In days gone by, the only thing a plastic beer bottle at the rugby was good for was throwing in the air during a Mexican wave (and making your beer warm). But Steinlager and DDB have found a way to make the bottle more useful with a social media campaign called #AllBlackSnap that's running during the three test series against England.
The campaign kicked off with a series of five films produced by DDB featuring six All Blacks (Luke Whitelock, Luke Romano, Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, Israel Dagg, Liam Messam and Brodie Retallick) donning their hi-vis, heading into the factory and ‘brewing the greatest beer a fan can drink’. This was housed on steinlagerfans.co.nz, which was also made by DDB, and the videos were promoted by Steinlager’s social media channels and helped build anticipation for the first test match at Eden Park.
Inside the stadium, each bottle was labelled with one of 23 numbers representing all the All Blacks players. Fans were then invited to take a selfie with their bottle and post to social media using the hashtag #AllBlackSnap. Whenever an All Black scored, some of those who posted a photo of a bottle that matched the jersey number won a spot prize and were entered into a draw to win $10,000 cash.
DDB digital creative director Haydn Kerr says sometimes agencies and clients "drink the Kool Aid" and forget that the last thing fans at sports games have in their mind is a promotional campaign for one of the many sponsors. But if it can enhance the experience for those in the stadium, like Tui's Catch a Million campaign did so well, and if it's able to extend the activity into the real world, then it's a win-win.
"The key was trying to find something that people might want to engage with," he says. "It's great that Steinlager understands that one of the key pieces of media we've got is the beer in your hand."
In addition to the fact that sponsorship efforts are generally of little concern to fans, there's also a number of other sponsors clambering for attention, so it's not enough just to have your name on the hoardings—or, in the case of Steinlager, on the bottle.
There are a range of restrictions around alcohol advertising and sponsorship and Steinlager account man Jonathan Rea admits the campaign is about as close to the line as you can get without overstepping the mark. It is LAPS approved, however, and, depending on your viewpoint, it's either a slightly duplicitous or very clever way of getting the people to post 'ads' for Steinlager of their own volition, rather than the company.
“The fully integrated online and social nature of the campaign meant that we were able to engage with All Blacks and Steinlager fans before the match," says Kerr. "At the game, not only did we interact with those in the stadium, but we also engaged with a significant audience outside. The response on the night was fantastic and it was exciting to see the hashtag trending even before kick-off.”
Kerr says it tried to be as live and real-time as possible and to do that it set up a real-time social ‘war-room’ at Lion’s head office during the match, where they bantered with posters and responded immediately, assisted by the DDB team. They also facilitated the delivery of prizes to winners during the match within the stadium, which was a logistical nightmare, Kerr says (Aaron Cruden, the All Black number 10, was the first to score during the game and 20 prizes were delivered to crowd winners, including signed replicas of All Blacks jerseys).
On the night, the campaign generated a combined social reach of more than 350,000, a total of 1,300 entries via Twitter, Facebook and most popular, Instagram. Instagram posts using the hashtags #AllBlackSnap and #Steinlager are housed on the fan website.
There were three times more conversations involving Steinlager and #AllBlackSnap than all other competitor brands, and 20 times more than any other rugby sponsor that night.
Kerr says it is also planning on recreating some of the big moments of the match with the numbered bottles, like The Guardian's Brick-by-Brick section. And elsewhere in Steinlager land, it also ran a competition offering workplace visits, with the first one taking place at Vector in Auckland.
- Check out the clip here.
Marketing Manager – Ben Wheeler
Senior Brand Manager – Michael Taylor
Assistant Brand Manager – Alison Futcher
Shane Bradnick – Executive Creative Director
Chris Schofield – Creative Director
Haydn Kerr – Digital Creative Director
Ben Barnes – Art Director
Matt Webster – Copywriter
Scott Wallace – Group Business Director
Jonathan Rea – Senior Account Manager
Paul Pritchard – Digital Business Director
Lix Knox – Digital Operations Manager
Jason Vertongen – Lead Digital Designer
Jim Pachal – Digital Designer
David Woon – Digital Designer
Michiel Cox – Digital Planner
Jack Murphy – Digital Planner
Matt van der Loos – Mac Designer
Kathryn Hollis – Mac Designer
James Barr – Director
Carne Bidwell – Producer