Vive la République

We often come up with audacious ideas – sometimes our clients agree to put them into action.


The Republic of Fremantle is a distillery that has been in the works for a few years with its founders Jason, Matt and John. We have had many a ‘bar chat’ about it. So, when it was time to launch and we suggested a little guerrilla activation – they were on board!

A little bit of background… Fremantle attracts some opinions.

Last year, you may remember, a nameless One Nation politician proposed building a wall around Fremantle – to keep us feral folk in. Well, the joke was on him, as locals enjoyed a laugh about it and kind of agree with him, as it would help to keep folks like him out. But, here in Fremantle, we are a welcoming and inclusive bunch – so we wouldn’t do that, or would we?

Then there was Gillian O’Shaughnessy’s piece – ‘The problem isn’t Freo, it’s you’. It went a little wild on social media as she took a totally appropriate swing at the Freo nay-sayers… I’m on her team, I don’t recommend having a dig at Freo around me. I promptly get on my very high-horse and can get a little preachy, I love the place. I have been known to suggest to the City of Fremantle they should run a campaign ‘If you don’t like it – don’t come’, it’s kind of tongue in cheek, but not really.

Anyway, I digress.

The idea, of forming a republic in Fremantle, inspires so much passion in those that live in the City and its surrounds that it seemed only right to play it up a bit. A plan was hatched … and reworked (we decided against putting passport control on the bridge, as Main Roads and the WA Police Force might not see the humour).

We developed signage reminiscent of tourism signage from another time, which was similar in style to the City of Fremantle, close enough to make you look twice. It was placed at the entrances to Fremantle – both traffic bridges, to welcome everyone to the newly formed Republic of Fremantle.

Naturally, behind every crazy idea, there is a crack implementation team.  Fortunately, the guys behind the Republic are also excellent builders and dab hands at logistics. Once the design was done, they planned the execution down to the moment, including the pre-dawn mobilisation. The sign had to be up before the City woke up and we got caught. As you can see, we made it, and got the sign up – it was quite the production.

As for me … I couldn’t resist filming it (video below).  Well, getting Giac Patroni to do it and he is a genius.

This is the story so far…


You can get involved with the Republic of Fremantle by becoming a Citizen, which I might add would also make the perfect Christmas gift for the gin-lovers in your life. 

Sign up here 

The Kraken was not harmed in the making of this film.
The City of Fremantle did not endorse this adventure.


Word: Claire McGowan

Imagery: Detail