Rugby wars: Steinlager gets superstitious, Heineken waxes poetic and the Aussies promote patriotism

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Rugby World Cup year. There will be plenty of big battles on the field, but there will also be a few big battles off it, as evidenced by these three recently released rugby-themed campaigns.

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We wrote about the return of Steinlager’s white can to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its All Blacks sponsorship last week. And the TVC, which was created by DDB and Robber’s Dog, went live last night. If there was an award at Cannes for best use of mullets and denim waistcoats, this would undoubtedly be in line to win. But with such emphasis placed on the All Blacks’ performance at the tournament over the years—and their much-discussed inability to win the title again after the inaugural victory in 1987—it will be interesting to see how worldwide partner Heineken and the Rugby World Cup gatekeepers will respond. As always, interested to know what the StopPressers think.

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Heineken, now in its fourth round of RWC sponsorship, has also launched its international TVC. The 60 second ‘This is the Game’ commercial was filmed at Eden Park and other venues across Auckland late last year by Heineken’s agency Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, which recently won the Cannes Film Grand Prix for Nike’s ‘Write the Future’ and another gold for Heineken’s ‘The Entrance’. The production company was Revolver (Sydney) and Cherokee (Auckland).

While it’s a pretty solid, entertaining and poetic effort and “demonstrates the shared values between the Rugby World Cup 2011 and Heineken”, it certainly doesn’t have the same ‘slap you in the face with an awesome palm’ that Nike’s star-studded football effort had.

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And while we’re on the topic of rugby, the Aussies have just launched a patriotic blast  through Ogilvy Sydney called One Australia to psych themselves up for the tournament and, despite the inclusion of a fair number of rugby cliches, it’s a bit of a spine-tingler.

It follows up from the Gods of Rugby TVC launched in May and it’s all about coming together as one, apparently. So let’s just hope the Aussies do come together as one and then proceed to fall into a deep depression as one after we smash them in the final.

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