Things that make me like the world a little more: #RWC2015

Submitted by on the 15th of December 2015

With the 2015 RWC finally out of people’s heads, I thought that it would be a good time to look back at some of the stuff that developed by the title sponsors on social around the tournament. Any time before December would have been too insensitive to SA’s rugby fans, who were still licking their Japanese Samurai sword-inflicted wounds. Myself included.

Perhaps the departure of Heyneke Meyer will assuage the bloodlust.

Successful content is not about you

There is always the assumption that the most engaging content is that which is, well, the most engaging. However, Land Rover, one of the title sponsors of the 2015 RWC, showed us that content is sometimes best kept simple.

Throughout the tournament, it was Heineken leading the share of engagement. It is, after all, a product that intuitively sits well within the context of rugby. Most fans don’t sit during the match holding a DHL waybill in their hands, deciding which dip to try.

Although Heineken was the overall winning brand on social in terms of numbers, it was Land Rover which shot through the roof after the final whistle with a series of All Blacks match winning pics. The brand hit over 40,000 post-game mentions, more than double that of Heineken’s pre-game buildup peak. Definitely not the most incredible piece of social content ever produced, but just what the fans wanted at the time.

Simple, sharable

DHL also kept it fairly simple with a their scrum competitions at the various stadiums. Fans were also encouraged to share their own scrum photos with #ScrumShareWin in order to win match tickets. DHL also handed out branded banners at matches to increase their TV presence. Although the brand link is remarkably tenuous, the brand did manage to link their social campaign into the real world, and then back again into social. A seemingly obvious trick, but one that is often overlooked.

The stench of success

One would assume that by sinking millons of dollars into becoming a title sponsor of the RWC 2015 that the returns would be groundbreaking.

Although we don’t quite know yet what the ROI for these brands was, it is interesting to note that the highest ranked corporate brand that made it into the top 50 brand mentions on Twitter during the competition was @DoveMen (8th), followed by @LandRoverRugby (10th) and DHLRugby (19th). Heineken did not even make it into the top 50. Awkward.

The @DoveMen campaign, based on an advent calendar, gave away prizes every day of the tournament on Twitter. Prizes included a rugby ball signed by the Welsh team, and limited edition men’s care packs. There was also a batch of contextual content with #ScrumTogether. This gave some reason to why they sponsor rugby, beyond the obviousness of stinky players. In short, it’s all about cameraderie and sportsmanship.

The bottom line is that huge pots of money do not equate to an appetite for risk. Overall, the content for RWC from the main sponsors was quite vanilla. I suppose that’s what happens when your target market is narrowed down to ‘everyone’ and the approval process is layered. So, so layered.