Captain Morgan rum: Laura Goldenberg

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After 18 years, the Captain is still happenin'.

One year into the brand's first TV advertising and a campaign to run its bearded icon for the White House, Captain Morgan rum continues to push upward.

The country's No. 6 spirit is in its second decade of double-digit annual gains and is growing around the world-but nowhere more so than in the U.S., its lead market.

Laura Goldenberg, 39, category manager for rum at Seagram Spirits & Wine Group, has worked on Captain Morgan for two years, kicking off the "Captain for President" blitz and its move to TV.

"The breakthrough to TV was very important. It increased our presence in a very, very important medium. It set the stage-he's been on TV, and he's not going back," she says. Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, was preparing another troika of spots to start in the fall.

As part of last year's push, Captain Morgan did additional tie-ins with Playboy, where a playmate was the Captain's vice presidential running mate. Interactive marketing and sampling also were stepped up.

"We're continuing to innovate with the Captain-continuing to put him in new and unexpected places... spreading his message of fun and adventure for all and leaving his mark behind," says Ms. Goldenberg, who has been with Seagram since 1993.

Captain Morgan, which was launched in 1983, spent $15 million on measured media last year-up 67% from 1999, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

With the sale of Seagram's spirits business to Diageo and Pernod Ricard, the marketing responsibility for Captain Morgan was uncertain at press time.

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