The Bundy Bear Campaign is now in its 17th year. Here’s what led to its creation. Bundaberg Rum was seen as an antisocial drink by women – and as the drink of older men from Queensland – its home state. If Bundy was to become acceptable to a younger mixed audience, this image needed to change. However, Bundy’s traditional drinkers were consuming a LOT of the product, so we couldn’t afford to alienate them.
There has been a bear on Bundy bottles since the early 60s. Apparently, it appeared as part of a winter campaign along with the line “Wards off the wickedest chill”.
The bear seemed like a perfect way to make the rum more acceptable to younger drinkers. And because the bear has no age, we reckoned that it wouldn’t alienate the traditional drinkers. And that’s exactly how it worked.
Bundaberg Rum sales increased 14% in the campaign’s first year. The rum became the top selling dark spirit in Australia. We sold $100,000 of bear-branded merchandise in a month.
I knew we had created an icon when someone from our media agency brought in a copy of a tattoo magazine open at a page where a fan had a huge Bundy Bear tattooed on his leg.” Greg Alder