Limited-edition bottle and supporting above the line campaign celebrates convenience stores, from London to Havana, being the cultural hubs of a community

Havana Club, the second biggest Premium Rum in the off-trade[1], is partnering with record-breaking grime artist SKEPTA for a creative collaboration to solidify Havana Club 7-year-old as the cult spirit brand for Generation Z. The exclusive partnership is inspired by the brand’s Cuban roots and Skepta’s Nigerian heritage, and is brought to life in a digital asset that follows the artist visiting a local store in Havana, Cuba, before returning to a convenience store in his hometown London.

The vibrant, limited-edition Havana Club 7 bottle has been designed in collaboration with SKEPTA and celebrates both Cuban and Nigerian Yoruba roots with cultural symbols, including: Ewe Oshun leaves, used in Yoruba rituals, cowrie shells found in sacred statues of Elegua, as well as Guiro textiles and Conga drums. The new bottle has a clear ‘SKEPTA’ call out and disruptive colour scheme, as well as silver foiling to increase visibility across the off-trade.

Raja Banerji, Marketing Director at Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “Rum is the second fastest growing spirits category behind Gin and Havana Club is experiencing double digit value growth across the off-trade[2]. We are excited to be driving relevance and credibility at a grass roots level with our key consumer and with 3.7 million monthly listeners on Spotify, are delighted to be working with SKEPTA to recruit younger consumers into the category. In urban areas like Tottenham, London, where Skepta grew up, convenience stores are the cornerstone of the community, a hub for social gatherings and the beating heart of the area.”

When Skepta visited Havana in 2019, he instantly felt at home. The grime star, who boasts over 173 million YouTube views, and Nigerian Yoruba chief was taken by the cultural links he found between Afro-Cuban spirit and London youth culture; parallel worlds each driven by a propensity to create with a genuine do-it-yourself spirit. In Cuba, this energy is called “Ache?“, the way of celebrating creativity and free spirit.

Skepta takes pride in his Nigerian heritage and it was his exploration of his roots that brought him and Havana Club together. The Caribbean island is home not only to the famous rum brand but to the third largest Yoruba community in the world. In Skepta’s own words, the collaboration is “a tribute to entwined Cuban and Yoruba roots. A Nigerian culture which brought rhythm to Cuba and gave the concept of Ache?, the universal energy behind all things. It is what empowers each and every one of us, every day.

To support local retailers, the new limited-edition bottle will first launch exclusively in convenience stores across London and other major UK cities for one month, before rolling out nationwide. RRP: £24.99.

[1] AC Nielsen, Total Coverage, Value Sales, MAT to 04.01.2020

[2] AC Nielsen, Total Coverage, Value Sales, MAT to 04.01.2020

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