Welcome to Overthrow Digital's blog where we share our thoughts and ramblings on anything and everything to do with the world of digital communications.
Written by:
Joachim Treasurer

The 4 Best Rugby World Cup 2015 Campaigns

Whenever there's a huge sporting occasion brands gravitate towards it, looking to capitalise on the potential exposure that aligning with that particular event will give them. The 2015 Rugby World Cup, the third biggest sporting event on the planet, is no different. Here we look at the 4 best campaigns currently doing the rounds during the next month that the tournament takes place.


Beats by Dre


Having already tried their hand at almost every sport on the planet, Beats by Dre are now aiming to not only attract a new type of consumer through rugby but have set out the aim to expand rugby's global reach at the same time.

With a series of emotive adverts, similar to that of their campaign surrounding the US Open and Serena Williams, the focus of this new advertising campaign is around the pressures and work that goes into preparing for such a high profile event.

The advertising is subtle, with the series exploring the pre-game preparations, rituals and challenges faced by some of the world’s best rugby players. The first advert focuses on Richie McCaw, the New Zealand captain.

McCaw faces the prospect of trying to lead New Zealand to a second successive World Cup title, with his film featuring interactions with the press regarding potential retirement while at the same time preparing to do his country proud. Click here to view the Richie McCaw advert

The second advert, surrounds Chris Robshaw and the expectation that lies on his shoulders leading England in a World Cup on home soil. Highlighting what it means t be British, the advert also touches on the personal side, showing a young Robshaw dream of playing for England, while also answering questions about his leadership qualities. Click here to view the Chris Robshaw advert

All in all, this is another powerful and subtle campaign from Beats by Dre, who are fast building a brand identitiy indistinguishable with sport.




Guinness is a brand synonymous with rugby and one of the most emotive and clever advertisers around. The 2015 Rugby World Cup is no different. The two short documentary ads were created by advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, in collaboration with internationally renowned Australian director, John Hillcoat, whose credits include 'The Road' and 'Lawless'. Quite some pedigree.

Focusing on two stories of incredible personal turmoil but eventual triumph, the first advert tells the story of former South African player, Ashwin Willemse. Willemse was born into a gang but through rugby and the help of his teammates escaped it to represent his South Africa at international level. Click here to watch the Ashwin Willemse mini documentary

The second focuses on Gareth Williams, the former Wales captain, and the struggle he had, captaining his nation in such a macho sport and hiding his sexuality. It tells the story of how with the help of his teammates he eventually 'came out'. Click here to watch the Gareth Williams mini documentary

It is another clever use of Guinness's brand identity of sharing the drink with friends and is a brilliantly affectionate piece of advertising. Each advert closes with the Guinness logo and the caption 'Made of More', and you would have to admit, Guinness advertising really is.


Give Blood


We all know that rugby is an aggressive sport and that blood can be drawn during the contest. The latest national blood donantion campaign from Give Blood and NHSBT turns this on it's head in a great campaign featuring former England rugby players from the 2003 winning team.

Compromising of a number of adverts and posters featuring the blood of the 2003 team, including Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson and Ben Kay, the main TV advert voiced by Sir John Hurt, plays on the fact that “less than three per cent of people support England, in a way that matters". You can watch Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson and Ben Kay give blood here

It is accompanied by footage of Wilkinson, Johnson and Kay giving blood and discussing why it is such an important thing to do and how it helps the country. An extremely intelligent piece of advertising capitalising on the current sense of national pride that surrounds the tournament.


Land Rover


Land Rover has used its involvement in grassroots-to-stadium rugby to form the heart of its Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign. Their 2015 advert, showcases the 11 local rugby clubs from across the world that it is involved with at grassroots level, with a persuasive voiceover pointing to the all the qualities that their vehicle has that are reminiscent of the qualities a rugby player needs.

"We deal in strength, we deal in determination. We deal in spirit. We deal in integrity. We deal in blood, sweat and dirt," the voiceover says. It appears Land Rover also deals in excellent advertising and brand awareness. Check out Land Rover's Rugby World Cup 2015 advert here

Overthrow Digital 6-8 Bonhill Street Workers League - Floor 2 EC2A 4BX London United Kingdom