Gillette Activates Lions Link (& Leverages RBS 6 Nations Excitement) Via North-fronted ‘The Honest Player’ Short Film

Gillette Lions North 1

To activate its partnership with the British & Irish Lion and leverage wider rugby interest around the 6 Nations Gillette launches a short film featuring Lions and Wales star George North called ‘The Honest Player’.


The campaign focuses on the vital importance of preparation and precision – common values shared by Gillette, the Lions and by North himself – and promotes the brand’s Fusion range.


For winger North it is the off-pitch preparation and pre-game commitment that leads to precision on it and for Gillette the property and campaign synergy is that the brand is committed to giving its customers precision tools to look their best and prepare for the day ahead.


The film itself, which features a powerfully emotive voiceover taken from an original motivational speech by Jim Telfer from the 1997 Lions tour to South Africa, brings to life the heritage of both the British and Irish Lions and Gillette with historic moments and legendary action from previous Lions tours.


First posted online across the brand’s digital and social channels on 1 February,



the 60-second spot, developed by creative agency Grey London and produced by Believe Media, airs in public for the first time during the half-time interval of the RBS 6 Nations match between England and France on 4 February.


The commercial, which is directed by Michel and Nico (Arribehaute), both former professional rugby players in their home town of Biarritz, carry’s the campaign tagline ‘Be prepared for anything, from front line to back.


It is supported by assets across the brand’s digital and social channels including Facebook



and amplified on North’s own social media such as his Twitter feed (373k followers).



‘At Gillette we believe that there’s nothing more important than how men prepare for the day ahead,’ explains Gillette and Venus brand manager Matt Thomas.


‘The moments of self-reflection men have in front of the mirror each morning help give perspective on how to keep better themselves every day. The partnership with the British & Irish Lions is something we’re very proud of and we feel “The Honest Player” film helps bring these moments to life in a rugby context.’


Gillette is also bringing its Lions sponsorship to life in major UK retailers via a competition offering consumers/rugby fans the chance to win the ultimate trip to New Zealand to watch the Lions.


Founded back in 1888, the Lions, who tour one of the Southern Hemisphere rugby nations every four years, will begin a 10-game tour of New Zealand in 2017 on 3 June.


The campaign was developed with creative agency Grey London, Hill & Knowlton Strategies London, Starcom Worldwide and production outfit Believe Media.


The team at Grey London was led by creative directors Jonathan Marlow and Will Adam and included planning director Alix Toothman, planner Oliver Pople, group business director Alex Clarke-Groom, account director Tom Molyneux, account manager Seb Cohen, account executive Bayly Templeton, the TV producer was Charlotte Marshall and the editor Matt Newman


The production company was Believe Media (with directors Michel and Nico, DOP Fredrik Bäckar and producers James Covill and Phil Barnes)


The music was composed by Goldstein, the colourist was Ben Rogers at GPS London, post was handled by GPS London and the Grand Central audio engineers were Munzie Thind and Steve Lane.


Activative Comment:


Timed to maximise heightened rugby interest across the UK and Northern Europe as the RBS 6 Nations gets under way, this campaign follows on from several other early Lions sponsor activation roll-outs well ahead of the summer tour such as the ‘Untouchable Jersey’ hologram stunt led shirt launch campaign from kit partner Canterbury (see case study) and the integrated launch initiative of sponsor Standard Life’s Lions partnership (see case study).






Grey London


Hill & Knowlton Strategies London


Starcom Worldwide


British & Irish Lions



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