Parrot Bay gets its own

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In its first departure from the brand that birthed it, Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay this month breaks a stand-alone magazine and outdoor campaign that evokes images of its island origins.

The four-year-old coconut-flavored rum seeks to position itself as a lighter, more convivial option than the highly successful, hard-partying Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. It features a new tag, "One taste and you're there," and tries to tie into a theme of tropical paradise and escapism.

"Not that we are walking away from the fact that this is a brand extension, but this [brand has] different moods and occasions and a more relaxed state," Laura Goldenberg, category manager for rum at Seagram Spirits & Wine Group. "It's a vacation in a bottle."

The campaign, by Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, includes three print ads, another two for outdoor, and three radio spots. Print breaks in September issues of magazines including Hearst Magazines' Cosmopolitan, Dennis Publishing's Maxim and Time Inc.'s People and Sports Illustrated.

Radio has been running since July. The ad budget is estimated at about $2 million, though Ms. Goldenberg would say only that spending would increase commensurate with the brand's growth, which last year was up 31% to 525,000 cases, according to beverage industry publication Impact.

The base brand received $14.9 million in measured media last year and $3.9 million in the first four months of this year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, though it did not break out the Parrot Bay line extension.

Parrot Bay has "been growing exponentially. I believe with the new campaign and increased investment and commitment to the brand that it will continue to propel growth even further forward," Ms. Goldenberg said.

The Parrot Bay work ties into the Captain Morgan Web site ( as well as on-premise promotions and sampling. Miss Goldenberg said its Internet presence would beef up later this year, with videos and increased interactivity.

Rum is becoming the country's second-most popular spirit after vodka, and Captain Morgan is the second-most popular rum after Bacardi, according to Impact. Launched in 1997, Parrot Bay has seen double-digit growth each ensuing year. Original Captain Morgan last year sold 2.6 million cases, up 23%.

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