Tortuga Rum Company’s business head Robert Hamaty has turned the indignity of being fooled by a Jack Nicholson impersonator last week into a marketing and promotional video for his company.
“People Will Do Anything To Get A World Famous Tortuga Rum Cake” is the catch phrase for the one-minute video, which launched last weeks, that makes light of Mr. Hamaty’s encounter with Jack Bullard, a Jack Nicholson impersonator, who tricked staff and Mr. Hamaty into believing he was the real deal.
“I think it is all very, very positive. It was a genuine mistake with the Jack Nicholson [impersonator]; the guy did an exceptionally good job,” said Mr. Hamaty, who sent a photograph of himself posing with the man he thought was Nicholson to the Cayman Compass, which ran it on the front page.
Director of Innotiva Consulting Marilyn Conolly approached Tortuga Rum Company with the initial concept of the video.
“I wanted to throw a positive light on a negative situation and oftentimes humour is the best medicine,” Ms. Conolly said. “I was very happy to have my idea help a local business owner especially since Tortuga rum cakes are such a part of Cayman.” The video was produced by CML TV, a local video production company. It features enthusiastic Tortuga customers posing as celebrities getting rum cakes. Their “disguises” are merely paper printouts of celebrities’ faces, and feature Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and other famous actors.
By Sunday morning, the video had nearly 3,000 views on video sharing website vimeo.com.
CML’s video producer David Walshe said the video had to be turned around within 24 hours in order for it to have any chance of going viral.
“The key to viral videos is that they need to be done when something is trending. This video being produced and released two weeks from now would have no relevance,” said Mr. Walshe. “The key element was we wanted to have a sense of humor and make people feel good.”
CML’s vice president, Chris Bailey, said, “I think the fact that Mr. Hamaty was able to laugh at himself and have fun with the video is what has made it go viral.”
Some of the participants in the video included: Ed Pellot-Rosa as Denzel Washington, James Smith as Brad Pitt, Kacey Chisholm as Kim Kardashian, Kaz Conolly Basdeo as Smeagol from Lord of the Rings, and David Walshe as Tom Cruise.
Mr. Hamaty said celebrity visits to the speciality shop are not uncommon.
“We’re 30 years in business, and so we’ve had a lot of celebrities come in. We had Jimmy Carter [former U.S. president] and we’ve also had John Kerry [current U.S. Secretary of State] whilst running for president in the States,” said Mr. Hamaty. He said the video has increased activity on the company’s Facebook page and he thinks the team did a good job turning it around so quickly.
“I think they did an exceptionally good job – it’s good news for a change – something to laugh about,” said Mr. Hamaty.