Bacardi is one of the world's biggest premium spirits, and the best-selling rum by far, with almost 50% share by volume of the huge US market. (Closest rival is Diageo's Captain Morgan). As a result of Bacardi's success, and the purchase over the years of several other brands - Grey Goose, for example, or more recently luxury tequila Patron - its parent company has become one of the world's top three spirits businesses. Yet unlike virtually all of the larger competitors jostling it for position, Bacardi Limited is still privately controlled, jointly owned by the widely spread members of the family which founded it over 150 years ago in Cuba. It has long been regarded as a prime candidate for merger with another company, possibly Brown-Forman, a distribution partner in several markets. Yet no such deal has transpired, and instead Bacardi has rounded out its portfolio with a number of smaller but significant deals of its own. Sales of Bacardi rum have slipped in recent years but it remains one of the top five global spirits brands by sales, estimated by Impact at $2.5bn in 2019, from volumes of 17.8m cases. Patron, of which Bacardi took full control in 2018, is the group's #2 brand overall by value (but #1 in the US) with global retail sales of $1.6bn (volumes of 2.8m cases), while Grey Goose added $1.3bn (from 3.6m cases). Other important brands include Bombay Sapphire gin ($965m), whiskies William Lawson's and Dewar's (at $650m apiece), Eristoff vodka and Martini vermouth. The group is involved in a long-running legal dispute with Pernod-Ricard over ownership of the Havana Club rum brand. It markets a US-distilled version of the brand in the US; Pernod-Ricard distributes Cuban-made Havana Club elsewhere. Mahesh Madhavan became global CEO of Bacardi at the end of 2017; Facundo Bacardi, great-great grandson of the company's founder, is chairman. Annual revenues are around $6bn.
Capsule checked 29th October 2020
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Which agencies handle advertising for Bacardi? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments
Who are the key marketing decision makers at Bacardi? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments
Who are the competitors of Bacardi? See also Wine Beer & Spirits Sector index for other companies
Historical profile information for Bacardi
Adbrands Update 26th Apr 2021: "A Sensorial Taste Experience". If you were watching the Oscars telecast yesterday in the US, you might well have been wondering what on earth this ad with the dancing flowers could be for until its final five seconds. Is it another of those Apple Airbuds ads? Interflora? Air freshener? Did flavoured vodka spring to mind at any point? Didn't think so. MullenLowe's spot for Grey Goose Essences is lovely to look at, beautifully choreographed and filmed, but this is another of those ad concepts that agencies keep on the shelf to be taken down and dusted off for any brand that can be shoe-horned into it. I have no real problem with that, but in an ideal world advertising should really have something to say about the product, even tangentially. It's not even as if these vodkas are flavoured with any of the flowers featured. Shouldn't she have been dancing with watermelons, strawberries and peaches instead?
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th May 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Dance Floor". Time to get up off that chair and move your feet. Or if you're at the office, at the very least tap them discreetly to the rhythm of the beat. It's probably BBDO New York's best to-date for Bacardi. Previous ads - though uniformly excellent - have tended to follow a few well-worn tropes, modern day variations of those original aspirational Bacardi Party People spots from the 1970s. This latest takes a new direction: no identifiable people, just a riot of disassociated dancing feet. Lovely.
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Jan 2018: Bacardi has acquired the shares it didn't already own in super-premium tequila Patron in a deal valuing the brand at $5.1bn. Bacardi has held a 30% stake in the business since 2008, and Patron will become its single biggest brand by US revenues, above Bacardi itself. With prices starting at around $40 per full-size bottle, Patron is one of only six brands with US retail sales in excess of $1bn. (The others are Hennessy, Jack Daniel’s, Smirnoff, Tito’s and Crown Royal.). Total volumes are around 3m cases annually, including around 2.5m in the US, The current management team of Patron remain in place. Founder John Paul Dejoria - previously co-founder of the Paul Mitchell haircare brand - is cashing out his 70% stake, but will take on the role of chairman emeritus and continues as brand ambassador.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Oct 2017: Madhesh Madhavan took over from Mike Dolan as global CEO of Bacardi six months earlier than planned. At the same time, John Burke was promoted to the role of global chief marketing officer. That role has been vacant since 2015, when marketing duties were split on a regional basis.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Jun 2017: Ads Of The Week: "Play With Time". Travel with us along the coast from the Cannes Lions Festival, over the border at Ventimiglia and into la Bella Italia. Leave the dust from the festival to settle, and instead let's meet up for an aperitivo. As a drink, Martini is arguably something of an acquired taste, but this gorgeous film from AMV BBDO has universal appeal. A lovely and refreshing break after all that relentless networking.
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