Captain Morgan is keeping its new "Calling All Captains" campaign fresh by adding elements periodically -- for instance, a just-launched online tool that lets pranksters create customized voicemails to send to friends or foes.
Users choose from three voicemail personas on callingallcaptains.com -- one, for instance, is a "bartender" claiming that he was stiffed on a tab by the message recipient; the other two are a "cute girl at the bar" and an "angry boyfriend." The message is personalized and made more believable by filling in information such as the recipient's first name and what that person was wearing during a recent bar visit or other actual evening out.
The jokester can review the message before having it sent to the chosen cell phone, where it will go to voicemail immediately or after a single ring (depending on the carrier). The voicemail messages always end with a heads-up that the message is a joke, from Captain Morgan and the sender, who is mentioned by first name -- and a suggestion that the goofed-upon now go visit the site and send his own voicemails.
Diageo Rums Director of Marketing Tom Herbst describes the voicemail tool, created by MRM Worldwide, as "another outlet to interact with friends in the playful and fun-loving fashion synonymous with the Captain Morgan brand."
It also, of course, meshes with the tone of the overall Calling All Captains campaign, which is squarely aimed at young male adults. The campaign's centerpieces are 15- and 30-second TV commercials featuring young men adopting personas of their own. Examples: "Captain Improv," who devises on-the-spot identities and costumes for friends to impress girls in a bar, and "Captain Icebreaker," who uses a clever trick to introduce himself to a girl in a bar. Another, "Captain Keymaster," spotlights the message of drinking responsibly.
More creative variations are in the wings, confirms Greg Leonard, senior director of public relations, tequilas and rums for Captain Morgan parent Diageo.
The campaign launched in May, with heavy airing of the TV spots, created by Grey Worldwide, commencing in July and continuing through the summer. Key outlets include ESPN, Spike TV, Comedy Central, FX, TBS and Discovery.
The integrated campaign also includes online and outdoor advertising, on- and off-premise activations and promotions at concerts and other large events across the country throughout the year (Leonard notes that having the "Captain" show up unexpectedly at events reinforces the brand's spontaneous, fun image).
Two events definitely on the schedule are on Halloween -- always a big night for Captain Morgan. For this year's holiday, the brand will be sponsoring an inaugural "Halladega" event at Talladega Superspeedway, as well as its usual sponsorship of Key West's Fantasy Fest parade.
Diageo marketers are pleased with the positive buzz and feedback generated by the campaign thus far on Facebook (where it has a page with about 111,000 fans) and other social media, reports Leonard.