Kicking off ski season with Kathmandu

· Content Marketing, PR, Travel

At Keep Left, we don’t necessarily buy into the stereotype that PRs love to a throw a party – but we aren’t against a night of New Zealand wine, if it help us tell our story.

Last month, we celebrated the start of winter with a collaborative event highlighting Kathmandu’s first ski range, Styper and Tourism New Zealand’s 2019 ski season with more than fifty media, influencers and key stakeholders in attendance.

Held at the Kathmandu Bondi Junction store, the launch event, resulted in an initial social media reach of 350,000+ and over 20 pieces of social and media coverage, with editorial coverage still pending throughout the winter.

Sydney lifestyle, travel and parenting media across online, TV and radio were in attendance including The Daily Mail,, Sunrise and NOVA along with freelance travel writers and influencers like Brittany Hockley, Shaun Birley and Matt Doran.

The launch of the Styper range could have been achieved with a standard sampling campaign, but we decided to take it to the next level with Tourism New Zealand and use it an an opportunity to speak face to face with travel and lifestylemedia– you only get to launch your first snow range once! And what better way to take on the amazing NZ ski slopes than by wearing gear tried and tested by experts on the very same mountains.


In terms of event management, everything as far as the eye could see was inspired by the mountains of New Zealand.Guests were treated to authentic New Zealand wine and a grazing table created by chef Justin North.

For entertainment, there was live music from New Zealand artist, Brendon Hui and an open photobooth encouraging guests to photograph themselves in the New Zealand ski fields wearing Styper gear.


Speakers at the event included Kathmandu Ambassador Nomadasaurus, Darren Barry from Kathmandu and Andrew Waddel from Tourism New Zealand.

All guests also went into the running to win two return flights to New Zealand with Virgin Australia and a four-day lift pass to the mountain of their choice or a Kathmandu Styper Ski Pack.

Every attendee also left with a gift bag with Kathmandu product. Now that sounds like a party we can get behind.

Lefties on location: if you go down to the woods today…

· Travel ·

…you’re sure of a big surprise!

Last weekend, a break-out faction of Keep Left’s content production team headed out to Kinglake National Park, north of Melbourne, to undertake a secret task for our outdoorsy client Kathmandu.

Mission ‘Hidden Retreat’ had been months in the making, with the busy bees at Kathmandu and the Keep Left team arranging clandestine calls, photo shoots and site recces in the lead up to the big day.

The idea?

Set up the ultimate campsite in a secret location somewhere in Australia for the public to find. Those who could break Kathmandu’s cryptic clues on social media and uncover their Hidden Retreat would be in with a chance of winning the ultimate campsite set up, worth over $4,000, along with an excellent range of runner-up prizes.The concept was the brainchild of Thomas Rennie, our Art Director and magic ideas machine. When we asked him what the inspiration was for the Hidden Retreat, Rennie told us that as a kid he used to make forts in the woods near his house. “I liked the idea of someone else coming along after me and finding this place all set up and waiting for them. There’s something quite Hansel and Gretel about it!”.
A tent in the woods at Kathmandu's hidden retreat

With the help of Account Director Jasmin, Consultant Mary and the Keep Left team, Rennie’s vision was brought to life.

The set up

An ultimate campsite doesn’t just set itself up. Under the cloak of two inconspicuous rental vans, with Jasmin and Mary at the wheels, our team of Lefties and an audacious amount of bug spray departed the big smoke in the direction of the countryside.

“I’m an outdoors kind of guy”, Rennie tells us, as though we didn’t already know. “There’s nothing like the satisfaction you get when you put the final guy rope in place, but it was a bit different with the Hidden Retreat. We sat back after we nailed the first tent, and realised we had seven more to put up! We paid a well-earned visit to the Kinglake Pub that night.”

The ultimate campsite at Kathmandu's hidden retreat

Blood, sweat and tears, alright.

But there’s no rest for the wicked. At 5.00am the following day, the team were bright eyed and bushy tailed, and back on the campsite to put the final touches to the Hidden Retreat.

The Keep Left team puts the finishing touches to Kathmandu Hidden RetreatA few hours later, and with Jasmin in a high-vis vest doing her best bouncer impression, over 100 happy campers arrived at the site keen for some competition.

After a spot of clue trivia and a gruelling game of quoits (the athletes’ game of choice), the overall winners were announced. Congratulations to Jamie and Mark, who had driven over two hours to get their hands on the prize – here’s to many happy camping trips!

The winners of Kathmandu's Hidden Retreat Challenge with their prizes

The after party

But the festivities didn’t end there. With the secluded spot in the woods packed with hungry competitors, it was time for the great Aussie tradition of a cook out. “We’d set up seating areas and games so people could enjoy the sunshine, and having food meant that the runners-up also had a fun day out with their family, so it wasn’t all about the winning,” Jasmin told us.

“It was just like a big family picnic,” Rennie added. “That BBQ, too – the food was homemade by a local caterer, and those were the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.”

Given the number of burgers Rennie has put away in his life, that is some accolade.

Keep Left sign at Kathmandu Hidden Retreat

Quick facts

WHAT: Kathmandu Hidden Retreat
WHERE: The Gums, Kinglake National Park
WHEN: Saturday 24th February 2018
WHO: Jasmin, Rennie, Tash, Jacob, Mary, Ben and Johanna from Keep Left + Wombat + the Kathmandu team + 100 happy campers

Lefties on location: out of the office and into the wild

· Travel ·

Last week, a small contingent of Keep Left’s content and PR specialists swapped their colleagues for giant bugs and impromptu client picnics on an exciting shoot – this time a little far out from our regular leafy South Melbourne office.

Bugs aside, the team was tasked with shooting a teaser video for an upcoming activation campaign, and a good hearty dose of wilderness was compulsory. “Despite the 33 degree heat, it felt good to take Keep Left out of the confines of an office for a day, and we can’t complain – it was a pretty picturesque satellite office,” says Jasmin Watts, one of our Account Directors.

Keep Left on location

The team is beyond happy with the raw footage, and is looking forward to utilising it in the coming months as the campaign rolls out. We’re really proud of the team and it was invigorating to work so closely with the client and collaborate so successfully on a challenging but beautiful project.

Thomas Rennie, our Art Director, was beaming quietly when he showed us some of what they captured: “I just had the best day,” he sighed.

 Keep Left on location