Hit or Miss? Bacardi creates graphic novel to showcase brand 'attitude'

Bacardi has taken the unusual step of releasing a graphic novel about the history of its founding family.

Writer Warren Ellis and artist Michael Allred teamed up with Bacardi to create The Spirit of Bacardi, a graphic novel that charts the escapades of founder Emilio Bacardi’s son, Facundo Bacardi Masso.

Amid the struggle for Cuba's independence from Spain in the late 1800s, Facundo was repeatedly imprisoned and exiled for his campaign against Spanish colonial rule.

The brand played a fundamental part in the creation of the novel – drops of Bacardi rum were even added to inks used by the artist when creating the illustrations.

How I See It

James Thomlinson, partner and MD, Bell Pottinger Wired

Bacardi’s collaboration with influencers from the design and literary worlds helps the brand reach and engage new audiences. This, coupled with high production values and a great story, means the campaign should be a resounding success. Unfortunately it isn’t.
Clearly it has been well-funded and marketed, but this means little when the end user experience is so disappointing.
While the copy and illustrations are fantastic, it’s hard to believe the digitally savvy young male audience this campaign is aimed at will have the patience to navigate the 20-page ‘interactive pdf’ hosted on the Spirit of Bacardi microsite.
For me, the story would have been best told through film and promoted more aggressively via the brand's social channels and other online influencers.


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