Diana Agop

3 advertising campaigns tackling the Rugby World Cup

The 2015 Rugby World Cup has presented brands with a great opportunity to gain extra exposure and attention from customers around the world. And it isn’t just rugby fans that advertisers are hoping to reach, whether you know what a scrum, ruck, try is or not, at some point you’ll probably be exposed to rugby fever. I’ve picked out 3 campaigns that have helped get me into the World Cup spirit through emotive messaging and creative promotions.


O2 – #WearTheRose

As long-term sponsor of England Rugby, O2 have pulled out all the stops with their #WearTheRose multichannel campaign. The company aims to create further awareness of the brand and engage customers, whilst getting the whole nation supporting The Red and Whites.

O2 have been busy on social media, their O2 Sports Twitter page has been packed pull of tweets and content for followers to get involved and be a part of the Rugby World Cup conversation. The company has asked customers of all ages to show their support for England by using the hashtag #WearTheRose. O2 launched have been running competitions too, asking customers to send in photos of their dogs dressed up in England Rugby gear or answer quiz questions.

Alongside social media, O2 have created TV ads, including my favourite the animated ‘Make Them Giants’ and an interactive ‘Design Your Character’ feature on the company website.Another exciting marketing tactic from O2 was a projection lightshow, where the brand illustrated fan messages onto the roof of London’s O2 Arena. A solid try by the O2 team!


Dove Men+Care – #scrumtogetherDove - Vine

The game plan for Dove Men+Care was to create a sense of unity and camaraderie amongst customers with the #scrumtogether campaign, as well as running their message ‘care makes a man stronger’ to communicate that care products aren’t just for the ladies! The campaign includes TV advertisements, social media activity and a partnership with The Daily Telegraph.

Dove produced an advert featuring Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’, with a rugby twist. As partner of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh rugby associations, Dove included players from each of the four home nations. The ad pulls on the emotions of viewers and emphasises team spirit as the players prepare for battle.

The company’s Twitter competition also caught my attention, which gives fans the chance to win match tickets via the hashtag #scrumtogether. The Dove campaign also created Vines for followers to share and enjoy, let’s see if they go viral!

Finally, through their partnership with the Daily Telegraph, the brand can reach a wider audience. The ‘#Scrumtogether Series’ compiles in-depth interviews with major names of the UK’s Rugby, and their families and friends.


Beats BY Dre – The Game Starts Here
As part of the Apple team, Beats by Dre set out to target not just Britain but the whole world with their ‘The Game Starts Here’ campaign. The brand promotes the message that their headphones are first choice amongst athletes, including Rugby players.

With a subtle push on the products themselves, Beats by Dre Rugby World Cup campaign exhibits a series of films featuring some of the world’s rugby best players, such as England captain Chris Robshaw. Each film showcases music that’ll give the audience goosebumps as they watch a poignant, if not over the top story. Each ad creates a patriotic feel and oozes Britishness as the rugby players face their challenges, rituals and preparations before a game.

The reason this campaign stood out to me was that even with out a clear link to rugby, the brand created a highly targeted and emotive campaign.

The Rugby World Cup has already proved to be a great stage for advertisers to show off their skills. Sponsorship and advertising in the sport has evolved, it’s not just football that can attract brand giants. Even though some companies have little relevance with the sport, most campaigns I’ve seen so far are creative, clever and have generated a buzz for the World Cup. I’ll be sure to try and catch a game this autumn!