Malibu® announces a long-term partnership with chart-topping R&B singer and songwriter, film and television actor, Ne-Yo, to unveil Malibu® Red, a groundbreaking new product innovation to appear on shelves in early 2012.  A blend of smooth coconut rum and fiery silver tequila, Malibu Red will inspire taste buds worldwide and allow consumers, bartenders and the spirits industry at large to rethink the rum category – and brand partnerships.

As the creative force of Malibu Red, Ne-Yo has been working closely with the brand to create an experience that weaves a narrative around the smooth taste of Malibu fused together with the fiery spark of tequila.  The story of Malibu Red will unfold through exclusive music, performances, video and digital conversations.  To wit, Ne-Yo has been instrumental in how Malibu Red will be introduced to the world, and his unique imprint will be evident once the story unfolds.

“From music to film and everything in between, Malibu and I have been working behind-the-scenes to create a rich experience for Malibu Red that allows me to naturally bring my story telling, acting, singing and dancing to the table,” Ne-Yo said.  “Beginning with its smooth and fiery flavor fusion, through branded content, we will bring Malibu Red to life in a way that invites consumers to be creatively inspired by what is possible when you’re out with friends, ready for that night you’ll never forget.”

All summer long, when Malibu wasn’t infusing its laid back vibe into beaches and pool parties around the globe, the world’s favorite Caribbean rum with natural coconut flavor was with Ne-Yo working on Malibu Red. What resulted was a 70-proof blend of smooth Caribbean coconut rum and fiery silver tequila that will continue to expand Malibu usage year-round and into new occasions. The silver and red bottle, while still remaining loyal to its hero product, has a sophisticated, premium look – designed in conjunction with “The Gentleman” himself.

“Malibu Red is not just another celebrity-endorsed product,” Ian Crystal, Global Marketing Director, Malibu, said. “Turning the term partnership on its head, Ne-Yo has really served as the Creative Director of Malibu Red from beginning to end – lending his ‘smooth’ talents and creative vision to create a product experience — from flavor to film — that will push boundaries in the spirits category.”

Malibu Red is set to launch in March 2012, and will be supported by one of the brand’s largest global marketing initiatives – featuring TV, print, online and OOH advertising, digital and exclusive multi-media content, public relations, events, on- and off-premise sampling, point-of-sale merchandise and more.  Available both in the on-premise and off-premise, Malibu Red will retail at a premium to Malibu, as it is designated to take the Malibu drinking occasion into nightclubs and high energy accounts.

Among the content to look forward to, Malibu and Ne-Yo completed a commercial shoot in Spain that will provide a variety of brand assets – from videos and short films to behind-the-scenes images. The shoot charts Ne-Yo’s creative interpretation of the product and its development.  To round out the entertainment element of the campaign, Malibu Red will also be sponsoring Ne-Yo’s concert tour in 2012.

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