Since it launched its 'Born to Defy' campaign back in July, Steinlager has done a good job of drawing attention to its new ambassador William Trubridge—and the sport of freediving—through a combination of TV ads, outdoor ads, snazzy websites, special elevators, in-bar activations, PR coverage, social media action, promotion via TVNZ and a bit of content marketing. And as he gets set to submerge 102m and break the world record, Steinlager's still trying to drum up support and viewership for the live broadcast tomorrow at 7.50am on Breakfast.
Steinlager has just released a three-minute video with Trubridge talking about his sport and preparation for the dive. And it has been asking Kiwis to head to the moody, watery '102 metre' website, choose their favoured depth and then either turn on the recording function or request a phone call to leave a message of support. And so far 350 submissions have made it onto the website (with a few other submissions not making it). Underwater technology means the messages will be played to Trubridge as he descends. Fans leaving messages of support via Twitter and the website include All Black Liam Messam, model Rachel Hunter and, not surprisingly, Linda Trubridge, William’s mother.
The site, which was built by DDB, also features interactive points of interest along the way as visitors scroll down to his end point of 102m (for instance, 45m is the depth a average bottle nose dolphin dives to, 71m is the height of the Beehive and Trubridge's melon-sized lungs are the size of oranges at 100m).
Tomorrow morning Auckland commuters will be able to experience the dive as it happens thanks to a ‘tweeting sonar’ streamed across digital billboards around the city, in a first for the country. Like a real-life version of the site, the tweets will share his journey at each stage of the dive.
“This campaign not only includes print, outdoor, radio and a world-class interactive website that in itself offers a unique journey, but we’re broadcasting live a world-record attempt from half way across the world. Our entire team will likely be holding their breath along with Trubridge,” says DDB's executive creative director Shane Bradnick.
TVNZ has a team at Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas for the occasion.
Earlier, Steinlager launched a promo ad, which viewers are able to Shazam to show their support and sign up for updates. And, with the help of its media agency ZenithOptimedia, it has also used the Herald's Brand Insight platform to run a series of three articles on Trubridge and the dive. It's also had a few good old fashioned editorial articles.
Since its launch in 2007, Steinlager Pure has moved from favouring overseas endorsements from the likes of Harvey Keitel, Willem Dafoe and Vincent Gallo to a more celebratory Kiwi-centric approach, with Taika Waititi putting his comedic and directorial skills to good use in 2012.
"It's probably a step on from Taika," said Steinlager's senior brand manager Michael Taylor back in July when the sponsorship was announced. "It's more than just having him talking about what we've done. It's about showing someone achieving on the world stage. It's also a lot more 'now' than what we've done in the past."
Steinlager has been involved with the All Blacks since 1986, and, given the important place rugby holds in this country, it's not surprising that the team's remarkable achievements have been well-covered. But free diving is decidedly niche and Taylor says one of the reasons Steinlager signed Trubridge up is because it doesn't seem right that he isn't a household name in his own country given his own remarkable achievements.
"It's been great to share a new story that not many people have heard, rather than just digging up an old story. And Kiwis love to see one of their own doing well."
Taylor said adding in an experiential element to the campaign was something it knew it needed to do.
"Having a good 60 second ad and some outdoor ads isn't really enough to engage with consumers these days. So I think having the event live definitely makes this campaign more compelling."