Brands latch on to the oval ball as the Rugby World Cup 2015 approaches

We’re sure many New Zealanders are in disbelief as to how nearly four years have passed since the last Rugby World Cup. Four years since we yelled out to strangers in the street whooping with collective joy after the All Blacks secured the Cup after a nail-biting game with the French and four years since the victory sparked a baby boom across the nation. But this year’s World Cup, which kicks off in September has no doubt been creeping its way into the public consciousness for sometime now, probably due to a few big brands which hope to profit from all the attention, here’s what a few of them are up to.

MasterCard, the “official card” of the Rugby World Cup 2015 brought back its long-time mascot Tim for his fourth run. The first three ads featuring Tim have gone down very well with the Kiwi public and as it ain’t broke, it ain’t been fixed. So, once again it is inviting New Zealanders to register then use its Tap & Go tech to win tickets to RWC2015 in London for themselves and three friends, once again it shows the over-excited Tim dragging Richie McCaw along with him as he swipes vigorously, and once again the campaign, which includes TV, out-of-home and additional video content for social channels, was created by McCann Sydney. 

Rugby World Cup partner Land Rover has introduced the RWC 2015 Defender that will transport The Webb Ellis Cup on the RWC Trophy Tour around the UK and Ireland in the build up to the tournament.

According to a release the vehicle features an illuminated trophy cabinet, with state-of-the-art technology to control temperature and lighting to ensure the Webb Ellis Cup is visible at all times.

Heineken, another worldwide partner of the World Cup has launched a global TVC featuring Jonah Lomu and South African World Cup winning captain, John Smit, according to a Heineken release. “Lomu and Smit join an elite panel of Heineken Legends who will produce social content to offer a unique and truly international perspective on the tournament in the lead up to, and during Rugby World Cup 2015.”

The panel is a who’s who of international rugby legends, led by former England captain Will Carling, the release says. “They are joined by Matt Dawson, star of England’s Rugby World Cup winning side and British and Irish Lions scrum-half, former Wales and British and Irish Lions number eight Scott Quinnell, former Australia captain and one of the country’s most decorated players Rocky Elsom, and Shane Horgan, former Ireland and British and Irish Lions winger.”

“Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle for any player and this tournament will be one of the biggest ever. To partner with Heineken and join such an esteemed group of rugby Legends is an honour,” said Lomu. “I was lucky enough to play in two Rugby World Cups, so I know how exciting the tournament is. This year, I want as many people as possible around the world to enjoy Rugby World Cup 2015 and help get them closer to the action with Heineken.”

To connect Kiwis with the tournament, the Heineken ‘Legends’ have offered New Zealand a challenge, asking if Kiwis have what it takes to deliver the Heineken briefcase to the Rugby World Cup 2015 final in Twickenham to meet them in person, the release says. “Heineken will put candidates through a series of challenges with one lucky winner and two friends getting the ultimate Finals experience in London.”

The release says: “In addition, bespoke Heineken bottles showcasing the iconic Webb Ellis Cup, unveiled last month, are giving Kiwis more opportunities to win a Heineken experience of a lifetime. Eight trips for two people to attend the Opening Ceremony of Rugby World Cup 2015 in London will be drawn weekly over the coming two months.”

And while we’re on the subject of beer, All Blacks sponsor Steinlager has been posting competitions and pictures relating to the World Cup on its Facebook page, though it’s not allowed to use the World Cup logo as it’s not an official sponsor of the tournament.

Bauer Media has also jumped on the World Cup bandwagon as the New Zealand publisher of the Official Rugby World Cup Tournament Guide ahead of this year’s tournament, which it has been pushing on its Facebook page.

Bauer Media NZ is delighted to announce it has been appointed as the New Zealand publisher of the Official Rugby World…

Posted by Bauer Media NZ on Thursday, 2 July 2015

RWC partner express post service DHL will be handling all freight movements for the 20 participating teams.

DHL also ran a competition in October last year with Stuff.co.nz offering the chance for a NZ youngster (8-15 years) to deliver the official match ball at the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter final. The prize includes flights and accommodation. Twelve-year-old Nelson boy Jacob Harris was the lucky winner and will carry the ball out to the referee in the All Blacks’ quarterfinal match at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

All Blacks Sponsor Adidas has released a new TVC by Augusto promoting its new campaign ‘Force of Black’ featuring some fierce footage of our boys in black.

The footage has encapsulated primal influences, comparing the All Blacks to wild animals and the ferocity of nature including cuts of lightning, tornados and fire. Also featured are clips from the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Coca-Cola is drawing attention to itself by using its might to get its drinkers/rugby fans to the Rugby World Cup through its ‘open happiness’ campaign. To enter consumers purchase a bottle of specially marked coke and sign into ‘MyCoke’ online, enter a code and then receive a ‘MyCoke’ point. Every point collected is equal to one entry into a draw of the consumer’s choice.

The prizes include: winning one of three Samsung Galaxy Note 4S, a trip to the rugby world cup quarter finals in Cardiff, $10,000 cash, a double pass to the All Blacks vs Australia in Auckland, Hoyts double movie passes and a double bassburger speaker for the winner and a friend, with new jobs coming soon.   

We also spotted this billboard as part of the campaign, featuring some coke bottles in a rugby line-up.

“The MyCoke programme has been invaluable in engaging consumers, driving them to the Coke website and encouraging them to open happiness, and this latest promotion is one of the most exciting that I think we have been able to reward consumers with so far,” said Delina Shields at Coca-Cola Oceania in a release.

Coca-Cola is supporting this promotion with an integrated campaign across in-store point of sale, OOH, Adshels, Westfield table tops, search, digital media and social media.

All Blacks Tours released a TVC in November last year (produced by Augusto) that depicts 2011 World Cup-winning couch Sir Graham Henry giving a team talk in a plane. But rather than having the aircraft filled with representatives from various rugby playing nations, the ad only features former player Stephen Donald sitting in one of the seats.  

After giving the celebrated coach an ironic applause for his rapturous speech, Donald says: “That was brilliant, Ted. Now we just need a team.” And All Blacks tours aims to assemble this team by having Henry and Donald accompany two groups of fans on a tour of England during the upcoming tournament.

Henry will be with fans for a 19­night ‘All Finals’ package, while Donald will live up to his reputation by stepping in during the semi-finals as he hosts a 12-night package, which will include both semi-finals and the final.

“It’s something that every New Zealander dreams of going to, and to have the opportunity to head along, on a special fan flight with fellow rugby fanatics will be a trip of a lifetime,” said Donald, who currently plies his trade in the Japanese rugby league.

While the packages differ slightly, both include a special fan flight to England, accommodation, two official All Blacks supporter functions, official All Blacks Tours merchandise, return match transfers, airport transfers and a London hop­on-hop­off sightseeing pass.

Earlier this month Adidas unveiled its All Blacks Rugby World Cup jersey at a function in Auckland. According to the Herald it’s the most technically advanced All Blacks jersey to date. “but has undergone a subtle design change that pays respect to the legendary Originals team, which toured the United Kingdom, France and the USA in 1905-1906, losing just one match on their famous 35-match tour.”

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