On the charge: Duracell joins the All Black sponsorship scrum, gets emotional about energy

The NZRU is openly hunting for new international partners in an effort to squeeze as much value out the national team as possible. Main jersey sponsor AIG was a big scalp, and it’s used that platform quite well. And now it’s added Proctor & Gamble’s Duracell brand to the list of All Black sponsors, launching the partnership with a new TVC and marketing campaign based around trusting your power. 

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi and shot by Flying Fish director James Solomon, the ad features All Blacks Sam Cane, Steven Luatua and Tawera Kerr-Barlow getting sweaty, some quintessential All Black stock footage and shots of fans (some of them using gadgets that require batteries, like remote controls, transistor radios and cameras). 

Duracell’s slogan is ‘Trusted Everywhere’, and, according to a release, it has “joined forces with the sporting icons to encourage Kiwis everywhere to trust their power, just like the All Blacks. The new commercial highlights why Duracell is the battery brand trusted everywhere, giving people the power to do more, both in life’s extraordinary and ordinary moments”.

In addition to showcasing “how Duracell gives the All Blacks the power to play beyond their best” (because we all know how much of an impact a professional athlete’s choice of batteries has on their performance on the field), the ad also tries to show the energy the nation creates to “charge the team” (interestingly, the NZRU already counts Unilever, one of P&G’s main competitors, as a sponsor, with Rexona and Persil aligned with the team. And, with the moody, fairly earnest voiceover, some might say the ad bears some similarity to Rexona’s ‘Rituals‘ campaign). 

The ad launched at the Bledisloe Cup match on Saturday, but, in a bit of a whoopsie, as of this morning Duracell hadn’t been added to the list of sponsors on the All Blacks website

As well as the TVC, the new partnership will include giveaways, nationwide promotions and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos filmed with the All Blacks. Duracell’s new Duralock Power Preserve Technology, which has a ten-year storage guarantee, will be available at Countdown from November.  

As per usual, no word on how much the deal cost. But New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said in the release that Duracell is a natural fit for the team, “which prides itself on strength, perseverance and consistent peak performance”. 

“We welcome Duracell to our group of sponsors and hope fans enjoy the partnership with a company whose products so many of us use every day.” 

“The All Blacks are icons at employing strength and endurance to power through whatever challenges meet them, both of which are characteristics of Duracell,” says brand manager for DuracellSuraen De Silva. “So who better to inspire Kiwis to trust the power of the number one global battery brand, than those who have fulfilled their dreams of playing for the current leaders in world rugby?”

While there’s plenty of growth in the high-performance battery segment, alkaline batteries are still the major market. But as devices that don’t require primary batteries increase (like mobile phones and iPods), overall sales declined considerably in 2010, according to the Progressive Grocer

As Freedonia Group analyst Dave Petina says: “Alkalines are, and are going to remain, the bread and butter for the supermarkets as far as the battery space goes. But to the extent that more devices are powered by other types of batteries, it’s going to hurt the alkaline battery market as a whole.”

P&G added Duracell to its portfolio after its acquisition of Gillette for US$57 billion in 2005. According to Forbes, Duracell batteries contributed “merely” $2.5 billion to P&G’s total sales of around $80 billion in 2011. 


Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Antonio Navas – ECD 

Matt Sellars & Cory Bellringer – Creative Group Heads

Edwina Monaghan – Producer 

Jane Oak – Head of Content

Phil O’Neil – (Account Service)

Vanya Piacun – (Account Service)

Production Company: Flying Fish

Director: James Solomon 

Executive Producer: James Moore

Producers: Sam Attenborough & James Moore 

DOP: Richard Harling

Editor: Nathan Pickles

Post House: MANDY – Mat Elin

Grade: Dave McClaren


Franklin Road

Composer – Jim Hall

Producer – Jonathan Hughes

Sound / VO

Franklin Road

Audio Engineer – Nich Cunningham 

Audio Producer – Ellen Handley

VO Talent – Matt Sunderland (Agent: Christiana @ Johnson & Laird)

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