Castlemaine XXXX set to plug take-home gap

Mother has consigned the long-running Castlemaine XXXX strapline "Australians wouldn't give a Castlemaine XXXX for anything else" to the history books in its first work for the lager brand.

Castlemaine XXXX's owner, Interbrew, has launched a £9 million campaign in a bid to plug a £66 million take-home lager gap left by the departure of Heineken Cold Filtered, which has moved into the premium lager market.

Castlemaine has also replaced Heineken as UK pubs' mainstream draught lager brand following Heineken's decision to retreat from the mainstream market and take on Stella Artois head-to-head.

The previous work, through Saatchi & Saatchi, was deemed outdated, and it is hoped the new campaign will represent a more modern and active Australia.

Two peripatetic Australian characters, Sean and Lehmo, have been introduced into the advertising and the campaign follows their adventures in pursuit of Castlemaine XXXX around the globe. Supporting this is the new strapline: "Australians are Castlemaine XXXXing everywhere."

The campaign, which was shot in India, was directed through and will launch with two main commercials. "Mirage" sees Sean and Lehmo fooled by a mirage of a Castlemaine XXXX beer tent as they trek across the desert on camels. "Firewalker" takes them to an exotic beach where, to the bemusement of locals, they indulge in some firewalking.

Starcom Motive is responsible for the media planning and buying. The agency has planned for the TV work, which will run on ITV1, Channel 4, five and satellite channels, to air mainly on Sunday and Monday nights in a bid to hit viewers with an active image as they prepare for the mundane activities of the week ahead.

The TV advertising will be supported by press and radio activity targeting the Monday morning trek to work. As part of the radio push, Castlemaine is running a week-long on-air and online promotion in Virgin Radio's Pete & Geoff breakfast show. The competition will involve the presenter Pete Mitchell testing his musical knowledge against an Australian DJ, with prizes of trips to Australia and Castlemaine XXXX for listeners.

Press activity will be concentrated in Metro newspaper, again to target people on the way to work.

Matthew King, the marketing controller at Interbrew, said: "The brand has a very proud history of advertising, so we knew that we had a lot to live up to when we started planning a new campaign. Following extensive research and planning, Mother came up with the new campaign, which we feel builds on the brand's advertising heritage, while aligning Castlemaine XXXX with a more realistic reflection of modern-day Australia."