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Leo Burnett Sydney Reinvigorates Aussie Pride in New Bundaberg Rum Campaign

‘Unmistakably Ours’ is one of the largest launches for the home-grown spirits brand

Leo Burnett Sydney has launched “Unmistakably Ours” for Bundaberg Rum, a campaign that celebrates everything that makes Australia so unique. The campaign is the spirits brand’s largest in more than a decade, with activations across multiple channels including TV, out of home, digital and in-store.

The campaign made its debut last month with a 90-second spot that serves as a rallying cry to pay tribute to all the people, places and things that are uniquely Australian. While the native brand is the most popular rum in Australia, with more than 70 percent market share, and has played up its Aussie spirit in the past, the campaign looks to “elevate the role that Bundy plays in bringing Aussies together,” said Jodi McLeod, Bundaberg Rum’s marketing manager.

We caught up with McLeod, as well as Leo Burnett Sydney Executive Creative Directors Grant McAloon and Vince Lagana to talk more about the new campaign.

This is Bundaberg Rum’s biggest campaign in a decade. Why now?
JM: It seemed very timely. We did some brand research that found pride in Australia had dropped to its lowest point in about 20 years. We saw this as a great opportunity to do something about that. And what better way than with a big, bold campaign celebrating all that’s great about the Aussie spirit and the role Bundy plays in bringing Aussies together.

Bundaberg Rum is already the most popular rum in Australia. What were the brand’s objectives with this new marketing campaign?
JM: You don’t take being a category leader for granted. You’ve got to keep your brand and what it stands for out there. We’ve always celebrated the Australian spirit, but we haven’t articulated it as clearly or with as much pride as we do through this campaign. We wanted to highlight Bundy’s significant role in Aussie culture as an iconic and enduring brand.

GM/VL: The Bundaberg team has a very clear vision: to be the most loved dark spirit brand in Australia by 2025. Of course, this is partly about sales. But it also speaks to the role the brand and product play in people’s lives.

How did the agency’s insights align with the Bundaberg’s objectives?
GM/VL: We went on a mission to try to take the pulse of the nation and the brand. This saw us undertake over 500 hours of research, in the form of expert panels (social, cultural, economic experts), internal stakeholder interviews and external customers. What we discovered was this: Australians have a love/hate relationship with this country.

They were proud to be from Australia, but not necessarily Australian. National pride had become a bit of a tainted issue, synonymous with being insular and parochial. It wasn’t associated with what a lot of Aussies today aspire to be like – being progressive, open minded and accepting – the values that Australians all agree should be celebrated, are part of the Bundaberg story.

Bundaberg Distilling Co. was created by a group of millers who saw on opportunity to create something from excess molasses. At the premium end, Master Distillers Club was conceived by a group of distillers on a fishing trip.

We believed that Bundy had the right to unite all Australians around the best of the Australian spirit, and these values, once more. By doing so, we could start to win our place back in people’s heads and hearts – putting us well on our way to achieving our 2025 vision.

What are you most excited about this campaign?
JM: It’s big. The size. The scale. The way it celebrates everything that’s great and unique about Australia and our unique culture – our wildlife, food, love of sport, our beaches – from the optimism of Mardi Gras to Olympic heroes, surfers, sharks, legends and, of course, Bundy.

What are the reactions so far to the campaign?
GM/VL: We are going off anecdotal evidence but thus far it’s been overwhelmingly positive. Going by the response on our social channels, internal stakeholders, as well as our customers – we’re confident this is the right space for the brand to operate in.