Whybin\TBWA campaign draws a line between rugby pros and novices

Yesterday, APN released a new campaign to promote the addition of OPTA, a rugby analytics tool, to its recently launched rugby portal, which serves as a discrete hub for anything related to the sport.  

In the print campaign, titled ‘Talk like a rugby pro,’ the laconic observations of a rugby novice are juxtaposed to the in-depth analyses of a fan who has access to extra rugby intel (possibly thanks to the extra information available on the Herald).

And, in an effort to entice Super Rugby fans of every persuasion to access the OPTA statistics via the stat centre on the Herald’s rugby offering, the three posters have also been colour-coded to match the strips of the Blues, Crusaders and Hurricanes. 

{% gallery ‘rugbytalk’ %}

This series of posters is the first major campaign that Whybin\TBWA has executed for APN since taking over the creative account from DraftFCB.

TBWA chief executive Todd McLeay could not confirm whether or not DraftFCB was still working with APN on other projects, but he did say that TBWA has been collaborating with the media conglomerate since late last year. 

APN spokesperson Sheryl Dunlop has however confirmed that DraftFCB still holds APN’s media account, but that creative has shifted across to TBWA. She also added that a pitch wasn’t involved in the account changing hands.  

“There wasn’t a pitch, but a conversation with a few agencies. Draft decided not to take part in this due to how busy the agency was, and TBWA showed the best understanding of our business, challenges and objectives, and brought fresh thinking to the table,” she says.

Given that Todd McLeay last year left his position as the chief operating officer at APN to join TBWA, it is also possible that his familiarity with APN could’ve assisted in winning the business for the agency. 

And judging by the comments released by APN’s general manager of brand and comms Sarah Kenny, it appears that TBWA has passed its first test as the creative force for APN. 

“The team at TBWA has come up with a campaign that conveys what our offering is and, more importantly, what a difference it can make for fans, in a simple and compelling manner. The campaign’s simplicity makes it clever and we’re excited to see more and more Kiwis talking like rugby pros.”

She also added that the OPTA data will serve as an excellent complement to the in-depth coverage that is already published by the Herald’s rugby columnists on a daily basis.  

These sentiments correspond with those released by the TBWA creative director Lisa Fedysyzn, who believes that the Herald’s improved offering will help fans become more informed.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re an everyday rugby fan or crazy about it, everyone wants to be able to talk with a bit of authority. With the Herald’s suite of rugby tools and information we have been able to show creatively what a huge difference insight can make to your rugby cred,” she says.

On Monday, TBWA will also release a series of radio ads as part of the ‘Talk like a rugby pro’ campaign, and McLeay is enthusiastic to see the response to them.

“I really think people are going to like them. They’re humorous, and we’ve used talent that people wouldn’t ever expect in a radio ad,” says McLeay.  


CCO: Toby Talbot
CEO: Todd McLeay
Creative directors: Lisa Fedyszyn & Jonathan McMahon
Creative team: Cece Chu, Ryan Price,
Head of design: Phil Kelly
Designer: Chris Lewis
Producer: Sonali de Silva/Paul Gibson
Digital designer: Hsichen Hsieh  
Digital producer: Heather Craggs  
Group account director: Nick Bulmer
Account executive: Lucy Ochoa-Petit

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