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Captain Morgan’s tribute to Leicester City’s Wes Morgan is Diageo’s most successful social media campaign in Europe

Captain Morgan’s tribute to Leicester City’s Wes Morgan is Diageo’s most successful social media campaign in Europe.

Captain Morgan’s tribute to Leicester City captain Wes Morgan for his role in the club’s fairytale Premier League win is Diageo's most successful social media campaign in Europe, the drinks maker has revealed.

The activity drove unprecedented earned media results delivering 26,000 social posts, over 100 pieces of press coverage globally, and, more importantly, genuine demand from fans who wanted to get hold of the commemorative bottle, according to Diageo’s first head of culture and entertainment for its Europe business Leila Fataar.

What’s more, only 5% of the results came from paid-for-media, she continued. Not bad for a campaign based around five posts on Twitter and two on Facebook that were originally envisaged as a joke with a player who shares the same name as the famous buccaneer that fronts the brand.

Captain Morgan was one of the first to get involved in the celebrations last May when it sealed a congratulatory message to its namesake with the hashtag #theresonlyonecaptaimorgan. Along with the hashtag was a picture of the bottle but instead of the fictional pirate’s face emblazoned on the logo people instead saw that of the Premier League champion, who jokingly asked for an actual version of the bottle to be sent to him.

Given the timing of the post and the perfect match of the rum and the footballer, it’s no surprise the stunt has gone on to smash records at Diageo. Impressions topped 50 million while the number of those posts that were shared through word-of-mouth or through earned social were around 26,000. The total number of times the post was interacted with hit 590,000, with the engagement rate at 26%.

The statistics are reflective of a more fleet of foot way of working that Diageo has nurtured since Fataar’s arrival at the end of 2015. Previously the stunt would’ve started and ended with the social media post, but with Fataar and her team on board the brand could go a step further and release the limited edition bottle. Some 11,000 of these bottles were produced in record time for sale in Leicester, where the went on to sell out within 24 hours.

“As a big business that was huge for us to be able to able to get the bottles produced within two weeks,” says Fataar of a stunt she called no-brainer. “Think about [the challenge] in terms of our compliance, our procurement, etc…the idea was to put the shine on him [Morgan] and celebrate the underdog coming through, which is where the ‘there’s only one Captain Morgan’ hashtag came from.”

On the subject of the Jamaican footballer’s contract with the rum, Fataar said it was part of the original outline of the plan which was cemented last May. Morgan is required to dress like the Captain at any fancy dress party he gets invited to, terms he revealed were part of the “best contract I’ve ever signed”.

“Wes was really up for it,” says Fataar. “It’s a Jamaican rum and he’s Jamaican so the alliance came through well and when the stars align like that then you have to grab the opportunity and run with it.”

Seb Joseph

Hi, I'm the news editor at The Drum. Give me a shout if you have any questions about our news coverage or would like to pitch in a story.

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