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Beer company leases an island – most expensive PR campaign of the year?

By on Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spotted on Matt Muir's brilliant Web Curios blog, this example appears to have cost a fortune.

Castlemaine XXXX island PR stunt

In short, Australian beer company Castlemaine XXXX has leased a 15 acre island off the coast of Australia – 'about 15 clicks off the coast of Queensland', apparently – and is asking members of the public to decide how the island should be developed.

They've called it XXXX Island, the linguistic geniuses, and want to turn it into the ultimate destination for 'mates’ trips' (note: every bit of the marketing and content seems like it's leaning towards men, but I spotted a comment from XXXX on their Youtube video saying: Don't worry guys, XXXX Island isn't just for men. It’s the perfect place for mates’ trips away –males and females alike, so everyone can get involved', so if there's one flaw it's that it needs to decide what it

is and who it's for and stick to it).

I like the campaign, though. There's a nice escapist element to it and it'll be interesting to keep an eye on how it pans out. If anybody from Castlemaine reads this and wants to fly me out to check it out, you know, on the ground and report back just how manly – but also appropriate for women it is, too – I'd be happy to.

Watch more about the campaign below:

UPDATED on Friday 6th April to state that the island has been leased – not bought, after looking into it a bit more following Jowust's friendly comment below.

Agencies involved (according to

BMF Sydney for creative

Holler Sydney for digital

ZenithOptimedia and Newcast handing media

(Other agency partners include Res Publica and Octagon).


7 comments on Beer company leases an island – most expensive PR campaign of the year?

  1. Jemma says:

    I can’t credit the research unfortunately (as I can’t find it anywhere!) but from what I recall alcohol brands targeting men will also usually appeal to women, whereas alcohol brands out to appeal to women will alienate men. In other words, if you want to reach both sexes, market to men.

    • Alex says:

      Interesting stuff that Jemma, sounds about right though. 

    • Del says:

      I agree with you Jemma. Id love to take my best mates over to the island but i guess thats cause my girl friends are as rough as any blokes but then again im not sure some ladies would be comfortable with what i can only imagine would be a possibly intimidating men to women ratio. Will be interesting to see how this all pans out

  2. Jowust says:

    Note they didn’t buy the island…? research much?

    • richleigh says:

      Thanks for your friendly comment Jowust. If you hadn’t sarcastically highlighted my flawed ‘research’ and had otherwise simply mentioned it in a polite and constructive way, I might have missed your point entirely.

      • Jo says:

        Haha… You have a fair point, I will be more tactful in future. I think it’s a great campaign, even though the campaign is quite similar to the Midori Island project which was held at the neighboring island of Great Keppel.

  3. […] there’s the Castlemaine XXXX island that has been leased by the Australian brewery, who are now asking members of the public to […]