HAMILTON, Bermuda, Dec. 15, 2017 — HAVANA CLUB™ rum, distilled in Puerto Rico, has officially announced the launch of its new “Forever Cuban” integrated campaign, which tells the story of the brand’s Cuban heritage and declares that though the brand is no longer produced in Cuba, it is, and will forever be, Cuban.
In advance of the upcoming 59th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, the campaign, created by BBDO New York, launched with a powerful 60-second spot video 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 exclusively for the campaign by world-renowned Cuban poet Richard Blanco. Through the poem and the spot, HAVANA CLUB rum speaks to its Cuban roots, establishes its authenticity and boldly tells adversaries “Don’t tell us we’re not Cuban.” 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.”
In 1960, the revolutionary Cuban government illegally seized without compensation the Arechabala family businesses, including their HAVANA CLUB distillery, and jailed, then forced the family to flee the country in exile. But, they could not steal the Arechabala’s recipe or strip the family of their soul, which is rooted in the craftsmanship of their product and solidifies their continued family legacy. The family sought refuge in the U.S., where the recipe was personally transcribed by Ramon Arechabala and given to Bacardi as part of an agreement between the two families. As a result, Bacardí has sold HAVANA CLUB rum exclusively in the U.S. since 1995.
“We recently debuted the ‘Forever Cuban’ campaign to reaffirm our place as the true HAVANA CLUB rum. Pernod Ricard, a French company, continues to partner with the Cuban dictatorship to produce rum under a stolen name. That does not make the Pernod Ricard and Cuban government’s rum brand ‘real,’ or ‘authentic,’ it makes it an imposter,” said Ned Duggan, Vice President of Rums for Bacardi. “Bacardi will continue selling HAVANA CLUB rum using the recipe based on the original, which was created by the Arechabalas in 1934 and is part of their family heritage.”
The ultimate convergence of two Cuban families coming together to continue an iconic brand’s legendary heritage with an authentic product, Bacardi is committed to continuing this legacy, having experienced the same oppression and exile from Cuba. Its authenticity is based on the original recipe, great-taste, craftsmanship, technique and passion since the brand was crafted by the Arechabala’s in 1934. The Arechabala family has entrusted Bacardi with their recipe, and the brand’s goal is to carry on this legacy with the same passion and perseverance that the Arechabala and the Bacardi families are known for, having experienced the same hardship and sharing a common goal.
“My father’s family was exiled by the Cuban regime and their factories seized without warning or compensation,” said Paola Arechabala Consuegra, second-generation Arechabala family member. “After expulsion from their country, my family took our rum recipe – the one that has been in our family for nearly 85 years – and sought refuge in the U.S., a place where their original recipe would be safe from imposters and the Cuban regime. Through our agreement with Bacardi, we found a way to maintain our legacy by having our recipe and brand live on.”
HAVANA CLUB rums are premium, aged rums, distilled and finely crafted in Puerto Rico, comprised of HAVANA CLUB Añejo Blanco and HAVANA CLUB Añejo Clásico.
HAVANA CLUB Añejo Clásico and HAVANA CLUB Añejo Blanco are carefully crafted by the brand’s Maestros de Ron to mirror the original processes and liquid style of the Arechabala family from 1934. To maintain the authenticity and originality of the rum in both taste and bottle design, HAVANA CLUB rum, distilled in Puerto Rico, is based on the Arechabala family recipe and archival bottle design. In homage to the 1934 original, HAVANA CLUB Añejo Clásico is a golden liquid with robust notes of sweet fruits akin to pineapple and apricot, complemented by oaky notes with hints of almond and vanilla, and HAVANA CLUB Añejo Blanco boasts sweet notes reminiscent of tropical fruits and florals.
From the small screen to reality, the “Forever Cuban” campaign encourages consumers who share similar stories of exile to reclaim their heritage and recognize that there is nothing anyone can do to take their identity away through a range of advertising and digital channels, including online video and mass and targeted social (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Out-of-home will run in Florida and New York markets in December. Watch the spot video here.
For more information on HAVANA CLUB Rum, distilled in Puerto Rico, and cocktail recipes, visit https://www.therealhavanaclub.com/.