Don’t Watch From The Sidelines This Rugby World Cup
Phil Guest, Senior VP International, The Exchange Lab
With millions of fans gearing up for the 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC), marketers should be considering how to make the most of this highly anticipated tournament. Media has evolved hugely since the last RWC in 2011 and content will always be key, but embracing new ad buying technologies will enable delivery of successful campaigns on a global scale.
Brands should look to the success of Coca-Cola, the media trailblazer of the 2014 FIFA World Cup for inspiration. ‘The Happiness Flag’ campaign put consumers at the centre of the content, creating the world’s largest digital flag across channels including out of home (OOH), online, and TV to maximise global reach and engagement. Smaller companies such as ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ selected guerrilla marketing to avoid the large sponsorship fee, producing a five-minute online video clip of footballers’ pre-match routines to achieve standout.
The approach of Coca-Cola and ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ demonstrates how both ‘official’ event sponsors and ‘ambush marketers’ can achieve success. Discussions across sports marketers demonstrate how technology has levelled the playing field, making ROI on official sponsorship difficult to measure. Programmatic marketing and social media have bridged OOH and digital, ensuring the most is achieved from marketing investments and strategies.
Even without the digital marketing budget of Coca-Cola, there are ways to bring big ideas to life – across travel, tourism, gaming, entertainment, and retail. Here are three ways that brands can engage consumers leading up to and during the 2015 RWC:
1. Predict fan behaviour
Eager fans who have secured tickets for the RWC will already be preparing for their match day experience, reviewing travel and accommodation options. Marketers looking to engage with these fans can utilise data, geo-targeted advertising, behavioural targeting and multiple creative formats to reach relevant consumers based on their requirements.
2. Respond with real-time creative
Brands that channel match-day emotions will connect with and successfully engage their audiences. Programmatic technology enables brands to react to match results with creative responses, as these examples suggest:
Sports Trigger allows the syncing of sporting events with a digital campaign.
Highlights during the match – such as a controversial tackle, try or conversion – can be used to prompt dynamic creative, for example, a drinks ad featuring a headline referring to live game play, served in real-time
Monitoring social media is the best way to gauge live consumer reactions to the highs and lows of the game
Social Sync allows brands to stream consumer generated content – including tweets and pictures – in real time onto banner ads, converting spectators into brand ambassadors.
During peak times in sports games, brands can achieve up to 8% higher engagement and up to 0.8% higher click-through rates (CTR) by deploying this tactic
3. Market across all media channels
With audiences watching games across all devices – whether in the pub, at home, or live streaming on mobile devices – reaching them is key to achieving a healthy ROI. TV Syncing recognises a live TV ad (either yours or a competitor’s) and within seconds will serve your message across any device. Programmatic marketing creates agility and flexibility, which enables online to be turned on or off and scaled up or down. Plan display with search, OOH, print, TV, mobile, and tablet, but most importantly, follow the eyeballs and attention span of consumers.
As the build up to the RWC begins, marketers should use this time to engage with fans gearing up for the tournament, both locally and worldwide, to achieve the highest number of conversions for their brands.