Advertising alcoholic drinks is banned in India, but that has not stopped veteran rum producer Bacardi from building its brand by engaging audiences through the medium of independent music.

Anshuman Goenka, head of marketing at Bacardi India, outlined the company’s strategy in an interview with The Drum in which he explained that music helps to reinforce stronger connections with brands.

“Having been at the centre of India’s indie music scene, we at Bacardi have also evolved from hosting indie artists at Bacardi NH7 Weekender [an annual, multi-city music festival] to now being a platform that identifies and nurtures this upcoming talent,” he said.

“Music has not only opened avenues for brands to own a space and host platforms that are globally known, but it has also built certain equity that reinforces a stronger connection, one that consumers and audiences recall over a period of time,” he added.

In addition to supporting the NH7 Weekender festival and live gigs, the 157-year-old company launched Bacardi House Party Sessions (BHPS) in 2017, an initiative designed to mentor “indie” musicians through their careers.

Ritviz, Aarya and MojoJojo are just some of the Indian musicians and artists who have participated in the BHPS scheme, which allows them to curate their content while keeping in mind the brand’s ethos of “Do what moves you”.

“Bacardi believes that there is an exceptional amount of creative musical talent in India that is waiting to show the world how good they are and how great they can be,” Goenka said.

“BHPS is our way of giving back to these artists who have helped us move audiences, by supporting them in what truly moves them,” he continued.

“The increase in engagement that we’ve been garnering on digital platforms, the artist’s familiarity across regions and sheer audience love at BNH7 Weekender, where these songs are sung along within a week of their release, are testament to our efforts and investments.”

Summing up, he said that Bacardi wants to be recognised as a brand that nurtures an ecosystem for independent music to grow in India and, in return, this will help to foster engagement with audiences and consumers.

Sourced from The Drum; additional content by WARC staff