You can’t underestimate the power of the All Blacks when it comes to sponsorships. And it’s even better if you can get them half naked, as Jockey did recently as part of a successful activation for New Zealand Fashion Week.
Browsing: All Blacks
In a world where attention is a currency, the sweet spot sometimes seems to be polarity. Let’s call it the Paul Henry effect, where some watch because of love, and some watch because of hate. That formula often applies to the world of advertising. And MasterCard’s recent efforts starring an over-zealous (and quite lucky) All Blacks fan called Tim are a good example of that in action. Now he’s back in his third appearance for the brand—and he’s as violating as ever.
Jockey announced its sponsorship of the All Blacks and All Blacks Sevens teams early this year and gathered together a host of buff professional rugby players to parade about in their gruts for the black and white launch campaign. Now it’s added some colour—and given a cheeky nod to its support of the ‘boys’—for a campaign leading into the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship.
Despite some initial wailing when AIG took prime position on the All Blacks jersey—and all the other New Zealand rugby teams’ jerseys—the global insurance behemoth has been a pretty good tenant and has done a good job of getting its pound of flesh without causing too much animosity. Its global sponsorship agency Augusto has been responsible for a lot of that work, from the big launch ad, to a full page ad in The New York Times celebrating last year’s perfect season, to the documentary about Aaron Cruden’s ‘Road to Recovery’. And the pair have been busy lately with the AIG FanPic campaign, the launch of a new travel insurance product and the drumming up of interest in the All Blacks game against the US in Chicago in November.
There are plenty of shudder-inducing sponsorship campaigns, with brands often clutching at straws in an attempt to associate themselves with their chosen property. But a great stunt by Weet-bix gave us shudders of a positive kind by making the dreams of one rugby-mad Kiwi kid come true.
Jockey is the latest company to sign up for a sponsorship deal with the NZRU. And, to celebrate the announcement, Jockey has released a behind-the-scenes clip shot by Augusto of the nine All Blacks stripping off, oiling up, mucking about and sucking in.
We’ll be seeing a lot more of the nation’s rugby stars in their tighty-whities now that Jockey has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the All Blacks and the All Blacks Sevens. Updated with comments from Jockey marketing manager Jane Lawry.
New Zealand’s history of sports sponsorship goes back a long way, and it has become common around this time of the year for the sponsorship shuffle to start as brands renew old deals, strike new ones or depart from teams entirely. And this year has been no exception, with Ford, Telecom, NIB, Adidas, Steinlager and a new Kiwi startup all getting in on the action.
Last night’s last minute win over Ireland meant the All Blacks finished the season undefeated, the only team in the 18-year professional era to achieve that feat. And to celebrate, Adidas, which, as Gregor Paul wrote in a great piece about the creeping commercial influence on the game, might be trying to up its game after the arrival of fellow main sponsor AIG, created a new website (sort of).
New Zealand Rugby conducted something of an experiment last week when the Bledisloe Cup test between the All Blacks and Australia was streamed live and made available on-demand on www.youtube.com/allblacks to more than 45 countries where the digital rights hadn’t been allocated exclusively to a broadcaster. So how did it go? And should Sky be worried?
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.
The NZRU has made no secret of the fact it wants to get more sponsorship dollars. And certain All Blacks are already making their own endorsement hay while the sun shines. Sadly, big locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock aren’t on that list, but, as this clip shows, the cocktail-loving hard men are well and truly up for it.
When AIG announced its five-and-a-half year sponsorship deal with the NZRU and plonked its logo in the middle of the esteemed black jersey, some naysayers decried the game’s descent into commercialism, while those involved in the deal celebrated the massive boost it would give the game in this country. As is almost always the case, no-one really seems to care anymore. The logo is just … there. And now that the dust has settled on the unveiling of the jersey, AIG has launched its first major rugby-related campaign, ‘It’s Our Job’.
Japan has a well-earned reputation for making batshit crazy ads like this, this or this. So, as part of the Comedy for Cure Kids on TV3 last week, Corey Jane punk’d some of the All Black newbies and tricked them into thinking they were filming an ad for the Japanese market.
‘Creatively-led, humanity-obsessed’ agency/production company Augusto has done some good work for Adidas in recent times, like the 60-minute documentary on the history of the All Blacks jersey and the Supersounds campaign. And for its latest trick, it’s got Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Israel Dagg to embrace their domestic sides to promote the arrival of iron-on numbers on fan jerseys.
All Blacks sponsors have a long history of piecing together some game-day footage, showing a few big hits, adding a bit of emotive language to illustrate the mana of the black jersey and trying to give Kiwis a few goosebumps. Adidas did it to pretty good effect during the Rugby World Cup. And, with the game against the French kicking off on Saturday, Steinlager, which has sponsored the All Blacks for 27 years, has done it as well with a dubstep-backed ode to one of the most successful teams in world sport.
As the broadcast sponsor of X Factor New Zealand, Ford and its agency JWT wanted to do something that would bring the various strands of music, aspiration and gratuitous car shots together. And, after filming wannabe stars and their various hangers on singing Che Fu’s ‘Fade Away’ in the back of a pimped out 2013 Kuga on the 27-stop audition tour, it’s released the final product.
Last week was an interesting one for Ben Uffindell, editor of The Civilian and recipient of a letter from Colin Craig’s lawyers demanding an obviously satirical quote relating to Maurice Williamson’s ‘big gay rainbows’ speech be removed. Much guffawing ensued at the expense of Craig, and, after a few interviews, The Civilian went back to publishing its Onion-esque news stories, including an ‘opinion piece’ by an All Black that brilliantly juxtaposes the the mana of the black jersey with the game’s increasingly commercial focus.
Unilever’s Rexona brand has made pretty good use of its All Black sponsorship, from the earnest rituals spot for the Rugby World Cup to some friendly training banter and even a bit of French farce. But the latest work from Naked Communications Sydney is taking things a bit further and demanding some sweat.
Last year, Mastercard, McCann Sydney and Robber’s Dog walked away with the top prize at the Fair Go Ad Awards for their ‘Tight on Tour’ spot. And Tim, the over-excited All Blacks ‘super-fan’, has been brought back to celebrate the launch of its contactless payment technology PayPass.
This industry isn’t renowned for its institutional memory and, when looking for candidates for the Back Then section in NZ Marketing, it’s a surprisingly common occurrence to hear back from agencies and brands who aren’t able to find any of their early advertising work. Online repositories are certainly helping to remedy that situation, and a good example of that is the nostalgia section on the new website of Wellington creative consultancy Doublefish, which is worth a gander for anyone with a passing interest in the craft of advertising—or local popular culture.
2011 wasn’t a particularly memorable year for Saatchi & Saatchi, with the pink fist debacle casting a major pall. But the new executive and creative team has shaken things up and, after winning ASB without a pitch earlier this year and releasing some of the best work of 2012, the confidence—and the quality—appears to have returned. Creative directors Corey Chalmers and Gus Roberts speak up.
In what could be seen as either a blow for rugby purists lamenting the sport’s descent into commercialism or a massive boost for the New Zealand Rugby Union—and the game as a whole—global insurance company American International Group has signed a five and a half year sponsorship agreement that will see its logo take pride of place in the middle of the All Black jersey.
Sponsorship is less about logos on hoardings and more about activation these days (although ANZ might disagree after its logo-fest at The Cloud for Valerie Adams’ gold medal ceremony last week). In fact, some believe the old ratio of three dollars for every one spent on the sponsorship should now be upped to five. So in an effort to offer some added value to All Blacks fans, Adidas and Carat have unveiled Game Day, a Facebook application that lets them follow live commentary, comment on the game, track up-to-the-minute stats, access player and team profiles, weigh in on referee calls, vote for man of the match, and buy Adidas gear.
In the lead up to the Rugby World Cup, All Blacks sponsor Rexona went for the rather earnest, clenched fist on heart approach with its ‘rituals’ ad. But things are a bit more relaxed after the win, with a recent black and white spot by Aussie agency Naked and Curious showing some of the lads laughing together as friends (and hugging mum). And the same team, with Tammy Davis on directorial duties, have followed that up with something of a French farce showing “never seen before footage from the opposition dressing room after THAT game last year.”
There weren’t too many particularly memorable promotional efforts from the wide range of Rugby World Cup sponsors last year. But a few stood out, and one of them was MasterCard’s Priceless Moments series by McCann Sydney and Prodigy. Now the agency has followed that up with a pretty funny spot promoting a competition that’s offering one lucky—and, judging by the ad, potentially very annoying—rugby fan a trip to Europe to watch the All Blacks play Italy, Scotland, Wales and England.
The NZRU will no doubt be hoping the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup win might put a bit more lead in its commercial pencil to help get through a fairly difficult time for the national sport. And it’s managed to retain five of the team’s major sponsors, with Coca-Cola, Unilever, Sanitarium, Barkers and Bvlgari re-signing as All Blacks sponsors for undisclosed sums.
Beyoncé, Britney, the Beckhams… All around the world, celebrities endorse perfumes—and, increasingly, sell their own. We can’t think of too many Kiwi stars spruiking fragrances at present, but that looks set to change soon because we’ve learned the NZRU is set to launch its own scent called Scrummâge.