In the world of premium spirits, rum was the frat guy with his hat on sideways, always ending up with a bad hangover. At 310 years old, Mount Gay was the oldest rum in the world and far too mature to be relegated to be mixed with Coke in a red cup.


With the launch of a new product—aimed squarely at the palate of bourbon drinkers—Mount Gay needed to reinvent the image of rum and create an informed consumer base that understands the potential of the spirit.


My team envisioned an entire brand platform and multi-year communication strategy, which leveraged the brand's small stature within their category to the greatest effect, through activations, content, social media and exclusive product releases.


When we first came on board, the new brand was nothing more than a logo and a new bottle: we developed a strong voice and a unique visual identity that celebrated the rum's 310 year history through the height of display technlogy the time they were born: the woodcut.

We targeted a creative consumer, someone who valued being "first" with their trends and who always wanted to have a story to tell when they get together with friends.  So we created a campign full of history, and filled it with brand details that rewarded digging deeper.


We kept the website simple, branched out into photography which told the story of Mount Gay's history in Barbados. Unlike brands which exist as marketing gimmicks, we left the pirates and parrots behind, in favor of actual stories about the birth of rum.

As we introduced this new point of view on rum, we needed to teach people how to drink it. Our drink strategy came to life at cocktail bars across the country and was messaged through storytelling which positions rum as the original brown spirit.

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To populate their social feeds, we traveled to Barbados (rough assignment, I know) and captured images of the distillery, Allen Smith and his team at work, and the culture of the island that helped put rum on the map.

We also updated the packaging for their premium products, and drove the development of products that reinforce the core craft message. Along the way, we designed collateral with wit and charm, something you might actually keep.


Brand Development.