By: Dan Stankus
At the end of the semester, I’d like to give a tip of my three-cornered hat to my favorite television ad campaign of the year: Captain Morgan. It is a trilogy installment with the first two chapters titled “Perfect Getaway” and “To Gold and Glory” respectively. The third ad is set to air before the end of the year, and I cannot wait. The Captain and his loyal sailors have pulled me aboard their vessel, and I’ve joined them on their quest for gold and glory. This campaign has kept me enthralled since March, which testifies to the great creative idea behind the ads. It furthers the previous “To Life, Love and, Loot” campaign where the Captain is seen as a man of piratical adventure. He turns a fancy dinner party into a wild ball, he and his crew encounter another ship only to end with the Captain doing a stylized dive into the ocean and both ships celebrating, and he even has a “designated rower” to responsibly bring home his partying men.
This trilogy continues their previous efforts to reveal Captain Morgan as a real man, as he actually is based on the real-life Sir Henry Morgan, and by doing so, makes a much more relatable character than the previous cartoon-like man standing on one leg. This is the man that we want to be.
The first ad, “Perfect Getaway” aired much earlier this year. It features the ol’ Captain busting a man out of prison and being pursued through Port Royal by the authorities. Of course they both escape to the Captain’s ship, and it is revealed that the prisoner has a tattoo of a map on his back. The second ad has the Captain and crew following the map, using some clever tricks to locate the treasure. The crew begins a celebration, but the Captain walks outside the cave to find that the authorities have tracked him there. As for the third ad, we must wait to discover the fate that will befall the Captain and his crew.
These commercials bring me to recollect the brilliant “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign by Dos Equis. Both characters are portrayed as real people, as something that real people can latch onto and aspire to be like. Captain Morgan’s life is full of adventure and The Most Interesting Man’s life is filled with great achievements. Both of these inspire ideas directly into the heart of the viewer. These ideas exemplify exactly what young, hopeful advertisers should strive for. These characters build devotion to the brand by making the drinker feel like the Captain or The Most Interesting Man, and this emotion is exactly what a company hopes to inspire with their advertising. The Captain Morgan ads in particular have crafted a story. Also, it’s simple, it’s relevant, and it’s perfect. While The Most Interesting Man has lived all his glorious moments, the Captain is out there on his neverending journey for whatever it is he seeks. The viewers and subsequent users of the product want to craft their own story of adventure and decadence just like the Captain. So, as fueled by the current slogan, “Go forth and conquer.”