We're big rugby fans at Socially-M and with only 7 days until the start of Rugby World Cup 2015 we're getting incredibly excited about all the media buzz surrounding it and it's English hosts. England Rugby have always had a great track record with social media and communicating with their fans online, so it's no surprise that their sponsorship deal with O2 has delivered some fantastic social campaigns. Their current #WearTheRose campaign, encourages fans to show off the iconic England Rugby emblem to support the team with the very simple explanation:
"It's a fact that in top level sport, the power of support can be the difference between victory and defeat. This year, you can be that difference. Your support can make the England team bigger and stronger than ever before. So show it. Wear it. Share it. Make them giants. Wear The Rose."
They launched their campaign this week with a short animated film entitled 'Make Them Giants' which at first glimpse many will no doubt assume is aimed at children thanks to it's clean and simple animation style. However, after watching the video you cannot fail to appreciate exactly how clever the creators have been. Just watch it for yourself below, see what you think, how it makes you feel, and we'll tell you on the other side exactly why we think it ticks all the boxes for social media success.
Whether your an England Rugby fan or not, you can't fail to appreciate what they've done here and just how appealing their content is. We love how they've approached the campaign, it ticks every box for a successful social media campaign and we'll tell you why.
By choosing an animated film they've automatically made their message accessible to all age ranges, much like Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks do with their feature animations. This short works on so many levels, that a multitude of viewers will identify with the characters even if previously they couldn't name any of the players featured in it. For those of us who are already fans, the players are instantly recognisable, but we're given a little more than just them in an England shirt. We see the hard-hitting Courtney Lawes as a family man, spending time in the park with his daughter. Mike Brown travelling on public transport before taking his seat in a cinema to watch a quintessentially British film. And Chris Robshaw not as the team captain, but as a man unable to fit in the same house as his partner Camilla Kerslake. Quality social media contact relies on accessibility and being approachable, which this most certainly is.
We already know that visual and video content outperforms any other form of social media post in terms of views and sharing and this video is certainly no exception. By choosing an animated video with a rousing soundtrack, you'd initially be forgiven for thinking you were watching a children's movie and it very much captures the tone of successful television advertising. It has been designed to be used across multiple platforms, and no doubt we'll be seeing it on television, tablets and smartphones throughout the tournament. It's shareable too, which an audience responds to incredibly well and this style of authentic visual-storytelling immediately makes the content instantly engaging.
The video is undeniably engaging, especially for England Rugby fans as it provides a direct relationship between wearing the shirt and what that means to the team for the coming competition. The metaphor of the team growing in stature as more supporters wear the rose also translates directly to the swelling of pride supporters feel when the team performs well. It reinforces the symbiotic relationship between England Rugby and the empathy of their supporters, rarely will you see a sports team or any other organisation so emotionally in tune with their audience as England Rugby are. From a social media standpoint it's an excellent example of knowing what your audience responds to and giving them exactly what they need.
And once you've grabbed your audience's attention, pulled at their heart strings and got them emotionally involved you need something that continues the momentum and makes them feel that they're doing something to be a part of it. The addition of a unique hashtag gives the campaign longevity, encouraging users to share photos and stories as part of a clearly identifiable group. The supporting website with O2 also gives supporters the opportunity to immortalise themselves as cartoon characters in a similar style to the video, with images downloadable in a range of sizes, designed specifically for Facebook and Twitter profiles, header pictures and Instagram posts.
All of which ticks all the boxes for social media success. We expect we'll be seeing a lot more of this campaign in the coming weeks.