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Pernod Ricard

Havana Club, the second most popular rum brand in Germany



Havana Club, the second most popular rum brand in Germany, is experiencing stagnating growth figures and a steadily aging target group.
Up to now, mainly TV advertising has been used, which is to be supported by digital measures.

The goal is to reach a younger target group and convert them to consumers without neglecting the already existing consumer base.

Echte Liebe was commissioned to develop a digital marketing strategy taking into account the TV flights planned by a media agency on behalf of the client.

Initial situation

  • The growth of the client's Havana Club brand is stagnating and the age average of previous consumers is increasing (result of the client's market research), which is why the client would like to increase the relevance of the Havana Club brand among new consumers, especially in the "Millennials" target group.
  • The majority of the client's advertising budget has so far been spent primarily on TV advertising. In addition, a wide variety of advertising measures are used, such as search or sponsoring, but with a comparatively small budget.

  • In cooperation with a media agency, the customer has planned two TV flights for 2018.
  • In this context, the Programmatic Agency was commissioned to develop a digital strategy 2018, which digitally supports the TV Flights and digitally extends them in an online-only Flight.

Market and competition

  • The Havana Club brand ranks behind Bacardi Rum as the second most popular rum brand in Germany, followed by Captain Morgan (Statista - as of September 2017).
  • However, Havana Club's brand growth is stagnating and Havana Club consumers are getting older over time (findings from market research conducted by the customer).


  • Main task: develop a Digital Marketing Strategy 2018 taking into account the TV Flights planned on behalf of the client by the Media Agency.
  • Business objective: recruit new younger consumers of the Havana Club brand without neglecting the current consumer base.
  • Communication objective: Increase the relevance of Havana Club as a preferred rum brand by communicating the redefinition of the brand image, which should convey a more contemporary Cuban image.
  • Two strategic target groups were specified by the client to be reached with the brand message:
    • Older Party People & Aspiring Socials (brand message: authentic Cuban lifestyle (joie de vivre, music, cocktails)).
    • Ambitious Socials (Brand Message: Authentic Cuban Rum Expertise (Quality, Craftmanship, Lifestyle))
  • Business Objective: Recruit new younger consumers of the Havana Club brand without neglecting the current consumer base.


  • Development of a digital marketing strategy that successfully supports the TV measures and extends them digitally in a cost-efficient way.
  •  Successful targeting of the intended target group, taking into account the brand safety measures specified by the client.
  • Optimization for the highest possible video completion rate and viewability of the advertising measures.
  • Developing an understanding of programmatic advertising among the customer's employees.


Traffic Analysis:

  • Analysis of website traffic in terms of most popular content, most visited product pages, and breakdown by device.

Competitor analysis:

  • Analysis of traffic sources, social media presences and previous digital measures of the biggest rum brands in Germany.

Summarization of the findings:

  • Development of a campaign strategy based on the 5C framework.
  • Derivation of two possible approaches

Campaign analysis:

  • Analysis of programmatic advertising campaign performance for other brands of the client and derivation of insights for Havana Club.
  • To reach the targeted audience, it was operationalized into individual interest-based custom segments (using Semasio DMP). This was done as follows:
  • Definition of a highly accurate "positive sample".
  • Formation of segments by identifying statistical twins of users from the positive sample

Guiding idea strategic approach

  • Main idea: Develop a digital marketing strategy that reaches the desired target group through highly precise targeting and carries the brand message to them with attention-grabbing advertising materials.
  • Target group selection: Translation of the given target group into suitable interest-based segments as a basis for semantic targeting (see next slide).
  • Channel and inventory selection: Mix of low-cost display and video formats (run of network) in combination with more cost-intensive but attention-grabbing special formats in premium environments.

Other measures:

  • Development of an overarching campaign strategy based on the 5C framework and derivation of a specific campaign strategy.
  • Selection of suitable advertising formats to achieve the goals formulated by the client
  • Creation of advertising media
  • Creation of a media plan according to channel, billing model, budget and targets
  • Reconciliation of campaign KPIs (video completion rate and viewability) with benchmarks as comparative variables
  • Pixelation of the client's website for campaign targeting and optimization as well as collection of website data
  • Knowledge transfer to the customer:
    • General functionality of Programmatic Advertising
    • Overview of available advertising formats and their billing models as well as advantages and disadvantages
    • Explanation of the approach of interest-based semantic targeting
    • Technical requirements for the creation of advertising media

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