The Rugby World Cup has been and gone for English fans!! Yes, I was excited and, yes, I am gutted. As are thousands of people across the country who were waking up early on weekends (or staying up!) to tune into the games, filling in their wallcharts, meticulously choosing their fantasy teams and partaking in office sweepstakes for seven weeks of Rugby….I got Wales by the way, which as an Englishman leaves me feeling overwhelmingly confused given the weekend’s results.
I think it’s fair to say that Rugby will (sadly) forever be in the shadow of Football in this country in terms of popularity and as a result the amount of marketing & ad campaigns us consumers are exposed to when you compare the round ball to it’s egg shaped counterpart. So whilst it’s to a lesser extent, the fact a televised sporting event is taking place brands are either buying up ad space at a premium or filling the supermarket shelves with masses of creative retail activity. I’ve seen a few good examples of how brands are engaging with their market and some which have me flicking over quicker than the swipe of Jonny’s left boot. Sport and advertising is an evolving beast and I think the bar is constantly being raised, a worthy mention goes to Nike’s slick World Cup TV ad, “Write The Future” campaign last year, created by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam.
With nearly 5 million people tuning into England’s first game against Argentina you know agencies were brainstorming months in advance how to make full use of the inflated viewing public. My personal favourite so far has been O2′s enlisting of the England team in a TV ad created by VCCP, this also ties in with a loyalty campaign for O2 customers to receive a breakfast pie to ease into those early kick off’s. Here’s a little selection compiled by Brand Republic on what has and will be filling our screens over the coming days and weeks. http://dyln.it/l5s.