M&C SAATCHI and Havana Club have picked up the coveted Grand Prix at the Euro Effie Awards 2012, “the gold standard in marketing communication effectiveness”.
Havana Club had set a clear ambition: to become an iconic premium brand, and an alternative to the global leader Bacardi. This was the brief to develop the new campaign, to be used in over 30 countries in the world.
“Nothing Compares to Havana” is the result of a brutally simple approach: Havana Club being the only international Cuban brand, the M&C SAATCHI team from the Paris office decided to make it the icon of the rich, vibrant, and non-aligned Cuban culture.
This “cultural branding” approach (as Douglas Holt, author of “How Brands Become Icons” puts it) inspired the creative people from Paris to London and Berlin to develop an original advertising campaign promoting the spontaneity and human values of the Cuban people. It also led to the launch of Havana Cultura, a global initiative to promote contemporary Cuban culture. With the help of BBC DJ Gilles Peterson and art curator Flora Fairbairn, people across the world now have the opportunity to discover Cuba’s new talents, through records, concerts, exhibitions and the digital platform havana-cultura.com.
And to go further M&C SAATCHI and Havana Club set out to develop the most innovative piece of brand content ever done: a feature-length movie called 7 Days in Havana, in which renowned directors Benicio del Toro, Laurent Cantet, Gaspar Noe, Pablo Trapero, Elia Suleiman, Julio Medem, & Juan Carlos Tabio tell their own story about the city. Released in June, the movie has been sold in 26 countries and has been selected at the prestigious 2012 Cannes and San Sebastian Film Festivals.
Whatever the local market situations, Havana Club improved its market share, sales, and brand image against Bacardi. It now has over 800 000 Facebook fans across the world. In Drinks International Magazine 2012 yearly report, Havana Club was ranked #1 Hot Rum Brand for the first time, and even better, became the #1 brand in the Bartenders Top 10 for all spirits brands, beating iconic brands such as Absolut and Jack Daniel’s.
But the Euro Effie Grand Prix is not only the result of creative and effective communication. It also rewards a long-lasting agency-client relationship, without which such innovative initiatives would not have been possible. Havana Club was indeed the very first client to trust M&C SAATCHI.GAD when it was freshly founded in 2005 in Paris.