There is just one day to go before the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off with hosts England playing Fiji. And South Africa, despite some transformation politicking ahead of the competition, is ready to fly the flag for our Bok team. Glenda Nevill wraps the ads, the social media, all the TV and web action for the great tournament. (She has drawn the Boks in the office pool so has no compunction in in tying her colours to the mast.)
Campaigning has reached fever pitch as brands supporting the tournament are let rip with ads, riveting content, social media calls to action and everything else they can possibly do to stand out from the vast crowds expected to watch the games play out around England.
Top sponsor Heinken has used half its marketing budget into ads and social media videos, Marketing Week reported. The ‘It’s your call’ campaign stars South Africa’s own rugby legend, John Smit, as well as powerhouse Jonah Lomu, and encompasses TV, out of home, print, digital, social media and PR to reach the 4.5 billion people who will watch.
It has also targeted consumers with a number of different contests, with tickets up for grabs, so as to capitalise on fans’ engagment with the the competition. Premium Brands director, David Lette, told Marketing Week: “Champions League has enhanced our learnings on how our fans want to engage and how we as a beer brand can enhance that experience and give consumers something back.”
Global sponsor DHL has produced a moving short film on the history of the Rugby World Cup. Some of the finest moments ever are recalled, and of course the Boks are in there.
Facebook has moved into high gear for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. It has created a host of new features and highlights of the top team and player accounts to follow to help fans keep across all of the tournament action both on and off the pitch. The Facebook World Cup guide, has among other features, a Let Your Friends Know You’re Watching that allows users to tap a smiley icon before you share a post, select “watching,” and choose Rugby World Cup or the specific match they are viewing at the time. You can select the flag of your favourite team’s country or post with the RWC official ball.
It also has World Cup stickers featuring Shaun the Sheep. The stickers feature the popular woolly character along with popular rugby cheers like ‘HEAVE!,’ ‘TRY!,’ ‘PENALTY!,’ and more to help you express yourself before, during, and after matches.
“As kick-off approaches, reigning World Champions New Zealand have been introducing a new generation of fans to Kiwi heroes through their All Blacks Legends video series, while the current squad has been meeting fans via the All Blacks to the Nation program. Italy has shown the level of dedication needed to prepare for the World Cup (check out Michele Rizzo’s squats!), and England has been revealing more about its star players through the RWC Player Diary series,” says Glenn Miller, Sports and Entertainment Partnerships EMEA.
South Africa’s DStv was first off the mark with its stirring RWC ad that The Media Online columnist, Chris Moerdyk, said “ignited that fuse that will once again unleash our national passion for sport”.
The pay-TV operator has ensured subscribers won’t miss a single minute of the action with games being screened on a dedicated SuperSport channel (201) and on DStv Catch Up via the web. Commentary is in English, Afrikaans or isiXhosa on all Bok games. The DStv Now app will stream the games live on to your tablet or smartphone and online.
There are also five magazine shows offering expert analysis and commentary from legends of the game and more. The dedicated sports magazine shows are World Cup Weekly, Show Me Your Passport, Full English Breakfast, Insights and Fanzone.
Not to be outdone, public broadcaster SABC has produced the Habashwe campaign that will “galvanise all South Africans behind the Springboks for the World Cup; and highlight the fact that the SABC will broadcast the tournament live on SABC 2 and various radio stations”.
“This year the SABC will be the home of rugby for all South Africans, bringing the game to our audiences including of some of the tournament favourites such as host nation England, Australia and the defending champions New Zealand. The SABC is the window through which the nation can experience events on a global stage, making sure that we keep our audiences informed, entertained and educated about the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015,” said Bessie Tugwana, group executive of SABC Sport.
SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said the broadcaster wanted to “bring rugby to all South Africans, especially those who do not have access to games on a regular basis. We believe that our world class coverage in English and vernacular languages across television and radio means we are perfectly placed to do just that”.
On SABC 2 the SABC will show 36 matches with 29 matches live, as well as seven matches delayed. Umhlobo Wenene FM will cover all the 49 matches of the World Cup live.
Springbok sponsor, Absa, called on Jupiter Drawing Room to run its World Cup campaign with 30 and 60 second television adverts that “pay homage to South Africans who play their greatest game everyday”. Billboard and online media were used to encourage South Africans to visit MyGreatestGame and share their stories online.
“Whether you captain the national rugby team or are running a fledgling small business, whether you coach the Springboks or are a care-giver at your local hospice, whether you are running towards the try-line on the world’s greatest stage or running to catch the university bus, we all share a collective ambition – to make South Africa great and inspire our nation to play its greatest game,” was the Absa/Barclays brief.
SPARK Media was contracted by Springbok sponsor ASICS to launch the Boks’ latest apparel. The four day 360 degree campaign incorporated editorial, video clips, audio, images and wallpaper adverts that were featured across 50 of SPARK Media’s Local News Network (LNN) sites.
Castle Lager went to town – in Johannesburg and London – to film its supporters campaign ad, shot by Spitfire Films, and tagged with #HomeGroundAdvantage hashtag.
“A tight deadline, 31 of South Africa’s finest and a shoot schedule covering two continents called for two of Spitfire Films’ finest – AK and Markstry – working together to make sure every shot was… shot. Given just an hour and a half with the Boks on a bus at Montecasino, for example, pin point producing and sure-fire directing was called for, and the team from Spitfire rose ably to the challenge,” Spitfire reported.
“Cut to Soho, Westminster and the Olympic Stadium in London, and the Spitfires were once again in control, thinking on their feet with Habana-like agility, even commandeering a passing girl’s bicycle to nail a unique tracking shot. Back home, after a week and a half of intense post production, the newest Castle brew was ready for consumption, and it was world class. Here’s hoping it will lead to being world champions again too – cheers.”
Rugby legend Jonah Lomu treated Covent Garden, London, to one of the most powerful and moving displays in world rugby, the haka. Lomu lined-up alongside The Ngāti Rānana London Māori Club and participants to deliver a Priceless Surprise to the people of London. Check out the flash mob here.
And finally, some useful Twitter handles to follow.
The official Rugby World Cup account on Twitter is @rugbyworldcup
Brian Habana @BryanHabana
Damian De Allende @Doogz
Siya Kolisi @kolisi1
South African sports personalities
Commentators, pundits, rugby writers
SA Rugby Magazine @SARugbyMag
Stephen Jones @stephenjones9
Will Greenwood @WillGreenwood
Whiff of Cordite @WhiffofCordite
Brian Moore @brianmoore666
International players, teams
All Blacks @AllBlacks
South African sponsors
ABSA Bank @Absa
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