Captain Morgan Lime Bite Hits TV

Captain Morgan ad spot

Diageo's Captain Morgan brand has launched a television and digital campaign for its new Lime Bite variety, which was introduced in December. 

The series of three, 15-second TV spots, all falling under a "Delicious Pours" theme, will be aired in "heavy rotation" during sports programming on ESPN, TBS and TNT, according to Diageo.

Lime Bite, a silver, spiced, lime-flavored rum, will also have digital presence on Yahoo Sports, as a sponsor of its NBA playoffs programming.

The spots, from Grey New York, are designed to appeal to Captain Morgan's core audience base of young adult males. They spoof the approach so often used in beer and other beverage commercials by starting with gorgeous, slow-motion shots of the rum, accompanied by a rich, dramatic male voiceover. The lulling mood is abruptly shattered as the camera pans out to reveal that the demonstration is actually being done by a bartender (in the first spot, called "Cry for Help") or at a house party.



The new campaign aims "to grab the attention of adult consumers looking for a new twist" on their favored rum, noted Captain Morgan brand director Tom Herbst.

In addition to the original spiced rum, the brand's already diverse portfolio includes Silver Spiced, Private Stock, 100-Proof Spiced, Tattoo, Long Island Iced Tea and Parrot Bay (available in a variety of flavors).

Captain Morgan is the #2 rum in the world, with 8.4 million nine-liter cases for the year ending June 30, 2009, according to Diageo.

According to the Beverage Information Group (BIG), U.S. consumption of rum, the second-largest spirits category, rose 1.6% last year, to 25 million nine-liter cases. In comparison, vodka consumption rose 5.7%, to 58.4 million nine-liter cases.

Bloomberg News recently reported that Diageo -- whose numerous brands also include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Jose Cuervo, Guinness and Tanqueray -- is ramping up its U.S. marketing and advertising spending after decreasing it by 9% last year. Diageo is backing off of a promotions-driven approach and supporting full pricing with marketing and advertising, after seeing North American sales decline 6% in last year's second half, according to the report.

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