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Bacardi pitches Oakheart exclusively at men

Published:  15 August, 2011

Male drinkers aged 18 to 24 who love "adventure, fun and girls" are the target audience of Bacardi's new spiced rum-based spirit.

Launching in September, Oakheart is a blend of Bacardi Superior and Gold, which has been aged in charred oak barrels. Its 35% abv means it cannot officially be called rum in the UK under EU law.

A £3 million marketing campaign, including print, digital and outdoor advertising, will be targeted almost exclusively at men, with straplines such as: "Give your best man some decent material".

Whereas male-skewed advertising will not put women off buying the spirit, men will not drink something that appears to be overtly feminine, according to marketing director Liam Newton. "Evidence seems to be if you go for a more masculine positioning, women will come in naturally to it. Guys are more insecure," he said.

"Bacardi Oakheart fills a gap in the market for a spiced rum brand with a distinctly masculine, smoky edge that appeals directly to guys that know life is about the experiences they share with friends," he added.

The spiced rum category is currently worth just under £34 million in the off-trade and Bacardi predicts it will grow to be worth £150 million over the next five years. The firm sees Oakheart as a strong competitor to the likes of Sailor Jerry and Morgan's Spiced, as well as the smaller, boutique spiced rum brands that have hit the market in recent years.

In the off-trade, a one-litre bottle of Oakheart will be available with a recommended retail price of £22.99, with a 70cl bottle priced at £17.39.

Bacardi hopes the bar call "Oak and Coke" will catch on in the on-trade thanks to a link up with Coca-Cola. Branded tankard style glasses will also be available in bars and pubs.

A pre-mixed version would be the "natural next step" in the development of the brand, according to Newton, although firm plans are yet to be made.