Captain Morgan, the official spiced rum sponsor of the NFL, launched a new campaign on 14 September fronted by Victor Cruz and Action Bronson incentivising fans to take part in a mixed real-world and social scavenger hunt facilitated through hidden QR codes.
Timed to leverage the start of the 2023/24 football season, consumers are tasked to ‘Follow The Captain’ by finding QR codes for the chance to win a range of football- and brand-related prizes (including watch parties, performances from featured artists and even a trip to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas).
The hunt is promoted through a multi-channel marketing campaign running through the season which spans TV, digital, social and mobile.
The spearhead spot, which features Cruz, musician Bebe Rexha and rapper Aminé explaining how and why to enter the hunt, dropped online on 14 September and debuted on air on 24 September.
The 45-second video sees the cast showcase sample secret QR codes and debate what might and might not be a clue. Throughout the promo, consumers are asked to pay close attention to Captain Morgan advertisements – as any one of them could contain a clue.
The anchor scavenger hunt is part of a wider NFL activation programme which includes additional new football season kick-off social content.
With football back in action, NFL sponsor Captain Morgan seeks to leverage its official tie-up through the season via this ongoing initiative which blends the digital and physical worlds.
This campaign continues the trend for QR code led hunts: a tactic that has been popular among marketers for several years now and which also saw something of a resurgence during the pandemic.
QR code sports marketing campaigns most often link to limited edition sponsor packaging, but they can also feature in standalone commercials. Indeed, a simple bouncing QR code in Coinbase’s Super Bowl LVI Big Game ad generated plenty of interest, coverage and participation as the ad crashed the Coinbase app.
Captain Morgan, which became an official partner of the league in 2022 as part of a wider deal between the NFL and the rum brand’s parent company Diageo. The deal was it become one of the first spirits sponsor of the NFL: a move which reflected evolving consumer taste amongst a fanbase that had so long been almost entirely dominated by beer.
Previous Captain Morgan NFL activations have included 2023’s ‘Fan Of The Year Statues’ and its 2022 ‘Super Bowl Punch Bowl’ (which served as a digital scoreboard to ensure fans didn’t miss anything during a mid-game snack break).