The original naval recipe rum, unchanged since July of 1970 when the Royal Navy discontinued its daily issue and served its last “tot” on board Her Majesty’s ships, has always been a rum drinker’s favourite. Now, the Brand is looking to reach a new generation of consumers with its latest commercial.
The commercial, shot in Chester during the early summer still amid Covid restrictions, depicts a young woman fresh out of lockdown being influenced by a sense of nostalgia when ordering drinks at the bar.
On crafting the creative, the director Cameron Jones said, “We wanted to start from a place of acknowledging Pussers’ heritage and current customers, and use that when appealing to a younger market - rather than assuming that Pussers is already popular among young people.”
“We’re continually learning that Millennials and Gen-Zs are more sentimental and have an appreciation for what is real vs. conjured or created than previous generations. Especially after lockdown, there’s been a felt sense of gratitude and connectedness between generations and families who were separated, we wanted to tap into that.”
The brief from the client was simultaneously simple and challenging, revitalise the Pussers brand image for a new generation of consumers worldwide. In the concept phase, the idea that won out revolved around giving context to young people in the modern age, making the decision to consume Pussers. The feeling was, a vapid display of young adults consuming what is currently though of by the market as an "old man's drink" wouldn't be believable or relatable for viewers. We proposed an alternate approach, to capitalise on the family together-ness engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic, imparting a feeling of nostalgia that would work two-fold in relaying the rich historical heritage of the brand. With a view to targeting customers on multiple continents, we felt the sentiment of something shared between generations was universal. This coupled with the dialogue-free execution allowed the concept to reach all viewers with equal understanding.
The initial tagline that would be refined with the client was "Even when we're apart, things bring us together - Pussers Rum, from one generation to another". This was later refined to the final campaign tagline "Pussers Rum - For the Next Generation" due to it's universality and effectiveness post-pandemic.
Shooting in April 2021, the UK film industry still required high standards surrounding COVID-19 protocols. The downstairs area of the location was required to accommodate cast members, Hair Stylists and MUA's. The crew would reside upstairs, creating separate COVID bubbles. Masks were to be work at all times when camera's weren't rolling. This presented a significant challenge during the wide shots of our club, with people partying in full swing!
The production standards were required to match TV specifications, should the client decide to air the commercial internationally at some future date. The commercial was captured on an Arri Amira due to its cinema quality spec and flexible features for the fast workflow required on the day.
The commercial aired internationally in August of 2021. The marketing strategy, successfully employed, was structured around driving traffic from social media and youtube to the Pussers Rum website, where visitors could sign up for newsletters or make a purchase. Engagement figures far exceeded expectations on the social media front.
A series of three self contained 15 second cutdowns were delivered to the Pussers marketing team for use on social media, with a focus on instagram and facebook. This helped to drive engagement further and encouraged consumers to watch the full length commercial on their website, turning a portion of these into customers and brand advocates.
Steve Dingley, Pussers Rum International Brand Manager, said “The commercial has really helped us to pivot people’s perceptions about a historical brand, from being simply ‘traditional’ to one with a legacy of quality.”