Case Study: Rum Marketers Embrace Promo Items

Rum marketers embrace promo items.

Rum marketers embrace promo items.

From the historic streets of San Juan to the picturesque marinas of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico is known for its vibrant culture, colorful celebrations and, of course, rum. Wanting to share their good spirits in more creative ways, Puerto Rico‘s rum producers recently launched a new marketing and incentives program. The program became one of the highlights of the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival in April.

“Our marketing strategy is based on three key principles: education, awareness and differentiation,” says Pedro Cuellar, director of the Rums of Puerto Rico program. “The idea of creating an experience and evoking a celebratory environment at our events is strongly linked to the Puerto Rican culture.”

Wanting to captivate importers, buyers and retailers, the Rums of Puerto Rico brand team created a memorable consumer experience at the south Florida festival. At registration, VIPs were given gift bags containing a branded glass and recipe book. Near the event entrance, attendees were greeted by Puerto Rican host models who directed them to a promotional booth filled with logoed materials. From there, a welcome team helped enter people who visited the booth into a sweepstakes to win a trip to Puerto Rico. The team also guided attendees to a tasting seminar with two bars serving all Rums of Puerto Rico products: Bacardi, Don Q, Ron Del Barrilito and Trigo.

“Ambassadors provided insights and education about the brands, and the tasting bars were fully branded with the Rums of Puerto Rico elements – Rums of Puerto Rico logo, Rum Times poster and Quality Seal,” says Cuellar. “Monitor displays also projected the “Rum Times” webisodes and content videos of previous Rums of Puerto Rico activations including those at the Puerto Rico Open, the Miami Art Basel and the Bacardi Triangle. Of course, we also provided music and a party ambience for our guests.”

The Rums of Puerto Rico logo was modified at the Miami event to include a new tag line: “450 years of party” in order to reflect the current campaign. Merchandise used in the program‘s activations, promotions and tasting events included logoed tasting cups, glasses, mixers, napkins, bar mats, flyers, recipe books, recipe table tents, gift bags, canteens, signage, banners and more.

Meanwhile, the Rum Times‘ poster was designed to drive attention to the digital elements of the initiative. Rum Times, a series of webisodes on, highlights how rum helped celebrate some of history‘s greatest achievements. The first webisode got approximately 400,000 views and 25 million impressions. The second webisode aired at the Miami festival and was inspired by the invention of the camera.

The program‘s organizers say marketing efforts will continue to targets consumers in key rum-consuming markets of the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston – meaning the party and the opportunities for promo products sales are just getting started.