Cannes Lions

Heartbeat of the Nation


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Not since the 1995 World Cup and Nelson Mandela’s “call to come together” has a Nation as divided as ours needed a unifying moment, and as the proud sponsor of the Springboks, Castle Lager wanted to do just that - unite South Africa behind the national team during the Rugby World Cup being played 13 000 km away.

The solution lay in the hearts of fans. We discovered that when fans watch sport, their heart rates increase by up to 75% and we could use this to create a unifying force behind the Springboks – ‘The Heartbeat of the Nation’.


‘The Heartbeat of the Nation’ – a campaign that used wearable tech and the heartbeats of South Africans to measure support for our national team, in real time, and fan engagement during the Rugby World Cup.


As the beer behind our three national teams, Castle Lager has earned itself the admired position of “Our national beer”. So as the national sponsor it wanted to unite a divided country and make us remember that “we are better together”. At the same time Castle also wanted to outshine the tournament’s official sponsor, a rival beer.


Through our interactive App, fans could sync their heart rate either through their wearable fitness trackers, or by using their fingerprint. This enabled them to contribute their heart rate to a real-time national average heartbeat. Fans could see how their heart reacted to every minute of every game, and they could share and compare their heart rate to that of friends, allowing social interaction based purely on biometrics. The app also acted as a hub of World Cup information, including fixtures and results as well as rugby related news and social media feeds. It also used push notification to let people know when games were about to start so that they would remember to sync their devices. We used the data collected to filter each high-point and created content for social media, and at the same time drove others to download the app to contribute.


We created over 190 unique pieces of content and collected 508 000 heartbeats, which resulted in a 62% share of voice – that was 4x more mentions than the official sponsor. But, most importantly, we were able to share the Heartbeat of the Nation with the Springboks in Japan, allowing them to feel the presence of their entire country beating for them.

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