With the entire nation not necessarily willing to wake up ridiculously early to watch all games of the Ruby World Cup, daily highlight reels are playing an important role in keeping fans informed of the daily proceedings. And Whittaker's is now getting in on this action, but it's going about it in a very different way.
Rather than showing clips from the actual games, the chocolate company, recently chosen again as New Zealand's most trusted brand, is re-enacting key events with the use of All Blacks chocolates and an assortment of children's toys and posting these to its Facebook page (a similar approach has also been used by Lego and the Guardian in producing English Premier League highlights).
At the time of publication, eight videos had already been published, covering everything from the opening ceremony and the Japanese upset of the Springboks to the All Blacks' recent victory over Namibia.
The waiting is over. Watch the opening ceremony of the other AB*s live (sort of).Posted by Whittaker's Chocolate Lovers on Friday, 18 September 2015
What a stunning upset by the other Japan! Stay tuned for more live (sort of) coverage.Posted by Whittaker's Chocolate Lovers on Sunday, 20 September 2015
Full time wrap up. The other AB*s clean up in a messy encounter.Posted by Whittaker's Chocolate Lovers on Thursday, 24 September 2015
The quirky idea has been developed by Assignment Group creatives John Plimmer and Chris Bleackley, with the former also serving as the commentator during each of the clips.
Bleackley says Assignment Group contacted Rob Uivel from Human Dynamo to create the peanut stadium used in each of the videos.
"We thought about building it ourselves, but Rob has worked on projects for Weta Studios and Peter Jackson in the past, so we knew he'd do a much better job," Bleackley says.
Whittaker's marketing manager Holly Whittaker says it didn't take much to get her across the line with this idea.
"The game highlights are brilliant because they allow Whittaker’s to be right there in the moment with our chocolate lovers – supporting the All Blacks together," she says. "It was one of those concepts that was presented (by Assignment and MBM) and we said yes on the spot! We were even more excited when we saw the stadium model created by Human Dynamo – they are a very talented bunch. The detail is incredibly intricate and inventive. The hard working team on the job (Assignment, MBM, Projuice and our Whittaker’s Social team) have been burning the candle at both ends to create very charming content for the last two games. We are delighted with the performance of the videos so far, they are achieving great reach and engagement."
The model is currently being housed at Assignment Group, and Bleackley says that it's generating a fair amount of enthusiasm around the office.
The action in each video takes place within the model, which expedites the production process and makes it easier to achieve Bleackley's ambition of having the clips 'as live as possible' (hence the 'live sort of' reference in the top-right corner of every clip).
"We're trying to add to the experience of watching the Rugby World Cup," he says. "It's just a bit of light relief that fans can enjoy during the games."
The production time per clip currently sits around eight to ten minutes, but Bleackley says that with each video the team gets better and faster at developing the content. And he adds that each game introduces quirky new ideas for references that could potentially be added into the videos.
Tidy first half from the other AB*s - we're gunning for a clean sweep!Posted by Whittaker's Chocolate Lovers on Thursday, 24 September 2015
This campaign comes at a time when the nation's biggest advertisers are doing everything in their power to affiliate their brands with the tournament, but Bleackley says the team at Assignment wanted to do something that could cut through the noise despite Whittaker's spending much less than other brands.
"You can't just paint something black and hope it works," he says. "Sponsorship is so much more than that these days."