As the nation shrugs off its collective hangover and tries to return to normality, many are struggling to remember life before the World Cup… What did we care about? What do I do? But at Air New Zealand it was straight back to business as usual, and first up was ensuring the airline’s continuing support for the All Blacks.
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Years of pain, suffering and putting up with calls from antagonists who try to dull the throbbing hurt by saying 'it's only a game' might—and should—all be forgotten on Sunday night. And, from a marketing point of view, what a ride the RWC has been. There have been enthralling PR disasters with the likes of MasterCard, Adidas, Telecom and the IRB; there have been PR masterstrokes, like getting the whole NZ-based Tongan community behind their team; there have been great campaigns and stunts that sit somewhere between sneaky and savvy from the likes of Steinlager, NZ Pure, Vogel's and KFC; there have been more than three million Tweets about the tournament and the teams involved in it; and, despite many doubters, Martin Snedden and his gang of RWC 2011 optimists managed to reach their massive ticket sales target and, with 87 percent of tickets sold, showed that marketing and fulfilment don't have to be mutually exclusive. Hopefully that ride comes to an appropriate conclusion in Auckland, which, as one cad said, has looked like an artist's impression for the past six weeks. And hopefully Richie McCaw gets to lead the ticker tape parade down Queen St in Telecom's pink fist car, perhaps with the injured Captain Underpants riding shotgun.
As many law-abiding citizens know, prisons are a necessary evil. Recently our finance minister said prisons were a "moral and fiscal failure" at "$250,000 a bed, $90,000 a year to run". The money spent by New Zealand on incarceration dwarfs what has been spent on the Rugby World ...
Rugby World Cup (RWC) sponsorship activity is already rampant and as some visitors get set to make the most of the tournament by heading along to the games or watching them at Party Central, they’re being given a taster of what they’re in for, quite literally by way of taste. RWC sponsor Brancott Estate, in conjunction with EYE and creative agency Pim, has created a virtual vineyard at Auckland International Airport that stretches across both arrivals halls and extends onto travelators, walls, floors and ceilings.
In case you haven't noticed, the nation has fully embraced the Rugby World Cup, as evidenced most clearly during opening night festivities, when, according to a special survey of all the individuals (15+) in Nielsen's 500-home TAM panel, the opening game was watched by 81 percent of all New Zealanders, with 11 percent of those watching it at a pub or outdoor venue.
When it comes to making successful branded apps, there are generally two rules: either make it useful or give it some novelty value. And, if possible, combine elements of both. And Heineken and &some have done just that with a new smartphone app that shows locals and visitors where to find official RWC bars, as well as their mates, their rivals, a taxi home and, if they're lucky, even some tickets to the final.
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Rugby is infused into a vast array of marketing campaigns at the moment and there have already been a few savvy and seemingly legal attempts by non-sponsors to skirt the rules and cash in on the Big Rugby Event. Unashamedly patriotic bread brand Vogel's and its agency Publicis Mojo are the latest to join that cheeky anti-establishment club with another simple but very effective outdoor campaign that welcomes the tournament and offers some support to the boys.
Perhaps it’s just us, but the year seems to be flying by and between the Rugby World Cup, Christmas and that little ‘ole thing called the general election, the second half will inevitably go faster. And if you’re an advertiser, ThinkTV says it’s you who'd better speed up to get “plum” advertising positioning.
If you were watching the All Blacks vs South Africa test on Saturday, you may have noticed what appeared to be yet another earnest, borderline homo-erotic rugby-themed ad featuring bulging muscular thighs pumping away in slow-motion as the All Blacks presumably surge to victory. But this brooding, black and white number for Sky by DDB and Prodigy isn't your typically serious World Cup year effort.
There's been plenty of discussion about the Major Events Management Act (MEMA) and the steps being taken by organisers to limit so-called ambush marketing during the upcoming 'Big Rugby Event'. Some say the rules are too draconian and kowtow to the corporates, while others believe they're fair enough because they aim to protect the sizable investment of the Rugby World Cup's official sponsors. Urgent Courier's Mobile AdVert has already come under fire from OMANZ for a possible breach. And we've found a campaign on AA's Bookabach.co.nz that looks like it's in a very similar boat.
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Brancott Estate—creators of the original Marlborough sauvignon blanc and the company formerly known as Montana—forked out to sponsor the Rugby World Cup and, as the official wine of the tournament, VIPs from around the world will be imbibing its sweet nectar during the event. But never fear, paupers can still get a taste of the good stuff, with the added excitement of a new vintage housed in a limited edition RWC bottle. We've got a couple of triple packs to give away and all you have to do is come up with a rugby-related wine brand (for example, Yellow Cardonnay, Fly Half Gully or Liniment Cliffs).
As the Rugby World Cup draws closer and Kiwis inevitably succumb to the ensuing mayhem, ticket to the matches are becoming an increasingly prized commodity—especially when they’re tickets to the quarters, semis and the finals. And wouldn't you know it, Coca-Cola is planning to capitalise on that enthusiasm with a multi-channel campaign that includes what it says is its largest ever on-pack promotion.
After a fair bit bureaucratic faffing, the clean zones for the Rugby World Cup 2011 have been announced, so agencies and advertisers now know where they can and can’t put their marketing during the tournament. And in some cases, the restrictions are quite extensive.
Given we published a story in January about the Radio Network winning the rights to broadcast the Rugby World Cup, it was slightly surprising to get another release from its arch enemy MediaWorks Radio today saying it too had won broadcasting rights for the tournament.
Ah, the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The time when all New Zealanders unite to celebrate sponsorship. And rugby. With the likes of MasterCard, Landrover, Toshiba, Brancott Estate/Montana, Heineken and ANZ already joining the official sponsorship ranks, comes news BlackBerry developers Research in Motion (RIM) will be nuzzling in for some cozy sponsorship action, with BlackBerry becoming the “official handheld mobile device” for the tournament. ACP is also involved, winning the contract as the official publisher.