Appleton Estates, an upscale rum with a much smaller following than Captain Morgan, apparently got some Dutch courage and took on the Cap'n in a recent ad. The print and outdoor execution, which began appearing last month, states that Appleton is "well above the rank of captain," and this isn't Tennille's ex-husband they're talking about. Jo-Ann Craner, senior brand manager for Appleton, says it's all in good fun. Since May, when it launched its latest campaign, via DeVito/Verdi, Appleton hasn't been taking on Captain Morgan so much as taking on the whole preconceived notion of what rum is. Other ads have mocked the idea of mixing Coca-Cola with Appleton's fine product or using it for, God forbid, a piña colada or something. (Headline: "After 12 years in a barrel, the last thing it wants to do is see the inside of a blender.") Only time will tell what the punchy rum brand will target next. In the meantime, hide your Maraschino cherries and swizzle sticks.
—Posted by Todd Wasserman