Bacardi Stays in Step with Club Scene Vibe

Mojitos gone mobile? Rum maker Bacardi is set to launch a branded Web and mobile radio station in May in the U.S. and London. The service, designed by creative agency Cake Media, is an extension of the brand’s music-centric marketing efforts over the past few years.

In keeping with its dance club style approach, Bacardi B Live Radio will stream night club standards, new hits and tunes spun by guest DJs from around the world. Weekend streams will feature “best of the week” and live recordings from worldwide B Live events. Listeners will be able to tune in online and via their mobile phones.

The new mobile dance music station stays in step with a variety of boogie-down branding campaigns launched by Bacardi in the recent past. Last year, the rum brand developed a DJ competition offering up mixing equipment and a trip to a Miami music conference for its grand prize. The company also puts on live concerts; upcoming Bacardi B Live club night events in Britain include performances by Kerri Chandler, Kenny Dope, Mr. Scruff and Snow Boy. The company hosted a series of Bacardi B Live music festivals last summer throughout the UK, too.

The mobile/alcohol cocktail has potential for backlash from watchdog groups here in the U.S., however, where the legal drinking age is higher than in the UK and Europe. Reportedly, beer brewer Anheuser-Busch has caught flak for partnering with mobile television service, MobiTV to advertise on its network. Bacardi, like most alcohol brands, stresses its goal to reach those 21 and over through its marketing efforts, including the new mobile service.

A recent report from Advertising Age’s American Demographics shows that in the U.S., 81 percent of 18 to 21 year olds and 80 percent of those 18 and over have mobile phones. Sixty-eight percent of those aged 16 to 17 have cellphones.

To hear the new mobile radio service, users can download the player from the Bacardi B Live Radio Web site and Bluetooth or infrared the software directly onto their mobile device for free. Or they may listen via Windows Media Player.

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