Unilever's Rexona brand has made pretty good use of its All Black sponsorship, from the earnest rituals spot for the Rugby World Cup to some friendly training banter and even a bit of French farce. But the latest work from Naked Communications Sydney is taking things a bit further and demanding some sweat.
All Blacks fans have the chance to win a corporate box to watch their team play France in the Rugby World Cup Final rematch at Eden Park on 8 June. But there’s a catch: the curtains of the corporate box are connected to the ‘Rexona Treadmill of Devotion’, so, almost like the sporting equivalent of Speed, someone needs to be powering the treadmill at all times to keep them open for the full 80 minutes. And there's another catch: the treadmill runs at pre-determined speeds set by Israel Dagg, Keven Mealamu, Beauden Barrett and Sam Whitelock.
The TVCs, which were shot by Greg Page of Flying Fish, show the All Blacks trying out the custom-designed treadmill made from Rexona cans and the campaign also includes PR, online advertising and a purchase-to-enter Facebook promotion (that also farms a few extra likes).
"For All Black fans, watching their team play from the hallowed corporate box is the ultimate prize," says Simon Veksner, head of ideas at Naked Communications, which, slightly ironically given it's working with the national team, has recently decided to chuck in the towel on the New Zealand market. "Our challenge was to change fans’ behaviour to get them to do more. The winners of the Rexona Treadmill of Devotion aren’t simply handed the prize on a silver platter; they have to work hard for it.”
Rexona has been sponsoring the All Blacks for five years, so Ian Bell, deodorants marketing director for Unilever ANZ says it wanted to create a campaign that would bring New Zealanders closer to their team and give them the confidence to achieve more.
"As soon as we saw the All Blacks players excited by the treadmill we knew we had something that the rest of New Zealand would get behind."
As well as trying to inspire entrants to get active during the game, it's also promoting more activity in general as part of its Do More brand platform, with a promotion by Spark being run in conjunction with TVNZ's Breakfast.
The Breakfast TV “Doing More with Rexona” partnership included live crosses to Eden Park where weatherman Sam Wallace tested his treadmill skills against All Black Sam Cane and other fitness pros. The treadmill also made it to TVNZ’s studio, where presenter Rawdon Christie gave it a go, and prizes to test matches were up for grabs throughout the week-long partnership.
Hopefully C&C Music Factory's classic club banger 'Gonna Make you Sweat' will be on repeat during the test match. And hopefully the follow-up to this campaign will involve a slightly more difficult treadmill-based challenge.
Marketing Director: Ian Bell
Brand Manager: Aymin Diab
ECD: Simon Veksner
Business Director: Adrian Mottershead
Planning Partner: Adam Ferrier
Strategy Director: Bridie Commerford
Account Director: Anna College
Agency Producer: Gabrielle Flanagan
Creative: Hamish Grieve
Creative: Adrian McNamara
TV Production - Flying Fish
Director: Greg Page
Producer: Kerin Casey
Media, PR & Activation - Spark
Strategy Director: Nicky Greville
Account Director: Luci Marshall
Senior Digital Strategist: Polly Williams