It was 2005. Allies and frenemies had assembled in our student flat to watch the Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool. Milan went up 3-0, and the halftime whistle saw the players head into the dressing room. During that short halftime break, I made a fatal error. I texted my brother: “We’ve got this!” Those three words became a cruel jinx. And today, as a result of this painful loss, I refuse to have the cursed technological sorcery of a mobile phone in my general vicinity during a football match.
While not rational by any stretch of the imagination, superstition is an integral part of sporting culture. And as the World Cup approaches, fans across the country will dust off their lucky trinkets and get them ready for the biggest tournament on the rugby calendar. However, these magical items aren’t only pulled out during big sporting events. Whenever we need luck, they’re dragged from the dark recesses of our wardrobes and put to good use.
And in a quirky new spot, ASB has through Saatchi & Saatchi poked fun at the tradition of rugby fans to wear their lucky jerseys during important events.
The 30-second ad features a man reveal to his partner that he has brought his lucky shirt along for the house auction. But then, upon arriving at the event, the man quickly realises that there’s quite a bit of luck floating around when it becomes apparent that virtually everyone in attendance at the event is an All Blacks fan. And the ASB voiceover then chimes in saying: “Buying a home takes more than luck. It takes a team effort and a special home loan rate.”
References to superstitions that accompany sporting events have for some time been used in advertising campaigns. The best local example would be the Steinlager white can campaign, which famously told the story of a fan who kept a solitary beer unopened until the All Blacks won the World Cup in 2011.
And during the FIFA World Cup, sporting superstitions were also celebrated with some intensity during the ‘Game before game’ campaign by Beats.
And while ASB might be correct in pointing out that luck doesn’t work in every situation, it’s going to do little to convince sports fans to jettison their superstitions—and it certainly won’t make me trust a mobile phone anytime soon.