Bacardi gets wild with graffiti

16 Aug 2007

Bacardi Campaign

Bacardi and Graffiti art not an obvious partnership, however, with both their emphasis on innovation as a common thread they worked together in highlighting street art and celebrating the launch of Bacardi Superior Rum Elixir. The Graffiti Alive installation is the first Graffiti showcase put on by Bacardi Superior Rum Elixir.

Graffiti or street art has been around for quite some time, but is commonly represented as the lesser known staple of hip-hop culture, as one of the four main elements along with the Mcing, DJing, and Breaking.

cently, Bacardi’s Graffiti Alive competition put a bright spotlight on this art form with a live Graffiti Installation running over a 2 day period.  Gathering crowds watched as the Fox and the Fiddle’s North wall was used as a blank canvas, by some of Toronto’s most talented Graffiti artist. They came together to first compete and then collaborate on 27 by 17 foot mural of Bacardi Superior Rum.

The competition began with Graffiti artist from around the city, each having a half hour to give their version of the Bacardi Superior Rum Elixir. However, this was not well received by a few of the artist.  Certainly time constraints are not uncommon to Graffiti artist. Lets face it making your mark on public property can be, restrictive. But, the space limitation as well as material restrictions placed upon the artists were not boundaries they were expecting.

Many expressed frustration over a lack of creativity. One veteran graffiti artist Duro, explained it as such “it’s like writing a resume in 10 words for these artist.”

The first round produced work that was adequate but not quality Graffiti. A few artist were understandably disgruntled, obviously torn about  making some cash versus selling out or allowing corporate types to hijack their culture.  Angel said it best “ I, hustle for the cash, they hustle for the flava”

And yes, Bacardi certainly got flavour, with a mish mash of styles and motifs all within the confines of the Bacardi logo while showcasing each artist’s unique talent. According to the organizers of the event the completed mural would continue with the explosive elements of the current Bacardi Superior Rum advertising campaign.

Each artist wanted their piece to stand out  therefore each piece exploded with colour and where design were restricted they tried their best to bring out individuality with edgier tags.
In the end, despite initial clashes of corporate and artistic interest, eight deserving artist were picked to complete the mural at the Fox and the Fiddle. The image now on the wall  is of a towering bottle bursting forth with Bacardi Elixir, a representation of a photo from the advertising campaign.

The mural represents Bacardi’s vibrant and experimental nature says Brand manager Lisa Jazwinski but it also represents the evolution of Graffiti Art. Corporate interest in Graffiti may be an indication of how relevant the art from still is despite its lack of prominence. Bacardi’s Graffiti Alive competition proves just how much life, passion and creativity goes into street art.

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