Allied Domecq has signed up reggae star Shaggy as the new face of Malibu.
Details of how the singer will be used to promote the coconut flavoured rum were being discussed as The Grocer went to press, although he is expected to appear in a new set of TV commercials next year.
A spokesman for Allied said: “Everything is confirmed, it’s now a question of working out the details. The deal with Shaggy will be brilliant because he is a perfect fit for Malibu.”
However, he confirmed that the long-running ‘Seriously Easy’ Caribbean-themed campaign would remain.
This is not the first time the spirits giant has joined forces with a high profile singer. In 2002, hip-hop star P Diddy gave Courvoisier an unprompted plug on his record Pass the Courvoisier 2. Allied seized the opportunity to gain access to the UK’s hip hop community by sponsoring the star’s after-show parties, in a move to broaden the cognac’s consumer base.
Paul Cowper, brand consultant at Brandsmiths, said: “Allied has struggled to promote Malibu and it has become naff. Allied is at a junction where it could either focus on Malibu’s heritage or try to give it more personality. Choosing Shaggy is more about doing the latter because he’s quite cheeky. The fact he has a Caribbean background also resonates with the brand.”
Decisions about the singer’s role in Malibu’s marketing will be one of the first jobs faced by an independent advertising review board set up by Allied Domecq this week.
A panel of three external experts and four senior Allied staff are tasked with overseeing the company’s advertising globally to “improve industry standards”. Chief executive Philip Bowman said: “Self-regulation is the way forward.”
Rosie Davenport