Launching CUB’s Mercury Cider with a campaign that encouraged tough conversations.



Mercury Cider is a drink aimed at blokes, and the product’s above-the-line launch creative ‘Tough Test’ aimed to celebrate those that step up to tough circumstances through TV advertising showing NRL and AFL players doing hard day jobs.

Bastion Effect was engaged to drive discussion around Mercury’s Tough Test creative, and tough jobs generally in order to broaden the conversation around what constitutes tough today.



The meaning of tough has evolved over time so it was important to consider how the Tough Test creative concept would land and evolve in editorial. Because editorial is an uncontrollable medium we considered the Me Too and Times Up movements in order to ensure the PR response was sensitive to the current environment. 

Our strategy was to authentically deepen the discussion around what tough today looks like, by engaging men to take ownership of the meaning and set the right tone.

To do this, Mercury Cider commissioned research to uncover what tough means in today’s context and identify the toughest jobs across the country.

It resulted in recognition for qualities beyond physicality. We generated a Top 20 Tough Job List to spark conversation online and in media circles. To spark further conversation, AFL and NRL talent were leveraged to personalise the message and create media interest.

The result was more than 20 pieces of media coverage that importantly deepened the conversation about the brand, rather than simple product placement. This reached more than 40 million Australians.


Bastion is a truly integrated, full-service marketing and communications agency founded in 2009. We are Australia’s largest independent agency, with an ambition to achieve the same feat in the USA.

We offer a wide breadth of specialist capabilities across the communications spectrum including market research, brand and creative, advertising, corporate and change communications, PR and social media, digital and customer experience (CX), sponsorship and experiential, film and content production, merchandise, Asia marketing and communications, data analytics and panel management.