Castlemaine hires Mother for revamp

Interbrew UK has handed Mother the task of relaunching Castlemaine XXXX in the UK next year, with a brief to restore the Australian brand to its former glory.

The appointment is part of a repositioning of Interbrew brands following the shake-up of ownership in the UK beer market.

It also sees the brewer appoint Bartle Bogle Hegarty to handle a £5m relaunch of Murphy's Irish Stout and hand the ad brief for market-leading premium draught beer Bass Ale to Lowe.

Interbrew will introduce 4% ABV Castlemaine as its standard lager to replace Heineken Cold Filtered, which will be phased out when Heineken UK launches its premium-strength global brand here next year.

Castlemaine has been brewed and marketed in the UK by Carlsberg-Tetley since 1993. It is the number six standard lager in England and Wales, but Interbrew aims for it to enter the top three.

Interbrew marketing director Richard Evans said: "It has been artificially suppressed by being number two in someone else's stable. In the early 90s it was already number four, it even overtook Carlsberg briefly and was a threat to Heineken."

The Castlemaine relaunch in January will include repackaging by jkr and a TV campaign based on the Aussie humour used by Castlemaine in the past through Saatchi & Saatchi. Its last TV ads ran in 1999. Evans said the strapline 'Australians wouldn't give a XXXX for anything else' was right for the brand, though the strategy needed modernising.

A TV campaign for Murphy's will break in November ahead of the transfer of production and marketing from Whitbread. Advertising for Bass Ale was previously with Mustoe Merriman Levy. A campaign will break next year.

Story, page 3.

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