‘The Dairy’ on Castle Turned Hyoketsu Billboard

‘The Dairy’ on Castle Turned Hyoketsu Billboard

“Book the fucking limousine”

The Dairy, one of Castle Street's most recognisable derelict buildings, has been given a fresh coat of paint after Japanese RTD behemoth Kirin Hyoketsu paid for its temporary use as an advertising billboard. This comes after The Dairy, corner-shop-turned-flat (turned asbestos-filled shit hole), has stood unchanged for over a year since residents cleared out in 2023. Then, on the Tuesday of O-Week, the building was painted by Jonny4Higher, an Auckland muralist shipped down by Kirin Hyoketsu for the task of adding to the brand's advertising blitz throughout the city. 

The unused building was booked through an out-of-home media company, just like you would book a billboard. Lion Breweries, the manufacturer of Kirin Hyoketsu, told Critic Te Ārohi, “We booked a short-term slot to raise awareness of this new product and when our slot ends, The Dairy will be repainted white.” This means it's unlikely we will see The Dairy reclaim its status on Castle Street as it bends to the will of advertisers. Keep an eye out for the bright green of our OUSA overlords in the coming months. 

Other brand activity in Dunedin (which is not focused on any particular area) has included marketing in bars, sampling in retail, and street posters – all in line with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act requirements, before the ODT gets any ideas.

Whilst Kirin Hyoketsu were certainly pleased with The Dairy’s new drip, Students for Sensible Drug Policy certainly were not, telling Critic Te Ārohi that the flat was given “a vomit-inducing blue and yellow glo-up just before O-Week.” 

Other students weren’t as bothered. One student, Reuben, laughed at the thought of a boardroom of suits cooking up the idea, which he admitted was a good one, with Castle St being “one of – if not the best – spots they could have put it.” 

An international student commented to us how relatively controlled New Zealand's advertising rules are when compared to other nations. “In places like Spain, you have hot chicks convincing you to try these vaping products and they often don’t ID, and that’s what the tobacco companies are paying for,” they said. 

Speaking from their branded flat on Castle, Lion Breweries denied claims that the brand was specifically targeting studentville. They said, “The majority of promotional activity is at a national level, which includes the hunt for a Hyoketsu hand-model competition” – which we intend on entering. Back off, plebs. 

Whilst the blue and gold of Kirin Hyoketsu may not stick around forever, its introduction marks another change in the lifecycle of a building which has ostensibly turned into Castle Street’s one and only flat-sized billboard.

This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2024.
Posted 4:47pm Saturday 2nd March 2024 by Sam Smith-Soppet.