Hamilton, Bermuda, August 6th 2014 – For more than 150 years, BACARDÍ has been a brand with incredible stories to tell. Since 1862, the Bacardí family has faced earthquakes, fire, revolution, prohibition, and exile, none of which could tame their irrepressible spirit.
To bring these stories to life, BACARDÍ has collaborated with two of the most iconic names in the world of graphic novels – writer Warren Ellis and artist Michael Allred – to create The Spirit of BACARDÍ, a graphic novel that tells the stories behind the iconic brand and its origins in Cuba.
The Spirit of BACARDÍ focuses on Emilio Bacardí – son of founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó – and his tireless work for Cuban independence in the late 1800s. Emilio Bacardí was repeatedly imprisoned and exiled for his belief in an independent Cuba, but persevered, eventually becoming the first freely-elected Mayor of Santiago de Cuba.
The graphic novel also touches upon early challenges the Bacardí family faced and overcame – including an earthquake that destroyed their city and a fire that ravaged their distillery – and ends with the creation of the original Cuba Libre cocktail in 1900.
The bold attitude of BACARDÍ even extends to the way in which the graphic novel was created. Drops of BACARDÍ Gold rum were added to the inks artist Michael Allred used to illustrate The Spirit of BACARDÍ.
“Working on this project gave me the chance to bring to life a time and a place I’ve never worked with before – Cuba in the late nineteenth century,” said Allred. “I loved the idea of adding BACARDÍ rum to the ink to make it a real part of the graphic novel’s DNA. It’s something I have never done before and makes the artwork unique.”
Ellis said, “Storytelling requires great characters, and in Emilio Bacardí we have exactly that. Emilio was a patriot, passionate about his homeland of Cuba. My focus was to bring his drive and determination to life.”
Andy Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer of Bacardi, said, “We see The Spirit of BACARDÍ as a fantastic way to tell the stories behind “BACARDÍ Untameable Since 1862,” our new global marketing campaign that inspires consumers to pursue their passions no matter what—much like the Bacardí family did—encouraging camaraderie and strength of character.”
”Authenticity is increasingly important to our consumers, especially millennials. While first and foremost we want the graphic novel to be entertaining, we are also saying something important about our brand; that we have the heritage to back up our attitude,” added Gibson.
To download The Spirit of BACARDÍ and for more information on “BACARDÍ Untameable Since 1862,” BACARDÍ rum and cocktail recipes, visit BACARDI.COM.
Watch the film here.
About Warren Ellis
Warren Ellis is an award winning English writer of graphic novels and film. Most recently, Ellis has written The Spirit of BACARDÍ – a graphic novel that tells the stories behind BACARDÍ rum and its origins in Cuba. Prior to The Spirit of Bacardi, Ellis wrote RED and RED 2 which were both adapted into movies starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman. Before the RED series, Ellis started British magazine Deadline, worked for Marvel on Hellstorm and then went on to write for DC where he wrote Gen, Transmetropolitan and Planetary. Ellis has also written for Vice, Wired UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters. Warren has been called “one of the most high-profile comic book writers of the past two decades”.
About Michael Allred
Michael Allred is an American artist and writer. Most recently, Allred has been central in the creation of The Spirit of BACARDÍ – a graphic novel that tells the stories behind BACARDÍ rum and its origins in Cuba. Allred is most famous for his creation, Madman, a superhero that appears in graphic novels published by Image. He has also illustrated numerous characters across Marvel and DC – two of the largest graphic novel publishers. Michael’s work is renowned for its retro 1950s pop art style and he has been nominated for multiple awards including the Harvey’s, the Eisners and the Eagles. Michael lives near Portland with his wife Laura who frequently works as his colorist.
About BACARDÍ Rum – The World’s Most Awarded Rum
In 1862, in the city of Santiago de Cuba, founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó revolutionized the spirits industry when he created a light-bodied rum with a particularly smooth taste – BACARDÍ. The unique taste of BACARDÍ rum inspired cocktail pioneers to invent some of the world’s most famous recipes including the BACARDÍ Mojito, the BACARDÍ Daiquirí, the BACARDÍ Cuba Libre, the BACARDÍ Piña Colada and the BACARDÍ Presidente. BACARDÍ rum is the world’s most awarded spirit, with more than 550 awards for quality, taste and innovation. Today, BACARDÍ rum is made in Puerto Rico and Mexico where it is crafted to ensure the taste remains the same today as it did when it was first blended in 1862. www.bacardi.com
The BACARDÍ® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.