Havana Club is raising a glass to elevated rum

A glassware promo is part of a larger effort to draw in fans of other, premium drinks.

Corby Spirit and Wine Communications-Havana Club Rum Got Smoked

Havana Club is going after both rum and whisky drinkers with a commemorative item normally linked to beer.

The brand is launching its premium Smooth & Smoky Cuban Rum with a branded, highly ornate rocks glass.

According to Havana Club brand manager Aurelie Goffinet, the move was spurred because it’s witnessed a growing demand for more premium and super premium products in the rum category.

“We wanted to gift our consumers an item as premium as our rum,” she explains. “You will see that the very same glass we are offering to our consumers at point of sale is the same glass you might find in some of our partner accounts on-premise.”

The promo is behind Havana Club’s new Smooth & Smoky Cuban Rum, which Goffinet says is crafted to appeal to rum enthusiasts, but also whiskey drinkers looking for a new offering to elevate the experience, but might not associate that with rum.

“It’s a nice bridge between rum and whisky,” she explains. Beyond the high-end glass whisky drinkers might associate more with their drink of choice, Havana Club is also leveraging some of the whiskey processes and traditions too, like aging inside whiskey barrels.

According to Goffinet, the brand is targeting two different demos. The first is a younger, urban audience that is looking for a premium experience. The second, are more traditional rum drinkers and connoisseurs, who are familiar with Havana Club but will be re-engaged by the novelty of the new variety.

The creative tagline – “rum got smoked” – is a reference to elevating the beverage experience.

“Our consumers are seeking novelty and new discoveries daily and are willing to experiment with taste more than ever,” Goffinet maintains. And while she concedes it hasn’t been the most dynamic category on flavour innovation when compared with vodka and gin, for example, it’s changing.

The brand handled its own shopper marketing, a 50-50 split between content production and point of sale, which includes masterbrand display and POS materials, including some shelf extenders, price cards and case cards. Havana Club is what Goffiney refers to as a “limited resource brand,” so it has to be resilient and do a lot in house with the team it has.

For the social side of the campaign, there are points of messaging to make sure Cuban Smoky will resonate with millennial consumers. Roy Woods, a Canadian singer, rapper, and songwriter with Caribbean roots signed to OVO Sound, has been named the official Havana Club brand ambassador in Canada.