By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

October 23, 2023 | 5 min read

The campaign represents a bold new direction for the Pernod Ricard-owned coffee liqueur.

A cinematic ad campaign fronted by actor and producer Salma Hayek urges viewers to ditch drab libations in favor of something bold, like a Kahlúa espresso martini.

The new ‘Stir Up’ campaign, inspired by Latin American telenovelas, brings the drama with bold, over-the-top style and a sensual flair. In a series of short TV spots, out-of-home ads, cocktail-making videos and digital placements, the coffee liqueur brand urges consumers to bring a new level of excitement to their beverages with Kahlúa.

In one 15-second spot, a family dinner receives a jolt of excitement when espresso martinis and Kahlúa-drizzled ice-cream sundaes enter the picture. The drama is elevated further when Hayek kicks down the door in a dazzling red gown and proudly announces, "Friday called. It’s bored of wine."

Kahlúa originated in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1936. Since 2022, the Pernod Ricard-owned brand has sourced all of its coffee from sustainable local farms – part of an effort undertaken alongside nonprofit organization Fondo Para La Paz and indigenous coffee growers in Veracruz. Hayek said she “couldn’t resist” the opportunity to help the brand by “supporting local coffee growers.”

The new ads, directed by Mexican filmmaker Rodrigo Valdes, point to the brand’s efforts to reposition Kahlúa as a treat that can be integrated into all kinds of moments – rather than just special occasions.

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“We’re over-the-top and proud. But rather than run away from a sense of being ‘too much’ for the everyday, we’re embracing it – with an exuberant, humorous twist in these adverts with Salma at the helm,” said Craig van Niekerk, who serves as global vice-president of marketing for both Kahlúa and Malibu rum. “We are channeling our Mexican personality to inspire a new generation of home mixologists with a fun and dramatic alternative.”

Building on the brand’s decision to lean into its showy personality, Kahlúa’s packaging is receiving a makeover. New glossy labels will adorn the brown liqueur bottles.

Independent agency Wieden+Kennedy brought the work to life. The job represented an exciting challenge for the agency’s creatives. “Creating a new platform for an iconic brand is always an exciting challenge, especially when you get to throw novela gasps, door kicks and Salma Hayek at it,” said Philippa Beaumont and Freddy Taylor, creative directors at Wieden+Kennedy London. “Our new ‘Stir Up’ platform captures the anything-but-expected nature of Kahlúa, giving us a really playful role in people’s lives. We’re excited to ‘Stir Up’ more things with Kahlúa.”

‘Stir Up’ will run in the US market through November before debuting across global markets. Redesigned Kahlúa bottles will make their way to select US retailers in November as well.Out of home billboard advertisement for Kaluha

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Creative Wieden+Kennedy Creative Works

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