Consumer: Malibu puts some varnish on its image

Pernod Ricard UK hired Tea & Cake PR to help reawaken consumer media interest in rum brand Malibu.

Malibu pop-up: The Only Way is Essex star Jessica Wright visits
Malibu pop-up: The Only Way is Essex star Jessica Wright visits
Campaign: Malibu presents the Malibutique     
Client: Pernod Ricard UK
PR team: Tea & Cake PR
Timescale: April-July 2011
Budget: £12,000

A key part of the campaign was the creation of Malibutique, the ‘ultimate dressing room’ for girls to get ready for a summer night out. Guests and their friends could sample fashion and beauty products, and try new Malibu cocktail recipes. Other activity included a TV ad campaign, limited edition bottles being sold in stores, a partnership with Heat and Grazia, and significant investment in Facebook.

  • To educate the media and general consumers about the Malibu brand and the Malibutique campaign
  • To generate a PR campaign to get the brand front of mind with opinion-forming media
  • To achieve cut-through within the fashion and beauty community
  • To generate coverage in consumer lifestyle and fashion media
  • To drive consumers to the Malibutique and the Malibu Facebook page.


Tea & Cake PR launched the Malibutique campaign to lifestyle, fashion and beauty media by holding an event at the Nails Inc flagship store in London.

Malibu had teamed up with Nails Inc to create limited edition nail varnish colours, inspired by Malibu cocktails. The launch event was attended by media including

InStyle, Company, Glamour, Heat, More and Celebs on Sunday. Malibu hired local celebrity Gemma Merna, from Hollyoaks, to attend the

Manchester event and drive awareness through her Twitter account about the activity and her involvement.

Tea & Cake also secured Jessica Wright from The Only Way Is Essex to launch

Malibutique Birmingham, with photocalls organised and images distributed to regional picture desks.

The PR team arranged weekly product drops and samples from the other brand partners, GHD and Fake Bake, to media in London, Manchester and Birmingham to help build momentum.  

Tea & Cake also set up competitions in key national and consumer media to drive further awareness of the campaign.
Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated 52 pieces of coverage in the UK in print and online media. Coverage for the campaign was generated in key women’s consumer titles including Grazia, Heat, Look, New, Closer, OK, Daily

Express, Daily Mail, Buzz and Celebs on Sunday, as well as regional publications including the Manchester Evening News, Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post and Kilburn Times.


The Malibutique was visited by more than 12,000 consumers across the three weekends the pop-up was open in London (27-30 May),  Manchester (9-12 June) and Birmingham (7-10 July). The Malibu Facebook page also saw an increase in fans, with about 40,000 joining during the campaign period. Malibu said it had been the best media
relations campaign undertaken by an agency on its behalf.  


Pop-ups, temporary installations, call them what you will, have ranged from an indoor New York park to the quirky (or is that quacky?) idea of a pop-up farm. Maybe one day someone will do a pop-up pop-up. Personally, I blame the circus for starting the phenomenon.

The pop-up is now as popular a PR tactic as food art, faces in pans and Cheryl Cole-headlined surveys. So, if you are going to do one, you have to do it well. Fortunately, Malibu’s PR agency has taken the concept and produced an excellent campaign for its client.  

It has remembered one of the golden rules of a pop-up – if you are going to create a transportable concept, don’t limit it to one city.  

The agency generated content that led to successful partnerships with target media titles. It used the campaign to connect directly with the target audience, as well as media, positioning the brand in line with the lifestyle choices of the customers.

And it has given it a snappy name that works for media – just don’t mention that p-word.

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