Captain Morgan Is Flipping the Script on Responsible Drinking PSAs

Captain Morgan Is Flipping the Script on Responsible Drinking PSAs
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In mid-March, Guinness suggested St. Patrick’s Day revelers drink less. Well, for transparency, it actually suggested they try its nonalcoholic beer Guinness 0.0 instead.

Now, Captain Morgan—also owned by drinks behemoth Diageo—has launched its largest-ever responsible drinking campaign, with help from Vice-owned agency Virtue.

The spiced rum brand has enlisted singer, songwriter and rapper Bree Runway to front a zesty spot imploring customers around the world to “Enjoy Slow” and moderate their drinking.

This might sound surprising for a parent business that reported sales of $11.4 billion in 2022 (the bulk of which were alcoholic drinks), but actually it’s not. That’s because Diageo has set itself the target of reaching 1 billion consumers with moderation messages by 2030, part of its ESG framework.

Across its portfolio, the business has been bringing a bit more creative flair to the table when it comes to moderation campaigns. In the past 12 months, this has included Smirnoff’s playful, festive “Drops of Advice” content series and a striking print campaign targeted toward U.K. university students.

Now, Captain Morgan is continuing this trend of putting the same creative effort into responsible drinking messages that it does brand-building.

Following a total brand refresh in 2022, which saw the spirit maker embrace the tagline “Spice On” and bring a bit of positivity and bite to the category, “Enjoy Slow” encourages drinkers to set their own pace, sip slowly, and not be afraid to say no to a drink or another round.

The hero film shows Runway, who was just featured on the cover of Rolling Stone U.K. and is supporting Lizzo on her European tour, at a party. She’s offered another drink, but playing on her reputation for musical mashups, the artist declines and says, “Nah, I’m taking it slow,” before opening her own rendition of ’90s dance classic “Rhythm of the Night.”

Samori Gambrah, global brand director at Captain Morgan, told Adweek that the ambition was to normalize drinking less in social settings as something “aspirational.”

“We wanted to make something that was culturally relevant as well as fun,” he added. “But we had to do it in our own tone of voice.”