Bacardi Solidifies Relaunched Havana Club Brand With New Campaign

After last year’s skirmish over the rights to the Havana Club brand name in America, Bacardi has backed its newly relaunched rum brand in America with the “Forever Cuban” campaign.

Bacardi rolled out the classic Cuban rum brand in America last year. The company has long locked horns with Pernod Ricard in a battle over who has rights to the brand in this country.

The Bacardi rum is distilled in Puerto Rico. The campaign “affirms that although the brand is no longer produced in Cuba, it is, and will forever be, Cuban,” the company says, while also “asserting its rightful place as the original Havana Club rum.”

The campaign launched on YouTube and Havana Club social media channels with a 60-second spot that features Cuban-American actor Raul Esparza — best-known for his roles on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Hannibal — reciting “Island Body,” a poem written for the campaign poet Richard Blanco. Written, produced and directed entirely by Cuban exiles in Miami, and available in both English and Spanish, the film culminates with the tagline “Forced from home. Aged in Exile. Forever Cuban.”

To further convey the brand’s “story of exile, perseverance and resurgence,” Havana Club rum has unveiled a new website in tandem with the campaign launch.

Havana Club rum is based on the original recipe created by the Arechabala family in Cuba in 1934. In 1960, the Cuban government, under Castro’s rule, “seized the Arechabala family’s distillery without compensation and forced the family to flee,” the company says. “After the Arechabala family was exiled, the recipe was personally transcribed by Ramon Arechabala and given to Bacardi as part of an agreement between the two families.”

As a result, Bacardi has sold Havana Club rum exclusively in the U.S. since 1995. Pernod Ricard sells the brand outside of the U.S.

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