-up summer mojito bars in May 2015 at London's Old Spitalfields Market. Mixologists were on hand at the Casa Havana mojito bar to show rum fans what it takes to make an authentic Cuban mojito. Guests could also enjoy one free drink, while a live band was onsite playing Cuban music.

The brand also created an online hub designed to guide fans to the best mojito in town. The hub indicated which bars across the UK have been through a Havana Club certification programme and could offer an authentic Cuban mojito. 

Havana Club also activated at last year’s Taste of London festival, held in Regent’s Park in June, with a bar complete with cantineros teaching attendees how to make a mojito using the mix, muddle, mix technique. Visitors could also take a Havana Club tin complete with the recipe away with them as a memento of the experience.

Latest campaign:

Havana Club Rum unveiled a Cuban pop-up experience, Casa Havana, in Soho last month. The pop-up bar was in situ from 11-13 August and featured a ticketed restaurant space decorated in artwork curated and inspired by the rum brand. Select visitors also had the chance to experience Havana life through the decades via a secret virtual reality experience using 3D animation.


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