Rugby gets its day


Strategic sports design agency Brand inc Sport in conjunction with the non-traditional production company, August, conceptualised and produced both the Rugby World Cup educational television commercials, as well the Absa Currie Cup “seed’ videos on behalf of the marketing department of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

The educational commercials, which were developed to educate new or potential rugby supporters on the laws of the rugby, have a typical South African comedic twist. They are designed to poke fun at an exaggerated rugby “know-it-all’ who is proven wrong by various unlikely individuals that you’d never imagine to know the rules or regulations of the game. Four commercials were produced and there are plans for more in the coming months.

“When we conceptualised the ads with August, we knew that humour was a vital way of engaging the viewer whilst having to be careful not to detract from the key message of helping new supporters understand the sport, which can sometimes have complicated laws,’ says Damon Freeman, Creative Director of Brand inc Sport in Cape Town. “Comedy that all target markets can relate to has proven to successfully engage viewers. The commercials were an alternative way to communicate SARU’s message around the game and has so far proven to be very effective, with an excellent response from viewers.’

Brand inc Sport also formulated a tactical and somewhat unusual concept when they created what is known as the “seed’ videos for this year’s Absa Currie Cup’s call to action campaign “What would you do for your team’. The campaign (which was also conceptualised and implemented by Brand inc Sport through all media and activation platforms on behalf of SARU),  requires provincial rugby devotees to create their own viral videos in an attempt to showcase how much they would do for their team. Once made, they are required to upload it to the website or Facebook page, with a chance of winning R100,000.

The four “seed’ videos, also filmed and produced by August, focus on various regions around the country – The Boland Cavaliers; the Golden Lions; the Blue Bulls and the Sharks. Each has been tailored to suit the provincial team, with each having their own “quirky’ comedic angle that entices supporters to do the same. They were then planted onto the Absa Currie Cup “My Team, My Passion’ website, various Facebook pages and on YouTube to demonstrate precisely what SARU and Absa wanted to achieve from their fans making their own videos.  “Persuading fans to make their mark and create their version of what team passion is all about is key to the success of the campaign. Brand inc recognised that the best way to attract fans to craft their own home-movies and of course take that extra bit of time to upload them (as well as return to the website to watch other videos) was to make funny, team-focused videos with a home-made feel. Like reality TV, the humour is best captured when the performance is raw and off the cuff. Our videos show fans just how funny and engaging they can be – but that production value is not the most important element. An amateur flair can add even more to the humour,’ says Freeman. “Our amusing versions are very much in line with what supporters feel and live every day.’

He went on to comment that to date, there has been an extraordinary response from all over the country. “Both men and women are posting what they feel is the true spirit of their team.  From the very basic to incredibly well-made videos, the campaign and interest therein is proving to be a success. It’s fair to say that the viral campaign for the tournament has created a supporters-sensation.’


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