Stolen Rum’s bold letter to Bacardi

Stolen Rum is a New Zealand-based start-up rum company that wants to bring back the romanticism and history of rum to a contemporary audience. The rum itself has been judged world class, and it’s got the requisite feel good back-story, but an in-house cheeky guerrilla marketing campaign hopes to put Stolen Rum on everyone’s lips—including the spirit-making behemoth it’s competing with, Bacardi. 

The ‘Stolen Rum Challenge,’ a parody of the “Pepsi Challenge”, utilised social media, print, the old-school postal system and research agency, Perceptive, which conducted a series of blind taste tests with Stolen White Rum compared to the world leading white rum – Bacardi. The results were that 61 percent of people preferred the taste of Stolen White Rum over the market leader.

This got the good folk at Stolen to thinking that maybe if Bacardi tasted like Stolen White Rum, more people might be tempted to drink white rum and Bacardi might sell more. And having more people drinking rum would be good for the industry and for rum in general. So the cheeky new kids on the rum block wrote a letter to Bacardi inviting them to steal their recipe. No strings attached, just rum love. Not to mention fantastic PR.

People can vote on whether or not they think Bacardi should take them up on their idea in Stolen’s Facebook poll. With a small marketing budget, Facebook is an important marketing channel for Stolen – they currently have 6,025 facebook ‘likes’, which isn’t bad for little ol’ New Zealand, and are constantly trying to come up with innovative and integrative marketing initiatives.

This letter was sent to alcohol companies, retailers and distributors around the world, as well as the president, chief executive, and global marketing manager of Bacardi worldwide. A full page ad was also taken out in the Sunday Star Times newspaper in New Zealand. And direct marketing packs were sent out to media, influencers and bartenders, containing a mini Stolen Rum Challenge kit.

Pead Pr is becoming increasingly well known for their brand-building campaigns, particularly in the booze realm. They were the PR behind Moa’s infamous French letter, a lovely postcard of the Rainbow Warrior with the Te Reo equivalent of “fuck off” written on the back, and were a big part of the success of 42 below when it first launched. That was so successful Bacardi eventually bought the company. Oh the ironing, as Bart Simpson would say.

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