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Brief Published: 19 Aug 2014

Bacardi’s Branded Comic Book


Continuing in the tone of its Untameable Since 1862 campaign launched late last year, Bermuda-based drinks giant Bacardi has just released the graphic novella The Spirit of Bacardi, which celebrates a facet of its history in more detail.

The story focuses on Emilio Bacardi, eldest son of the family business's original founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso. Emilio supported the Cuban rebel army in its struggle for independence from Spain, and in time became the first democratically elected mayor of Santiago de Cuba.

"Authenticity is increasingly important to our consumers, especially millennials," said Andy Gibson, chief marketing officer of Bacardi. "While first and foremost we want the graphic novel to be entertaining, we are also saying something important about our brand; that we have the heritage to back up our attitude."

Bacardi collaborated with two well-respected professionals from the comics industry: writer Warren Ellis, renowned for ground-breaking series such as The Authority and Transmetropolitan, and illustrator Michael Allred, who has drawn extensively across the Marvel and DC Comics universes.

Heritage has become a considerable tool for spirits brands trying to position themselves with respect to responsible drinking. In comics, Bacardi might have identified the most appropriate genre for its tumultuous history.

For more approaches to heritage, read Monetising Brand Heritage. For more on the influence of comics on branding and marketing, see our Comic-Con reports and blog post review of the Comics Unmasked exhibition.