While at first it may be hard to sip through the cocktail of Bacardi sites, the international gateway Bacardi.com is a good place to get the party started.
A trip to the site is like going to a club. After verifying your age at the door, you're led into a dark but vibrant room; techno beats blasting from the bat radio and Flashy flashing images lure you to different sections of the site. Techno doesn't move you? You can groove to Latin, electro-jazz, soulful house, and more. The options depend on which country/language you're in. For the simplicity of this review, we will party in English (not associated with any country in particular) to Track 6—Western Flight.
The navigation menu consists of a simple string of action verbs listed in the middle of the page. Above it, the main content is illustrated with images, animation, and sometimes video. Below it, scrolling features highlight some noteworthy brand extensions (e.g., Flavored Rums) and sponsorships. Good news for those who are easily annoyed by live content on the web: Both the looping beats of bat radio and the scrolling news bar can be deactivated with one click each.
Aside from the usual features like history, screen savers and e-cards, the site offers tips and tools for bettering the Bacardi drink experience, making the visitor a hearty Bacardi party master. In the Drink section, Cocktails to Go has downloadable recipes for a PDA, complete with video demonstrations—great for those embarrassing moments when you can't remember how many mint leaves go in a mojito (it's 12). Bartending Tips breaks down the artful science of measurements, garnishes, and glasses, and is also downloadable and printable in PDF format.
Feel out of the loop from the music scene when you're on the dance floor? The Listen section offers info on international DJs, with bios and full mp3 music clips, plus a link to Bacardi DJ Mixer, a site that lets you mix, save, remix, play, and record your own tracks online. Now anyone can be a click-n-drag DJ, the life of the party. Once the music and drinks are flowing, the Party section helps you set the mood with a Party Planner. The Party Dancing link teaches you how to "shake your XXX and get the groove on." With step-by-step illustrations onscreen, videos, and a printable guidebook, there's no way you can miss a step.
The Bacardi online experience is a nice complement to the drink. With guides to mixing drinks, mixing music, and mixing it up on the dance floor, the site helps you concoct your own good times. It extends the brand beyond the party drink, and places it in the larger context of a vibrant nightlife. All that's missing are some good pick-up lines and you're good to go.