A Castlemaine XXXX-rated campaign cleans up offering an island dream

Those cheeky chappies at Castlemaine XXXX have pulled an almighty stunt that has gone global.

The Aussie beer brand has leased a small island (by the name of Pumpkin Island until its recent re-branding as XXXX Island) and is turning it into the “ultimate retreat for men” with “no women allowed” (which seems something of a contradiction if you ask me, but there you go).

To unleash this little gem on the public, they created this announcement video …

There are a lot of parallels here with other campaigns – most notably the “Best Job in the World” which also featured an island retreat on the Great Barrier Coast.

But for some reason this one has caught the attention of the world’s media.

Why, you may well ask?

Well because it has the illusion of scale and expense. I say illusion because, according to a spot of web-based research, you could hire the island at £1,000 a night, which suggests the beer brand is spending around £300,000 a year to take it over.

Relative to an advertising campaign, that’s pretty reasonable.

It offers an Australian dream to a global audience: pristine beaches, laid back lifestyle, non-stop sunshine and all the bar-be-que’d meat that you can possibly consume.

The campaign’s antecedent probably helps. Everyone in the media everywhere across the world reported on the “Greatest Job in the World” campaign. For the online titles that, frankly, need the traffic and will write about stuff that might drive eyeballs, this had enough about it to suggest another blockbuster and therefore a story that needed covering.

The brand has bought themselves an asset that has more media value than the product itself (oh, the irony). But well-exploited, they’ve got a cracking property to treat as theme park and destination: taking them to parts of the media other beers cannot reach (sorry).

And the campaign is going to really go to work for the brand online. While they may offer media comps and promos and there will no doubt be a stunt or two from the island to keep it in the news, Castlemaine XXXX’s social media feeds are where this story is going to play-out in large style and is going to drive an engaged audience that will stick with the brand for the long-term.

While it may look like a big spend (and in truth it is), this is one stunt that will turn out, in the humble opinion of this writer, to be an investment that pays off big time.

This article was first published on PR Moment roughly two days ago – they get first dibs, naturally. But we thought that we would put it up here too. Just in case anyone missed it, I guess.