Bacardi’s tug-of-war with Facebook

Bacardi Make a Status Update in Person billboard

Every Facebook user is one less customer for Bacardi is the raison d’etre of this ad.

The image encourages personal interaction and produces the suggestion that Bacardi is necessary for this. The two triggers are night (black bats and the amber — moon — bat) and the term “status update.” “Update” is colored amber like the moon. In addition to serving as a suggestion (to spark an urge to go to a bar or party after seeing the words “status update), an up-date is certainly suggestive. In addition to the usual sexual unconditioned stimulus there also is the additional dimension of status.

Bacardi work late on your friendships billboard

Bacardi work late on your friendships billboard

An interesting image for it promotes the use of alcoholic beverages in general as much as it does the Bacardi brand in particular. This shows that competition is not necessarily between products. The adversary here is not primarily other liquors, but, rather, habits not conducive to consumption.

The distribution of the suggestion “WORK LATE ON YOUR FRIENDSHIPS” provides a rationalization for not spending extra time at the job. The mental gymnastics are equating time spent drinking in the company of others with “work” and “friendship.” Who would argue that these are not both good things?

The bat in the circle graphic very much resembles a balloon, thus associating the product with festive occasions. After seeing these pictures of floating bats, a balloon might act as an unconscious reminder of the logo and so serve as a trigger for buying Bacardi.