As teams, sponsors, fans and brands gear up for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand sponsors are finding some innovative ways of building anticipation and patriotic fervour. None more so than All Blacks sponsor Air New Zealand – which is rolling out both fun and functional elements in its Crazy About Rugby initiative.
Air New Zealand’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, including the All Blacks themselves, entered its seventeenth year in 2011. The two organisations have previously produced some interesting marketing and the last few months have seen them build on this combined communications heritage.
‘In celebration of Air New Zealand’s long running support of rugby in New Zealand, our first new A320 will arrive in January 2011 sporting a sleek black livery complete with silver fern motif and Koru on its tail,” says CEO Rob Fyfe. “Air New Zealand is crazy about rugby and from February this distinctive new plane will be operating on our main domestic New Zealand routes. Who knows, some Australian sports teams might just find themselves on this aircraft as they fly around the country to get to their games over the coming months.’
The airline has also linked up with the team to rework its in-flight safety video. Starring Air New Zealand employees, All Black players and coaches, as well as commentators and fans. The humour-led creative includes puns, rugby-related word play and several digs at the arch rival Aussies. From mentions of team talks, front rows, hamstring stretches and even the ‘crouch, touch, embrace line.
Indeed, Air New Zealand has taken over from SouthWest (which launched a rapping flight attendant safety video last year) to become the go-to airline for passengers who prefer alternative safety videos. Last year it re-worked the safety instructions into a ‘body paint’ themed film.
Combining entertainment with utility, this piece of activation is funny but does not distort the safety message itself. In fact, it will probably garner more attention from jaded frequent flyers who so often tend to ignore the repetitive safety video.
It is also proving popular online. It gained more than 120,000 YouTube views in just one week and has now racked up almost one million views.
Crazy About Rugby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f1awn9vBZE
Crazy About Rugby – The Making Of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCTl4JDG-4A
Bare Essentials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Mq9HAE62Y
All Black Livery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxjK-w3w-Z4