Malibu To Abolish Bar Queues

image001Pioneering drinks brand Malibu is aiming to consign bar queues to the history books, with the launch of a ground breaking cup that will bring club and festival goers’ drinks directly to them.

Featuring state-of-the-art ‘internet of things’ technology, the new ‘Coco-nect’ cups send signals to bar staff every time a fresh drink is required. All customers have to do to place their order is twist the base of the special coconut-shaped vessel – ideal for Malibu-based cocktails – and then carry on talking, drinking or dancing while their drink is prepared and delivered straight to them.

Making clever use of existing WiFi and RFID technology, the Malibu Coco-nect cup is a drinks industry first, and is set to bring the ‘internet of things’ – a phrase used to describe everyday objects that have network connectivity – to clubs, bars and festivals in time for summer 2017.

Twisting the cup’s base sends an order to the bar at the same time as pinpointing the user’s location. Once the order has been accepted a light on the bottom of the vessel changes colour to let the partygoer know that their drink will soon be delivered to them, while a special app then helps bar staff find the customer. Once near, the vessel light starts flashing to identify the right recipient. The cup was developed in just 12 weeks by the Malibu brand team at The Absolut Company, working with innovative, internet-of-things agency SharpEnd.

“Traipsing to a crowded bar to face a lengthy queue for drinks can put a real dampener on many social get together, while our research shows that FOMO – or the ‘fear of missing out’ – can be a real frustration for young people who don’t want to miss out on the fun of the party,” explains Malibu’s joint Global Marketing Brand Manager, Deborah Nunez.
Added Hedda Helgesen, also Global Marketing Brand Manager: “Our new Coco-nect cups will mean they may never need to miss a single moment of fun again. We have successfully trialled 10 prototype cups this summer, and will be looking to roll them out commercially in time for next year’s summer festival season. We expect them to be a real hit.”

A video showing the Coco-nect cup in action is available here.

Malibu Boosts #BecauseSummer With Kygo Partnership


Malibu is to launch a partnership with Kygo, one of the world’s leading dance music artists, at the Ultra Japan festival, Tokyo, this week.

Malibu will be teaming up with Kygo at music events and venues around the world and also creating a special video edit for his new single ‘Carry Me’ featuring Malibu. The association with Kygo is seen as a perfect fit for Malibu’s Because Summer platform, with his videos and performances reflecting those moments when you feel you can do what you really want to, just because it’s summer.

“Kygo is phenomenally popular with our global audience of young fun starters and is a huge draw as a headliner at music festivals. We couldn’t be happier that Malibu is able to support Kygo,” said Colin Kavanagh, Malibu Global VP for Marketing. “He embodies everything that our Because Summer campaign is about and is a brilliant fit for Malibu. We’re so looking forward to working with him next year.”

Malibu isn’t waiting until then to get the Kygo party started though. To celebrate the launch of the partnership the brand is running a 48-hour online competition with Vice electronic music channel Thump, offering a roundtrip flight to Tokyo for the winner and a friend, a four-night stay at a 4-star resort in Tokyo, VIP access passes to the Ultra Japan festival and the ultimate Malibu exclusive, a private ‘meet and greet’ with Kygo before his set on September 17th. All consumers have to do is translate the title of Kygo’s latest release from the Japanese: お誕生日おめでとうございます.

“This is a fabulous prize,” added Kavanagh, “with the additional excitement that there’s only a 48 hour entry window and within days you could be whisked off to Tokyo to see and meet one of the world’s great tropical house music stars. Autumn may be approaching, but there’s still time to be that ‘summer you’ and enjoy some Malibu ‘Because Summer’ spontaneity.”

The competition is being promoted on the Vibe network and through social media platforms to consumers in the Netherlands, UK, Germany and Spain, and is one of a number of ground-breaking marketing initiatives unveiled by Malibu this summer. “There is more to come,” said Kavanagh. “Malibu is a brand on the move.”

Malibu Gets Connected With Largest Global Execution Of ‘NFC’ Enabled Bottles

Malibu, the world’s No.1 coconut flavoured rum[1], is leading the way in the world of spirits innovation with the launch of its new ‘connected’ bottles. 45,000 Malibu bottles have been produced including an entirely app-less technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) to deliver content directly to a smartphone, and represent the largest global deployment ever of NFC on an alcohol product.

Embracing the brand’s Because Summer ethos, the ‘connected’ technology simply requires users to tap their NFC-enabled android phone onto the bottle’s Malibu sunset image to access content and prize draws instantly, delivering great summer moments and experiences. The result of the brand’s on-going partnership with creative agency SharpEnd, the initiative follows work undertaken at Malibu’s innovation lab in Stockholm to create a ‘connected’ bottles showcase, which has now led to the world’s very first pilot of its kind, to be trialled in the UK next month [September].

Embracing the technology, Malibu will be turning each bottle into a direct, digital touchpoint for consumers. ‘Tapping’ the iconic sunset logo on the Malibu bottle will open up a world of five digital Because Summer experiences – those moments when you feel you can do what you really want to, just because it’s summer – that consumers can access through their mobile browsers, including:
Instant-win competition: Tap to win UE Boom speakers
User-generated-content competition: a fabulous opportunity to win the ultimate summer holiday experience in Barbados
Bartender in a bottle: Malibu Because Summer drinks recipes
Bar locator: uses the consumer’s geo-location to find the nearest Malibu bar and alfresco drinking spots
Playlist: connects to Malibu Play on mix cloud to give playlists from Groove Armada, Marvin Humes, Clean Bandit and more to keep the Because Summer vibe going

Colin Kavanagh, Malibu Global VP for marketing, comments: “This is a huge world-first for Malibu and the wider alcohol sector, and reinforces our commitment to pushing the boundaries for Malibu in the digital arena. We are very excited that Malibu is the first spirits brand to bring this innovative technology to the forefront of the industry, and we look forward to rolling out the concept around the world.

“The initiative demonstrates our ‘Because Summer’ ethos, ensuring that our target audience of young-adult fun starters get the most out of their summer – whether that be a competition, drinks recipes or a playlist. We hope that the connected bottle helps Malibu fans to extend their summer celebrations in the UK, if only for a few days!”

Cameron Worth, Founder of SharpEnd comments: “Bottles are now media platforms, able to drive localised content that is defined by the market that sells the product and maintains the consumer relationship. Once the bottle becomes a media platform there are so many different things that can be delivered that are beneficial to shoppers. This provides an entirely new way to communicate with them and brings Malibu directly in front of its target audience, presenting the opportunity to drive brand loyalty through service delivery.”

The ‘connected’ bottles will be in-store in the UK, exclusively at Tesco, from the beginning of September. All bottles will have an accompanying neck-tag to provide the consumer with a clear explanation of the technology.

The Koko Kanu Miami Vice Champions Are Crowned

Koko Kanu

Premium Jamaican Coconut Rum Koko Kanu has announced Keivan Nemati and Maxwell Whitney from Zetter Townhouse Bar in London as the winners of its first ever ‘Kan-u-Kolada Your Miami Vice?’ cocktail competition.

The final, which took place on the 11th May at Loves Company in Shoreditch, witnessed twelve pairs of bartenders battling it out to create a Koko Kolada and a Miami Vice twist whilst fully embracing the spirit of the 1980s cult TV series Miami Vice.
Dressed in the style of the show’s crime-fighting lead characters Crockett & Tubbs, competitors were challenged to create a twist on the classic Piña Colada, using at least 50ml of Koko Kanu. They also had to serve up a Miami Vice, the summer season’s popular cocktail created by mixing the ‘Koko Kolada’ and the Strawberry Daiquiri.

The winning Piña Colada serve was created using 50ml Koko Kanu and 100ml pineapple custard.
The winning Miami Vice serve was created using 50ml Appleton Rum, 50ml Strawberry Puree, 20ml Lime Juice and 20ml Almond Butter Syrup.

The winners scooped the extravagant ‘Miami Vice experience’ top prize which includes a Ferrari drive, dinner and drinks hosted by J. Wray & Nephew UK (a Gruppo Campari Company) and a casino night out.
Keivan’s and Maxwell’s cocktail was selected by the panel of esteemed judges for its creativity, balance, flavour and the finalists’ showmanship. Judges included Andy Ives from Barlife UK, JJ Goodman from The London Cocktail Club and Lyndon Higginson from The Liar’s Club.

Samantha Burke, On Trade & Trade Marketing Manager for Campari comments: “I am extremely impressed with the enthusiasm of the competition’s finalists. They all really embraced the Miami Vice theme and had a lot of fun whilst creating their serves. It was a tough competition, however the winners’ creativity, passion and mixology skills really impressed all three judges.
“The competition has been a huge success and definitely has the potential to become an annual fixture.”

The final twelve bartenders were all from renowned venues including The Big Easy, Bar 366, The Milk Thistle, The Hawksmoor, The Folly, Matsuri St James’s, Hotel Du Vin, Lab Bar, Meat Mission and Loves Company.

J Wray & Nephew Announces First UK Campaign For Premium Coconut Rum, Koko Kanu


Koko Kanu

J Wray & Nephew has revealed its first major consumer campaign for its premium Jamaican coconut rum, Koko Kanu. The campaign follows continued on-trade popularity and will see the UK’s only full strength coconut rum extend its focus to secure Koko Kanu listings nationally in the grocery and convenience channels.

A series of consumer sampling events and brand tie ups will take place throughout the year and sit alongside PR, social media programmes and consumer media partnerships to boost the brand’s wider profile. A new serve strategy, tailored around the summer and Christmas trading periods will also be launched to encourage trial and introduce new drinkers to the brand and coconut rum category.

In the on-trade, total flavoured/spiced rum is worth £122.7m, up 16.9% in value and 14.6% in volume¹. The category is also a success in the off-trade where total flavoured/spiced rum is worth £64m and is growth in value and volume, up 18% and 13% respectively².

“This is a very exciting time for Koko Kanu as we start to reach out to the trade and get consumers experimenting with the liquid. While we are building Koko Kanu as a must-stock in bars for cocktails, we are working hard to secure additional accounts to boost visibility and awareness to support the work we are doing to grow the brand in the off-trade.” says Pietro Mattioni, Managing Director at J Wray & Nephew.

Koko Kanu is currently available in Browns and All Bar One venues, as well as Amazon, Selfridges, The Whisky Exchange, The Drinks Shop, Majestic Wine, The Whisky Club and Drinks Direct in the off-trade.

Malibu Winter Tasting Notes

Malibu Winter Edition

Malibu Winter (21%) is the new limited edition from the coconut loving people of Malibu and they’ve come out with a unique concept – coconut flakes! It’s a very good idea, and the bottle itself has a ‘window’ where you can see the coconut flakes floating inside! It’s like your very own snow globe! The spirit is the same but as I haven’t reviewed Malibu as of yet, below are my tasting notes –

On the nose you get a mellow hit of coconut, whilst on the palate you receive a very sweet mix of fresh tropical fruits and coconut mixing together and forming a rather pleasant after-taste that doesn’t give that suspected ‘burn’. It’s very smooth and a little thicker than you may think, and with the added addition of the coconut flakes in this version, you get a little more Caribbean in your drink! The flakes themselves dissolve so there’s no clogging feel in your mouth which can put people off.

The back of the bottle recommends a Malibu Blizzard – 50ml Malibu Winter, 100ml lemon/lime soda and 10ml lemon juice which sounds like a winner, as well as a chilled shot on its own to get that ‘cool sensation’.

It’s a little bit more expensive than the original Malibu and is being sold exclusively at Selfridges for £18.50, but with the addition of coconut snowflakes, it’s a great conversation starter!

I’m going to save this bottle for the Christmas party this year, i think as a winter shot, it might go down well!

You can purchase a bottle of Malibu Winter Edition here –

Check out the Malibu site here –