Cannes Lions

Sevens From Heaven

HILL+KNOWLTON STRATEGIES, London / HSBC / 2017

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Overview

Description

Looking beyond the sponsor default of employing brand ambassadors or creating a short form, 90-second piece of content, the H+K team uncovered a powerful story at the heart of rugby sevens’ evolution from niche to mainstream: the journey of the Fijian rugby sevens team.

An island nation with limited resources, where Rugby Sevens is a religion, Fiji rose to become the best in the world. Following a second successive HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series success, the team would go on to win its country’s first Olympic medal of any colour when they claimed gold at Rio.

A story powerful enough to inspire new fans unfamiliar with the game, we knew it needed depth, care and attention. We believed we could create something powerful enough to introduce the sport to more people worldwide, and take the HSBC brand and purpose to places it had never been before, without expensive media placements.

Execution

Partnering with a native Fijian director - bringing together footage from his time travelling with the team around the world as well as shooting breath-taking original footage and insightful interviews with the team’s coaches, players and fans – over a period of almost a year H+K produced a 17-minute documentary film called Sevens From Heaven that told the story of this incredible team.

Anticipation was built with a full cinematic roll-out, including a film poster and trailer before publishing the full film across HSBC social channels.

After the social launch the film was distributed to media across the world including rights free to broadcast media. We also targeted in-flight entertainment as another potential publishing channel.

Outcome

Premiering at the start of the tournament, the film received an impressive reaction and continues to drive engagement and inspire future players as part of HSBC’s rugby sevens grassroots initiatives. It became the heart of the HSBC area at the tournament, hosting an emotional moment when the Fijian team watched the film and sang for the crowds. The film was provided rights free to broadcasters across the world. Screenings include BBC World, CNN, Sky Sports (UK), Fox Sports (AUS), SuperSport (SA), Now TV (Hong Kong), Cathay Pacific Airlines, Fiji Airways, and a featured slot on Fiji’s main TV channel on Christmas Day. The film was also broadcast over Christmas in the UK on Sky Sports.

• 2.4 million+ views across social channels, 50% organic

• 7 million+ impressions, 10,000+ total RTs/Shares and 750+ comments

• 11% uplift in positive sentiment towards the HSBC brand on day of film launch

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