Bundaberg Red Rum: As smooth as life is rough

Leo Burnett Sydney

Advertiser: Diageo
Brand: Bundaberg Red Rum
Country: Australia


How do you stop decline in rum when the category is being bullied by bourbon – a much larger category full of big brands and big media spends?

After initial success at launch in 2008, the Bundaberg Red rum business was on the rocks – volume and value were in serious decline:

  • Volume was down -22.8% from F11 (July 2010 – June 2011)
  • Net sales value (NSV) was in freefall at -26.9% versus F11

In order to right the ship, Bundaberg Red needed to address several critical challenges.

Issue 1: Bundaberg Red was losing share to bourbon.

By 2013 bourbon had become the dominant spirit in Australia – bigger than vodka, rum and scotch combined. 4 out of every 10 spirit drinks poured in Australia were bourbon1. Bundaberg Rum was under siege as bourbon invaded traditional strongholds in Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW). Rum drinkers were switching to bourbon because they sought out the smoothness offered by bourbon. As these traditional rum drinkers brought bourbon into their repertoire, consumption of rum decreased.