Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe introduces the Princess of Darkness this
weekend, as it unveils its first work for Tia Maria since winning the
account from Publicis (Campaign, 7 June).
A pounds 2 million pre-Christmas campaign exploits the trend for
drinking Tia Maria mixed with Coke. Three 20-second spots are built
around a series of mysteries, set in three different bars, in which the
barman describes the sequence of events surrounding the Princess of
In the first spot, the princess brings a carnival party into the bar,
and is ‘last seen dancing with the devil at sunrise’. In another, her
male companion disappears, leaving just his clothing behind, and in the
third she arrives with two friends and then clones a male drinker into
three, creating a partner for each of them.
The Princess of Darkness is played by Mitzi Martin, the first white
woman to represent the coffee liqueur brand. She follows in the
tradition of other famous Tia Maria frontwomen, started by the
Rainey Kelly has scrapped Publicis’s famous endline, ‘after dark, Tia
Maria’, and concludes each of the new commercials with the words: ‘The
Princess of Darkness.’
Trudy Lloyd, the marketing manager for Tia Maria, said: ‘These ads
identify the real essence of the brand, which is dark, powerful,
vibrant, and exotic.’
Robert Campbell, a creative partner at Rainey Kelly, said: ‘The films
have been beautifully shot, creating a look that is a cross between Pulp
Fiction and a film noir. The Princess is the female equivalent of the
The commercials were directed by Andy Morahan, the director of the Guess
Jeans ‘cheat’ spot and Highlander 2, through Great Guns.
The campaign was written by Robert Campbell and Richard Beesening, and
art directed by Mark Roalfe and Andy Blood. The soundtrack was created
by Adrian Utley, a co-writer and co-producer with the top British band,
Portishead. Media buying is through Zenith Media.