Zacapa Rum carries a beautifully rare depth in both its product & brand heritage, which is hard to maintain in this day & age. When Zacapa came to us, they had the arduous pieces of the puzzle already solved – the product & taste experience is memorably euphoric, the liquid story is captivating, and you won’t find a more loyal existing consumer base. So… the challenge was: how do we cast a broader net and enable people to not only discover Zacapa, but also fall in love with Zacapa through a global campaign.


Global Campaign: Campaign Strategy, Copywriting, Art Direction,
Bespoke Font Design, Co-production in partnership with Whale BV,
Director Caroline Koning and Photographer Rory Payne

Broadly speaking, we started from the insight that modern consumers crave depth. With mass consumption, a fast-paced culture, and technology permeating much of our everyday life, the experiences that bring more meaning have become far and few between. This is one of the few products where there is naturally so much depth from the onset.

It was important with Zacapa to make a clear departure from the industry codes around rum since we really see Zacapa as a liquid in a class of its own. When it comes to rum, we’ve seen the same themes time and time again…nautical adventure, tropical paradise, and colonial heritage. Born in the Guatemalan mountains, aged 7,500 ft. above sea level, Zacapa doesn’t fit into any of these constructs, so there was a tremendous creative opportunity here to bring this new place to life for consumers to discover.

Since our main objectives for this campaign were to create a sense of discovery (brand awareness), while also giving those who discover the product a chance to fall in love with the brand, we decided to write a love letter from Zacapa to the world, titled “Lips to Soul”. This format gave us the perfect opportunity to celebrate & romanticize integral aspects of the brand heritage, product inception, & taste experience, while engaging consumers through ambiguity, poetic rhetoric, & depth.

As there were many forms of media at stake for this campaign—TV/OLV, social, programmatic, out-of-home, & point-of-sale; across the U.S. & Europe—we needed to consider how this creative vehicle could thrive with unity across video & still platforms. For the video, we wanted to create a sense of magical realism that is rarely seen in the spirits industry. By shooting on film stock, using quick flashes, cinematic details, & captivating locations, we wanted to engage the consumer by stopping them in their tracks and having no choice but the curiosity to see more. Working with the talented & emerging director, Caroline Koning, the awe and wonder of Zacapa was in good hands to due visual justice for, all coming together in a beautiful piece of narrative.

For the stills, which were shot in tandem with the film, we worked with Rory Payne—another master in the field, who had the perfect eye for the ethereal aesthetic that was required for the campaign. To tie the love letter together throughout the creative & medias, we found it essential to apply our messaging in handwriting script, which was conceived in-house at forceMAJEURE. This gave the still assets a beautiful and intriguing connection to the love letter, which can often be difficult to visually adapt a video concept into the still life.

All in all, the only success metric of any importance was ensuring that, creatively, we did everything we could to communicate a beautiful piece of storytelling that did justice to the brand & product that is Zacapa. We always wanted consumers to discover Zacapa only for themselves – the product will emphatically do the rest.