BACARDI TO TAKE HATUEY MAINSTREAM: CAMPAIGN FOR CUBAN BREW TARGETS YOUNGER HISPANICS

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Bacardi-Martini USA is trying to push its Hatuey Cuban beer into the mainstream with a new English-language campaign to break May 11 in south Florida.

The campaign, handled by Zubi Advertising, Coral Gables, Fla., will include outdoor, print and radio advertising. The tagline: "Just ask for the Indian," alluding to the brand icon.

Spending for the effort will be less than $1 million.

Bacardi wants to expand the beer's base by breaking beyond the older Cubans who have been the core base since the brand was relaunched in 1995.

2ND-GENERATION HISPANICS

"We want to . . . get involved with second-generation Hispanics who did not have exposure to the brand in Cuba," said Celio Romanach, group marketing director for Bacardi-Martini.

Hatuey sales have been stalled at 150,000 cases, according to Bacardi. It is available in 14 states.

Before the Cuban revolution, Hatuey was the best-selling beer on the island. Afterward, the Bacardi family decided on building its rum brands rather than the beer.

Bacardi relaunched the brand -- now brewed in Tampa -- based on the popularity of Cuban restaurants and cigar bars. The new ads focus on the taste of Hatuey, positioning it as heavier than a premium domestic beer but lighter than European imports.

Spanish-language radio spots will continue to run.

The growth of imports -- particularly Caribbean brands such as Dominican brew Presidente and Jamaica's Red Stripe -- persuaded Bacardi the brand has promise.

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