Jax Remakes 'Escape (The Piña Colada Song)' for Malibu Rum

Tuneful nostalgia with a summer twist

Sex sells. But nostalgia, oft driven by classic tunes, ranks as adland's it theme for 2023.

Starting with the Super Bowl, brands began pumping up the volume on musical memories. Classic hits and vintage stars abound, hyping Sprite, Goldfish, AAA InsuranceJack in the Box and more.

Now, Jax performs "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" in a summer campaign launching today from Malibu Rum.

I don't actually like piña coladas (too sweet). But Rupert Holmes' 1979 chart-topper always sets my toes tapping and gums flapping. I'm singing it now while I type!

It's a song that transcends genres and generations, familiar even to those who missed out on its FM-radio run during the Jimmy Carter days. It's catchy and kitschy in the very best way.

Wisely, Jax sticks close to the original's novelty-pop vibe, adding a shimmery club sheen. She coyly plays up the naughty nuances—because sex sells!—in the sun-splashed clip below (which features a James Kennedy cameo).

You know, the lyrics are mostly about advertising, not so much piña coladas. The singer takes out a personal ad. Precious few swiped right in '79.

"There are only a few things in life that have the ability to transport you to a summer mindset—music and Piña Coladas are two of those things," Malibu vice president of marketing Matt Foley tells Muse. "The new music video tells the story of how Malibu is shaping piña colada culture to be not just a drink enjoyed in the summer, but one that can transport you to a moment of 'Escape' year-round."

Raise a glass to that title drop. Well played, marketing veep!

Wieden+Kennedy London developed the campaign with Camp Productions director Drew Kirsch. It will run across the U.S., U.K., Germany and the Netherlands.

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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