Words by Jesse Serwer
We’ve been saying this for years: rum is in need of a makeover. Vodka, tequila, Scotch, Bourbon and even gin have all become fashionable among young people in recent years, thanks in large part to good, or at least savvy, marketing. Rum has stubbornly refused to follow along, with brands content to either die out with their aging customers, or to rely on the same old parrots and pirates.
This is sad for a few reasons, first of all because rum is the best tasting of all major liquors (in our opinion.) It is also one of the primary economic drivers in the Caribbean, and consuming it is one of the region’s most popular pleasures. For another reason, people who drink rum tend to be less douche-y than drinkers of other alcohols precisely because there has never been much cool points to earn from drinking rum.
We’ve been wondering when the rum industry would finally wake up and smell the molasses on the wall, and it looks like a change has finally come, from our favorite rum of all: Appleton Estate. The 265-year-old Jamaican brand recently named San Francisco-based Argonaut as its advertising agency and, in their first move, they’ve struck gold: a rum commercial with humanity and culture. Shot on the premises of the Appleton Estate, Argonaut’s “From Jamaica With Love” commercial highlights the lush scenery of the Estate, and the character of the people who work there, all filmed in muted, but evocative colors. Reportedly, the backing track (which features lyrics from national treasure Brushy One String ) is the result of an “impromptu hammer-and-barrel session performed by two of the estate’s workers.” Busy Signal can be heard for a brief moment. And, oh snap, there’s our bredrin Sheldon Shepherd (of No-Maddz fame).
If all that’s not enough to get you running down to the liquor store, there’s more: a longer and even more emotive clip has turned up on Appleton’s YouTube channel entitled “From Cane To Cup.” Watch them both below.