The alcoholic beverage industry has often been cautious when getting involved in online advertising; like the porn industry, most countries have a minimum age requirement for both vices. Unlike the porn industry, however, you’re much more likely to hear about an underage kid hurt himself or others due to alcohol, while you never hear about porn-related accidents on the news (even in Los Angeles).
That’s why Malibu‘s new web show Get Your Island On is an exciting development for web video. With a company the size of Pernod Ricard, which “owns 20 of the top 100 brands globally… [and] represents 78 million cases of spirits and 23 million cases of wine,” creating such a solid online ad campaign lends that much more credibility to the power of web content.
In going with the “island” theme, Malibu has teamed up with Yahoo! UK to create a brightly colored, tropical video portal. The main show, hosted by Tom Price, is upbeat, light hearted, and worth the time spent watching it. In one episode, Price shows a user video discussing his favorite sound; in another, he highlights videos of people who can bounce balls long distances, or off crazy objects, and get them in a basket. At its essence, Get Your Island On celebrates the time-honored internet tradition of useless talent and incredible procrastination.
On one hand, that makes perfect sense. I mean, it’s Malibu! It gets you drunk! What better way to celebrate that than to show us funny, useless videos? It sounds like a good idea, but in reality, much of that spirit is lost in the execution. I don’t mean to knock on Price, or any of the people involved in the show- it’s truly entertaining. I enjoyed the series, and will continue to watch it faithfully. But considering that this is a campaign by Malibu, where you’re required to give your birth date before entering the site, I was expecting the humor to be a little more… grown-up. If you didn’t know that Malibu was a brand of rum, what would this episode description sound like to you: “Get Your Island On with Malibu’s web heroes whose attitude to life brings sunshine to us all! Tom’s latest journey through the infectious world of video this week sees him sharing his smile!” It all sounds like a bit too much ‘happy,’ and not enough ‘happy hour.’
I was able to speak to a few people who do marketing for Pernod Ricard, including Vlastimil Spelda, the Spirits Marketing Director for Pernod Ricard UK, who told me, “[‘Get Your Island On’] is intended to develop deeper relationships with key Malibu consumers through a powerful medium for this particular target market. The site, which has been developed in conjunction with Yahoo!, will also feature selected clips from the Yahoo! video network, along with interactive games such as ‘Hail a Taxi’ to engage consumers.” To translate that into English, Malibu has finally realized that its target of 18-24 year olds is on the web, so they should be there too. I asked how well the show has done so far, and Spelda explained, “We do not have exact figures at the moment, however anecdotally the response so far has been very positive.”
To summarize, this show is worth checking out. It’s got a few laughs, and some great videos I hadn’t seen before. But considering this is an ad campaign from Pernod Ricard for an alcoholic beverage, I had higher hopes.