School Case Study | Cruzan Rum: Awaken the Island Spirit

In 2017, the people of St. Croix—home to the Cruzan Rum distillery—were left devastated by Hurricane Maria. In the aftermath, Cruzan Rum knew it was time to lead with purpose in helping its people rebuild their island and restore their…

School Case Study | Cruzan Rum: Awaken the Island Spirit

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In 2017, the people of St. Croix—home to the Cruzan Rum distillery—were left devastated by Hurricane Maria. In the aftermath, Cruzan Rum knew it was time to lead with purpose in helping its people rebuild their island and restore their spirits. They asked School for help in completely repositioning the party-and-relax brand into a new, impactful force in purpose. Working alongside four agencies, Beam Suntory’s internal agency (Proof) and Cruzan senior leadership, School led the creation of The Island Spirit Fund—an ongoing, fundraising platform to provide direct relief to the people of St. Croix and for future disaster relief. School worked with PTSD specialists, visited St. Croix to understand the impact of the devastation and the growing mental health issues, and ultimately designed a platform to raise spirits and help those affected by the disaster. To raise awareness and funds, we created a traveling experiential tour at major music festivals and accounts across the country; launched a specialty product — Cruzan Hurricane Proof Rum (bottled at “137 proof”, in acknowledgment of the wind speeds of the category 5 hurricane) — and more. The campaign has raised millions and was recently awarded the Beam Suntory Growing for Good, Communities Award.

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