Malibu is the original Caribbean rum
with natural coconut flavor and the world’s favorite, selling 3.7 million cases each year in more than 150 countries. With its beginnings on the island of Barbados, Malibu is perfect for creating cool and refreshing cocktails
to help consumers “Get Your Island On.” In July 2009, Malibu was integrated into The Absolut Company, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard.
CARIBBEAN DIGITAL SHIFT
A true spirit giant, Malibu has a great history of traditional advertising, playing on their vibrant Caribbean heritage. Great Works was appointed as the global digital agency of record for Malibu. Since the engagement began, Great Works has been faced with the challenge of successfully managing the brand’s shift to the digital world. The project: to install permanently the brand’s Caribbean mindset online, to create exclusive branded content that is relevant to their core consumers, and eventually to leverage the conversation about the brand online in a clever and playful way.
The Malibu brand had a slightly limited presence online. Great Works leveraged the concept of Internet City: we helped making the brand the talk of the town, giving the different audiences/neighborhoods various sources of entertainment. Playing on the irreverent, tongue in cheek image of Malibu, our idea was to create brand new, humorous, easy-to-share content across several online channels: television, mobile, and web browsing…and develop the unique “Get Your Island On” universe online.
In May 2009, Great Works launched a first digital campaign to support the launch of the new Malibu Island Melon flavor, as part of an upcoming major integrated digital shift for the brand.
We installed the brand online’s presence through:
- A free, Malibu-branded mobile bowling application for smartphones.
- A free upbeat, energetic ringtone
- A series of 3 viral comedy teasers to help drive downloads, premiering exclusively on Hulu and Facebook and taking over the official Malibu-rum.com website.
- A bookmarklet to give any website a Caribbean twist, featuring designs by London artist Julia Pott.
THE #1 DIGITAL RUM
These efforts positioned Malibu as the #1 rum brand to follow online, offering their fans original new media features that consumers actually want to watch, play to, react on, and share with friends.
To support the Island Melon flavor, Great Works came up with “Big Lebowski” inspired short films and mobile game. The idea was to spread videos on all websites the core consumers of Malibu love to watch: Funny Or Die, Funny Junk, and other comedy websites. 3 viral videos were launched in support of the free mobile game.
Great Works came out with an activation plan to reach out to the different neighborhoods of Internet City: we identified apropriate partners for exclusive assets preview with key websites. We then targeted the Big Lebowski and bowling fansites first to create a grass-roots buzz within these core communities. Later on, supporting the media buy, Great Works broadened the target, pitching Sport blogs, and seeding the application and videos within Mobile, Gaming, and Humor websites.
THE RESULTS ARE IN!
Overall, more than 100 websites picked up the story - representing over 2 million potential readers!
Number of placements: 115
Total reach: 2,136,314, including coverage from:
- AdRants, Branding Unbound, Digitology (Industry news)
- The Apiary, Lebowski Podcast (Humor)
- Mobiles24, GetJar, Appshopper, Mobango, Mobile9, All About Nokia, Gomo News (Mobile gaming)
Total game downloads in the first month: 510,415
Number of video views in the first month: 40,017
The application allows users to bowl with a melon on a lane where pins are replaced by the iconic Malibu bottles. A month after its initial launch, the game had already been downloaded by more than 500,000 fans, and the general campaign covered by more than 100 websites and blogs.