Stolen Rum lives up to its name with taste test campaign

The Offer: New Zealand rum brand Stolen Rum, with help from independent market research testing agency Perceptive, conducted blind taste tests last November modeled on the well-known Pepsi Challenge in an attempt to prove that Stolen Rum is the rum of choice for consumers. Participants received red pins that stated, “I took the Stolen Rum Challenge.” A Facebook contest polled consumers on whether or not Stolen Rum should offer its white rum recipe to Bacardi.

The Data: Three hundred people were polled on their rum preference at two different venues. When Perceptive collated the data, it found that 61% favored Stolen White Rum to global bestseller Bacardi. The brand’s Facebook page ultimately racked up more than 6,000 fans. Fifty-eight percent of those polled said Stolen Rum should give Bacardi its recipe for, as Stolen Rum put it on its site, “the sake of rum.”

The Channel: In addition to a social media effort, including the Facebook poll, Stolen Rum sent direct mail kits to bartenders and alcohol industry reps in an effort to get them to give Stolen Rum a try. A full page print ad showing the results of the taste test was also included.

The Creative: Stolen Rum sent an open letter to the CEO of Bacardi Limited to give the famous rum purveyor the chance to “steal” its white rum recipe with no strings attached because, as Stolen Rum said on its site, “having more people drinking rum is good for the industry and good for rum.” The letter was also sent to alcohol retailers and distributors and alcohol company representatives around the globe. Based on the results of the Facebook poll, Stolen Rum did send Bacardi a follow-up letter offering its recipe.

The Verdict:

Paul Notzold is senior creative director at Aspen Marketing Services, a marketing agency services division of Epsilon. He specializes in the mobile and interactive design and has done work for TIME, the 2008 Obama campaign, Merck, Rogaine, Neutrogena and others.

Any results in sales? I’d vote for them to give their fans the recipe, have their fans realize the art and craft of the product and then go and buy a bottle.

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