GDR Innovation Researcher Babette-Scarlett Schossau visited rum brand Captain Morgan’s immersive Lost Lagoon experience. Here she describes her underground lake adventure where visitors go on a quest to collect ingredients for their own cocktails.
Visitors to The Lost Lagoon are warned several times before embarking on their cocktail ingredient treasure hunt that they may get wet. This didn’t stop eight of them falling into the artificial lake that forms a large part of the immersive, theatrical experience hosted by Captain Morgan and organised by our friends at Bompas & Parr.
My Lost Lagoon adventure began with being blind-folded and guided through to a room where my first drink of the afternoon, a Gin & Tonic, was waiting for me. The focus was clearly on enjoying the taste and taking in the sounds around me, and it certainly heightened my curiosity about what was to come.
What interactive experience would be complete without the opportunity to get a tattoo of your choice!?! That was one of the perks on offer. Visitors were also encouraged to give their crew and captain special pirate names. Staff members (and there were many) quickly gave up on asking me for my captain’s name – I was sailing solo in my own ship – but I saw other multi-person crews having great fun with this.
Personalisation and gamification
I had my own fun (and at times, my own struggle) with the boat that I myself had to paddle on an artificial underground lake, the world’s largest according to several publications, including The Evening Standard. Once I made it to the spice station, a lady in rags gave me a quiz: Guess the spice based on scent and you can choose your spice ingredient. I got it wrong but I got to choose one anyway. She looked on as I headed the wrong way and became as wet as they had warned I might because of an unfortunately-placed sprinkler.
The stations that followed allowed me to choose my own juice after solving another riddle, pick from different sweet essences after ridding myself of my anger voodoo-style (this was done with a loud roar, or several), and grab one of three fruits.
The personalised experience didn’t stop there. I was asked to choose my own oversized vessel (of the cup, rather than ship variety) into which the final ingredient, either a white, black, or spiced shot of Captain Morgan rum, was added. Much like the entire experience, the final display of the three rum bottles was very subtly branded. But it reinforced Captain Morgan’s fun pirate adventure image in perhaps a more impactful way than more conspicuous branding might have.
My drink was put together with the ingredients I’d collected and I was all set to enjoy my own rum punch concoction, which incidentally I really did – it was very much to my taste! The large vessel with ladle was optimised for social media sharing and social drinking, as was the lounge by the lake.
The Lost Lagoon adventure was a memorable experience, and I have the blind-fold, pictures, and the taste of personalised cocktail on my tongue to remember it by. Captain Morgan is a brand with storytelling at its heart. The guided, yet personalised story I was able to be a part of is now one of many in my own personal web of stories. I think of rum a little more often now. And it’s Captain Morgan that comes to mind first.