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Bacardi Launches Crowdsourcing Campaign to Mark 150th Birthday
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Bacardi Launches Crowdsourcing Campaign to Mark 150th Birthday

Bacardi, one of the largest makers of spirit in the world, is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. To commemorate the occasion, the company is giving back to its fans by hosting a crowdsourcing campaign on Talenthouse

The campaign asks individuals  to create and upload videos on the theme “It started with a party.” The goal is to show that Bacardi parties are “catalysts that enable meaningful human connections.”

Bacardi suggests its own commercials on the topic as examples. One shows a bartender trying out what could have been a precursor to texting, while another depicts what music downloads may have looked like a century before the internet.

Talenthouse, a creative crowdsourcing platform, is hosting the campaign through its India branch. The site hosts challenges for designers and artists to complete in, promising widespread exposure along with (frequently) a monetary prize to the winners.

The grand prize winner of the Bacardi campaign, for example, will receive 100,000 rupees (roughly $1900), while three finalists will receive half that amount. To encourage participation, the company is also handing out 25,000 rupees (about $475) to runners-up. Potential participants have until the end of November to submit videos, and the winners will be announced several weeks after that.

While it may seem limiting to confine the campaign to India, in the end, this may turn out to be a shrewd move by Bacardi India CEO Mahesh Madhavan, who was tasked with turning around the spirit company’s once-poor fortunes in the country. He’s had quite a bit of success, and is now looking to expand Bacardi India into a regional hub for the company’s spirits. Yet he also recognizes that this means growing the brand within the rapidly developing country. A few months ago, Madhavan said he is looking for “innovative ways to market the product to consumers.”

Indeed, one of the company's marketing strategies is engagement with consumers, which a crowdsourcing campaign helps to accomplish. Perhaps Bacardi decided to run the initiative as a regional campaign to improve brand recognition, which it likely doesn’t have problems with in more established markets.

While the campaign will likely attract a few loyal imbibers, its overall theme (“What is your interpretation of ‘IT’ in ‘IT started with a party”) may be too broad to attract a large number of submissions, even with the monetary prizes. The project may win Bacardi some headlines, but if the goal really is to expand its customer base, such an involved campaign will find it difficult draw in many newcomers without a clearer set of guidelines.

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