Year after year, BACARDÍ continues to create opportunities that encourage consumers to do what moves them – both emotionally and physically. In the spirit of Halloween, BACARDÍ channeled the spookiness of the holiday and the expressiveness that comes with dressing up in costume, to release a limited-edition haunted bottle of BACARDÍ Superior white rum – but there is more to it than meets the eye.
To celebrate the release of its new limited-edition Halloween rum, BACARDÍ played the ultimate prank on people by introducing: The Haunted Rum. Leveraging a cast of skilled improv actors and unsuspecting “marks,” BACARDÍ tricked (and treated) people into believing there was a spirit trapped inside its new haunted rum bottle.
Consumers were invited to join BACARDÍ to experience The Haunted Rum under the guise of a first look and taste of the limited-edition bottle and Las’ Lap’s new fall-themed BACARDÍ rum cocktail. Unsuspectingly, these guests were entering an elaborate hidden-camera experiment where the spirit inside the bottle was about to come alive and take on a seemingly supernatural form.
Among the unsuspecting “marks” was actor and singer, Tristan “Mack” Wilds, who was pranked by accomplice, actress and friend of BACARDÍ, La La Anthony. Spoiler alert: Anthony – whose character LaKeisha was shockingly killed off the final season of Power in a recent episode – stepped behind the camera this time with BACARDÍ to take control of the narrative and determine her friend’s fate.
Wilds – who is known for roles on HBO’s The Wireand The CW’s millennial remake of 90210 – along with consumers who experienced the stunt, responded to the spirited bottle with a mix of emotions, ranging from fright to confusion to excitement.
To bring the spooky stunt to life, BACARDÍ took a page from Punk’d, and enlisted the show’s Executive Producer of over nine years, Billy Rainey, to direct. Applying old-school magic tricks and the power of magnetic fields to awaken the spirit inside the bottle, BACARDÍ transformed the second floor of Lower East Side rum bar, Las’ Lap, into a hauntedhouse of rum.
Upon entry to the rum bar, which took over the second floor of the Lower Manhattan hot spot, consumers were guided upstairs and offered a seat at a special mock bar (created just for the occasion) alongside a bottle of “the haunted rum.” After guests ordered and tasted the new Blood Moon cocktail made with BACARDÍ Superior (recipe below), the bottled-up spirit grew agitated and made itself known. As they enjoyed their libation, guests witnessed the haunted rum take on a life of its own and begin to erratically move along the bar – controlled by an unseen force – to toy with the patron’s emotions.
A skilled group of improv actors – ranging from the bartender to fellow bargoers and even the bouncer downstairs – aided the stunt by helping to elicite reactions from the “marks” or unsuspecting consumers. Next door in the control room, director Billy Rainey worked his magic, feeding the bartender and bargoers prompts and cues through hidden earpieces to further work up reactions from the “marks,” thereby customizing the experience per patron so no two pranks were the same.
To consumers’ delight, the haunted hoax reveled itself once the guests were thoroughly spooked and puzzled – as cast and crew was revealed to be in on the prank, offering consolation hugs to the duped “marks.”
BLOOD MOON Recipe
· 2 parts BACARDÍ Superior Rum
· 1 part Monin Blood Orange Syrup
· 1 part Fresh Lime Juice
· Ginger Beer
Method: Shake all ingredients, except ginger beer, with ice and strain into glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with vampire teeth.