A series of viral ads produced by Think Espionage has hit the internet recently and is turning heads in the professional/serious amateur mixology world. They feature (though not that prominently) a product which should be quite familiar – Bacardi rum – but it’s the presentation that’s taking folks by surprise. Bacardi has made memorable commercials before – remember the curious Bacardi and Cola series (here and here) and the Mojito groove maker? – but, though popular with the general public, they did little to elevate the brand in serious circles. This series of advertisements, however, has gone out of its way to be both entertaining and exacting which makes the commercials a delight to watch to both laydrinkers and pros alike.
The first is titled “The Samurai” and highlights the daiquiri.
This is beautiful. So slick and so classy. I kind of want to cry. Watch it again and look for the elegant details. The solid ice chunk in the rocks drink; the frosted glass waiting for the daiquiri to be poured; lemon juice from the sweet carafe; the fine sugar mist; that last glorious drop into the glass. Like the margarita and the sidecar, the daiquiri is one of life’s great drinks; so simple and yet delicately balanced.
The second advertisement is “The Hummingbird” and features the piña colada.
The scene is busier than before, but no less classy. With a driving beat, the focus here is not on savoring the precision and zen of the bartender as was the case for The Samurai, but instead to soak in the sexy rhythm of talent at work. The piña colada is not the 1-2-3 drink the daiquiri is. No. In fact, I quit making them all together at parties out of the hassle involved. But alas, without even an order, she rips the stem from a pineapple (note the eye contact here), hacks into a coconut and free pours the rum, assembling the complex quaff, then… gone, down the bar when our mystery man looks up with his smile. The aspiring mixologist in me gets giddy at the straw taste, the double strain and the smooth two-handed garnish, but try as I might, I’ll never look that good in a cocktail dress.
Unfortunately, since the bartenders are just actors, there’s nowhere to go where the Hummingbird or the Samurai will serve you. They were trained extensively by pros, though, and I think it really shows. Adding the beautiful barware and splendid décor, I want to go buy a couple of bottles of Bacardi right now because of these ads. The company was right to go the route of that great 21st century invention of blog-buzzed, embeddable videos. (I’m playing a part in this right now, see?) It’s much nicer to be salivating over the sophistication of the bar scene than cringing at the thought of how bitter that Mojito’s going to be after he crushes the bejesus out of the mint.
I’m not sure that the Pegu Club or ZigZag are going to rush out and return to Bacardi – there are still plenty of other favorites in the rum world – but a little brand tweaking and polishing has never hurt. I’m waiting (impatiently) for the release of the third and final clip, “The Apothecary.” The scientist in me has already conjured up what might be in store and it’s making me thirsty.