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Pernod Ricard's Malibu adds mobile to marketing mix

Pernod Ricard's Malibu, the No. 1 selling coconut-flavored Caribbean rum, has rolled out a multichannel campaign to support the launch of its new flavor - Malibu Island Melon.

The multichannel digital campaign taps into the most popular trends among its core consumers and consists of Web videos, banners, ringtones and a mobile game. Great Works is Malibu's agency.

"First of all Malibu always wants to help their consumers to 'Get Their Island On,' which basically means finding ways to have a good time wherever they are," said Jenna Moran, managing and account director of Great Works. "So a phone application is a great way to do that.

"In down time when you are bored, waiting for friends at a bar, waiting for a train or sitting in a lobby a mobile game from Malibu should shift your perspective and give you a few moments of escape," she said.

The Malibu-branded mobile game asks players to "Get Your Island On" with the free bowling game available on the iPhone and other smartphones.

Malibu put a Caribbean spin on an old favorite -- bowling.

Players can bowl in a rum shack, on the beach, in an underground cave or inside an aquarium.

Instead of pins, players are trying to knock down Malibu bottles.

The controls are simple. Players are asked to enter their age, decide where to play and select the number of players.

It's simple too. Players just need to drag the ball with their fingers and flick it toward the end of the lane.

There is music playing in the background and if players like it, they can download the music as a ringtone at http://www.malibu-rum.com.

"The application is perfect in terms of branding since the product itself is key to the game," Ms. Moran said. "We have replaced typical bowling pins with Malibu Rum bottles- playing off their iconic and recognized shape.

"We also have used the game as a fun way to tell people we've added Melon to Malibu by allowing them to select either coconut (the base flavor of Malibu) or Melon (the new flavor) and roll it to the bottles," she said. "It's a fun and interactive way for our audience to mix the new flavor into their actions without our having to be very overt about it.

The game will be available online on the Malibu website, as well as other sites including Facebook.

The spring launch will also be supported with a fully integrated advertising and marketing campaign aimed at generating consumer awareness and trial and driving retail and on-premise distribution.

"We love working with a brand like Malibu that is so irreverent and playful and willing to let their bottle become bowling pins in the game," Ms. Moran said. "We've also added funny little animations where the pins and the balls interact with the player when there is a strike, spare, gutter ball and etcetera."

The humorous, bowling-themed videos promote Malibu Island Bowling, the mobile phone application that allows you to bowl "island style" with a melon.

Malibu television advertising has been adapted to feature Malibu Island Melon, while online advertising on popular Web sites and aerial banners will provide for effective targeting of legal drinking age consumers throughout the summer.

Trade advertising has also been added to the mix to alert the trade partners to this opportunity to increase Malibu and rum category sales.

In addition to advertising, consumer sampling events (where legal) and a wide range of on and off-premise POS will be available throughout the spring and summer to build interest and momentum for Malibu Island Melon.

This isn't Malibu's first mobile initiative.

About two months ago, Malibu Rum tapped Toronto-based Vortex Mobile to launch a mobile Web site at http://MalibuRum.mobi.

The site is geared towards tech-savvy and social consumers. The site is optimized for all mobile phone types, regardless of carrier.

The mobile site has the same Caribean vibe as the brand's Web site.

Common elements include drink recipes, ringtones and wallpapers. Future content is expected to include a friend-sharing feature, and Malibu expects to use the site for mobile contests and promotional launches.

"Great Works' role was in conceptualizing the idea and then bringing it to life," Ms. Moran said. "We're raising awareness of the mobile game through three funny little films that demonstrate the fun of Malibu Island Bowling.

"We also hope to drive traffic to the Malibu-rum.mobi site and see a game as a great way for people to begin thinking about the brand in relation to their phone," she said.