Bacardi Launches Graphic Novel to Honor the Brand’s Past
The rum brand collaborates with iconic graphic novelists Warren Ellis and Michael Allred
The brand collaborated with two well-known industry legends to create the graphic novel about the story of the Bacardi family. the spirits brand handpicked author Warren Ellis and illustrator Michael Allred for the project.
Ellis is the award-winning writer of RED and RED 2, which were adapted into movies, and has also worked for Marvel on Hellstorm and for DC Comics on Gen, Transmetropolitan and Planetary. Allred is most known for creating Madman and has also illustrated several characters for Marvel and DC Comics.
Not a lot of people are aware that the Bacardi family has a rich history originating in Cuba as far back as 1862. The Spirit of BACARDI focuses on the story of Emilio Bacardí, the son of Don Facundo who founded the popular rum brand. Emilio Bacardi was a key player in the struggles for Cuban independence in the late 19th century. He was arrested, exiled and imprisoned twice. He overcame all that to become the first freely-elected mayor of Santiago de Cuba.
The graphic novel also tells about the challenges that the Bacardi family faced back then. It touches on significant events like an earthquake that destroyed the city and a fire that destroyed the family’s distillery. The story ends with the creation of the original Cuba Libre cocktail in 1900.
According to a press release, drops of BACARDI Gold rum were added to the ink used by Allred.
In a press release, Allred says,
Working on this project gave me the chance to bring to life a time and a place I’ve never worked with before – Cuba in the late nineteenth century. I loved the idea of adding BACARDI rum to the ink to make it a real part of the graphic novel’s DNA. It’s something I have never done before and makes the artwork unique.
Storytelling requires great characters, and in Emilio Bacardi we have exactly that. Emilio was a patriot, passionate about his homeland of Cuba. My focus was to bring his drive and determination to life.
The release of the graphic novel is part of the brand’s campaign “Bacardi Untameable Since 1862,” which was launched last November.
Andy Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer of Bacardi, explains:
We see The Spirit of BACARDI as a fantastic way to tell the stories behind “BACARDI Untameable Since 1862,” our new global marketing campaign that inspires consumers to pursue their passions no matter what-much like the Bacardi family did-encouraging camaraderie and strength of character.
Authenticity is increasingly important to our consumers, especially millennials. While first and foremost we want the graphic novel to be entertaining, we are also saying something important about our brand; that we have the heritage to back up our attitude.
The Spirit of BACARDI can be read online and is available as a digital download from the project’s dedicated webpage. The graphic novel is also available in limited print copies.