FOOD & DRINK CAMPAIGN: Spirit of Havana comes to Leeds city centre

Havana Club is one of Pernod Ricard UK's 'rising star' spirits brands. A key part of its strategy is to drive consumers to experience the brand first hand through its 'Piece of Havana' (POH) consumer events. PR agency Lucre was hired to promote the Leeds POH.

Latin rhythm: a Cuban band plays
Latin rhythm: a Cuban band plays

Campaign: A Piece of Havana - in Leeds
Client: Havana Club/Pernod Ricard UK
PR Team: Lucre
: September-November 2007
Budget: £10,000

To fill the venue with the target audience. To gain wider exposure through guerilla marketing activity. To broaden the media appeal beyond Leeds. To encourage consumption of Havana Club beyond the event itself.

Lucre developed a two-tiered approach across three key time frames; pre, during and post-event. Two additional agencies worked on the project; Hairy Lemon, which managed the guest list, and Miss Jones & Co, which managed the event logistics.

Concentrated guerrilla marketing activity took place nightly the week before the event. A key consideration was to ensure all activity was perceived as 'credible' and 'underground'. Cuban actors spread word of mouth by talking about event while playing dominos and drinking Havana Club in branded glasses across key bars in city centre.

Giant projections of the Havana Club logo were shone on key buildings and landmarks throughout Leeds city centre and a 1950s Havana Club Chevy toured 'trendy' parts of the city centre. A Cuban band played at 10 key bars, supported by Spanish models giving away drinks and CDs.

A bartender cocktail competition was also held at the venue two weeks before the event to involve 'on trade' audience.

There were 21 pieces of dedicated coverage across regional, national, broadcast and online media, including pieces in GQ online, Metro Yorkshire, Galaxy radio and Guardian Unlimited.

The event guest list was full several days before the event. On the night, the venue was filled beyond the target capacity of 600, with the guest list organisers reporting an estimated 850 consumers and industry contacts attending.

Following the event, Havana Club's sales team reported more than 40 new accounts across the region as well as continued support from existing contacts.

Pernod Ricard consider the Leeds POH event to be their most successful to date.

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