Product / ServiceBUNDABERG RUM
CategoryC01. Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR


Name Company Position
Andy DiLallo Leo Burnett Sydney Executive Creative Director
Tim Green Leo Burnett Sydney Art Director
Rupert Taylor Leo Burnett Sydney Copy Writer
Tim Green Leo Burnett Sydney Creative Director
Warwick Heathwood Leo Burnett Sydney Planner
John Henry-Pajak Leo Burnett Sydney Designer
Peter Bosilkovski Leo Burnett Sydney Head of Client Service
Jodi McLeod Leo Burnett Sydney Account Director
Sam McGown Leo Burnett Sydney Snr Business Manager
Angus Forbes Leo Burnett Sydney Editor

The Campaign

On January 26, 2011, Queensland in Australia was hit by floods so devastating they wiped out 75% of the State. Bundaberg Rum is an iconic and much-loved Queensland brand that has been lifting the spirits of Queenslanders for over 100 years. When that spirit came under threat from the raging waters, Bundaberg felt a duty to raise it up once again. Like the rest of the state, the Bundaberg distillery was underwater and in a state of crisis, but something had to be done. So two days after the distillery was drained, our first act was to launch a new product that that would become a symbol of resilience, rally the nation’s support and help rebuild Queensland’s fighting spirit in such a devastating time. The product is Watermark: a rum crafted to mark the point where the floodwaters peaked, and to mark the spirit in the towns on the road to recovery. All proceeds from the sales of Watermark went to the flood relief. Watermark became a permanent physical embodiment of the Queensland spirit, it drew the nation’s attention and support, was in high demand, raised millions for Queensland, and helped lift the spirit of a state in disaster.

The Brief

Our goal was to help rebuild the destroyed homes, broken towns and smashes cities. Our goal was also to raise the spirits of 4.5 million Queenslanders. To do this we had to rally the support of the entire nation.


When Watermark went on sale people queued up for over 96 hours to buy it (this is longer than people queue for ipads). The first run of Watermark sold out within a week and a second run went into production. All proceeds of Watermark went towards rebuilding Queensland. The product and events received a lot of attention in the press and in social media, and the entire nation rallied behind the cause, meaning Watermark played a huge role in lifting Queensland’s spirits and helping the State on the road to recovery.


Two days after the distillery was drained, our first act was to create Watermark: a rum crafted to commemorate the disaster. We then went to the 16 worst hit towns and placed a watermark on the walls of the pubs. We launched Watermark with 16 music festivals in these 16 areas, all kicking off at midday on April 16. Australia’s biggest bands played, which drew the attention of the national press. The spirit then spread through national media and social networks and the nation united behind Watermark. Watermark then went on sale in bottle stores nationwide, online and at the distillery.

The Situation

The floods that struck Queensland were described as an ‘inland tsunami.’ The watermark – the point where the waters peaked – was the highest state had suffered in 30 years. The raging waters took over 30 lives, destroyed homes, tore families apart and submerged entire cities. The fighting spirit Queenslanders are famous for was all but broken. Bundaberg was among the worst hit areas. The Bundaberg distillery was underwater and in a state of crisis. But Bundaberg Rum is a much-loved and iconic brand that has been lifting Queensland spirits for over 100 years, so Bundaberg Rum had to step up.

The Strategy

Queenslanders are known for their fighting spirit. They have always been proud of the fact that when they get knocked down they get back up again. Our strategy was to commemorate this resilient and defiant spirit. To remind Queenslanders that it is this spirit that makes them proud to be Queenslanders, and this is what gives them hope.