Kiwi finance outfit ASB leveraged the 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC) by activating its partnerships with New Zealand Rugby’s All Blacks and Black Ferns via a national campaign that urges Kiwi business owners to ‘get their head in the game’.
The through-the-line campaign not only drives awareness of the sponsorship, but also sets out to highlight ASB’s support of business customers of all sizes and drives home a message that while quality coaching and team development can be out of reach for many businesses, it isn’t for ASB business customers. Indeed, as part of the campaign, ASB business customers are offered a chance to win one of five coaching programmes run by All Blacks Performance Labs to ‘help build their own championship team’.
The ‘All Blacks Performance Labs’ team developed its skillset and expertise from some of the world’s most renowned organisations and teams – including the All Blacks and Black Ferns – and developed a ground breaking programme that unlocks the DNA of success for businesses around the world.
The initiative spans broadcast TV, a suite of online videos, direct, digital, social, OOH, real-time rugby response content and supporting customer coms and digital tools.
The campaign, developed in harness with agency The Monkeys Aotearoa (part of Accenture Song), features a line-up of rugby stars alongside ASB advertising couple and rugby super fans Ben and Amy, was spearheaded by a hero 30-second spot featuring ASB brand characters Ben and Amy getting their heads in the game by presenting their business plan to the All Blacks and Black Ferns.
The anchor commercial dropped on 14 September, during the second week of the 2023 RWC, and promotes that the bank is bringing ‘All Blacks Performance Labs to five lucky business customers to help them unlock the high performance of their own teams through the principles, tools and techniques used by champion teams around the world’.
The lead ad is backed by a suite of online videos featuring All Blacks and Black Ferns sharing their insights and experiences within high performing teams and how they can apply to New Zealand businesses. This includes an interview short film with All Black centre Anton Lienert-Brown.
Players, plus Ben and Amy also appear on dynamic digital OOH billboards across the country which evolve in real-time in response to the game results throughout the tournament. As does the campaign’s match-related social content.
The creative seeks to drive consumers online to a bespoke campaign microsite to find out more about the initiative, ASB and the All Blacks at https://www.asb.co.nz/business-banking/mindset.html
Plus, below-the-line, the campaign includes customer comms and digital tools developed to support ASB’s frontline teams to encourage customers to participate. While internal competitions are also being run for ASB staff to participate in the RWC/All Blacks project.
“Like the All Blacks, New Zealand businesses are facing their own unique challenges and pressures right now and we wanted to use our partnership with the All Blacks in a creative way, to deliver value to our business customers,” explained ASB Business Marketing Chapter Lead Rochelle Walsh. “We know that working together and having the right mindset is key to unlocking the potential in any team – especially in an environment that is changing and often challenging.”
The Monkeys Aotearoa Chief Creative Officer Damon Stapleton added: “The campaign brings together ASB’s popular couple in Ben and Amy alongside one of NZ’s most iconic teams – the All Blacks. The campaign is a great way to show ASB’s support to New Zealand businesses and the teams that are key to their success.”
The campaign was briefed in by and created for a group at client ASB led by Chief Marketing Officer Helen Fitzsimons, Chapter Lead For Business Marketing Rochelle Walsh, Head of Brand Experience Rachel Aikin, Brand Experience Lead Bianca Osborne, Marketing Manager (Business Marketing) Ben Fong, Marketing Manager (Community Partnerships) Jonathan Rea, Executive Manager For Commercial Partnerships Mark Graham and Senior Social Media Manager Jasmine Taggart.
The campaign was conceived and developed by a team at agency The Monkeys Aotearoa (part of Accenture Song) which included Chief Creative Officer Damon Stapleton, Chief Business Officer Storm Day, Senior Strategist Craig McLeod, Head of Integrated Production Rosie Grayson, Senior Integrated Producer Nikita Kearsley, Integrated Producer Callum Crab, Group Business Director Ruth Coulson, Business Manager Jackson Edgecombe, Creative Directors James Conner and Christie Cooper, Art Director Susannah O’hUadhaigh, Copywriters Kat Menary and Arron Sharma, Design Lead Lorenz Perry, Senior Finishing Artist: Lisa Stowers and Studio Designer Vivian Heng,
The production company was Reel Factory where the team on the campaign included Executive Producer Dan Watkins, Director Andy Morton and Producer Pippa Keiller.
Composition and audio was by Franklin Road Music & Sound, Photography by Sacha Stejko, the retoucher was Tammy White, the stills producer was Michele Richards-Berry (IDC) and the media agencies were Dentsu, Acquire and Search Republic.
This 2023 RWC activation follows on from previous notable ASB All Blacks B2B campaigns such as 2020’s award winning ‘Borrow The Blacks’ which incentivised SME’s into a contest to pitch for the bank’s All Blacks sponsorship rights and the related ‘Borrow Eden Park’ stadium signage initiative in the same year.
Other outstanding ASB sports activation range from its ‘Ghost Of San Francisco’ initiative leveraging its Emirates Team New Zealand sponsorship around the 2017 Americas Cup and its inventive 2015 Auckland Marathon ‘Run Down Your Rates’ initiatives.