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Rugby World Cup 2015 – The tournament gets underway

Rick Coombs
Rick Coombs (former) Planning Director


So, the 2015 RWC is upon us and a combination of long-standing fans and head-scratching newcomers made up an ITV peak audience of 9.4m (only just half of which were male) who tuned in on Friday night for the opening ceremony and England vs. Fiji game.

In a case of the social sphere mirroring real life, the All Blacks have dominated, being rated the ‘Most Social Rugby Union Team’ by Adobe when ranked on mentions, sentiment and following – perhaps not surprising when their on-field prowess and crowd-pleasing Haka are taken into consideration.

From a brand perspective, Heineken’s replacement of the fans favourite, Guinness, has caused some waves online. However, Guinness has launched an emotive campaign tying together its strapline ‘Made of More’ featuring well-known rugby stars such as Gareth Thomas overcoming adversity, alongside the distribution of large volumes of glassware and Point of Sale kits in supermarkets and pubs to drive adoption. Also working outside official sponsorship are long-standing event hijackers, Paddy Power, relishing the chance to fall back on their usual shock tactics to disrupt the betting field, this time creating video content of the American dentist who killed Cecil the Lion earlier this year shooting dead the animal of the team it predicts will lose (i.e. a Springbok – more on that next). Men’s clothing brand Jacamo must have been watching closely as they released their ‘Hakarena’ viral video which also provoked the (assumedly) desired reaction.


After some predictable scores, the greatest shock on-field came in the form of Japan’s narrow win over South Africa, an event that sparked the tournament into life, not least on Twitter which instantly lit up with astonished and delighted tweets, including a pithy “You couldn’t write this” from JK Rowling and (predictably) a great responsive piece from Guinness, which garnered the most positive reception.

Stay tuned for our take on the next round of matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.


Images source: Guiness and ITV