Cannes Lions

TECHNOLOGY

INTERBRAND, New York / MICROSOFT / 2014

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

For over 200 years, die-hard British and Australian rugby fans have been heckling each other from opposite sides of the world. The 17,097 kilometers between them have kept the fans from truly engaging with one another.

As the technology sponsor for the British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia 2013, Microsoft asked us to come up with an idea to promote their new brand theme, “Bringing people closer together.”’

So, Microsoft dug a hole in the world from Great Britain to Australia to connect the faraway fans. Usually a world apart, the rugby fans were fired up to finally engage face-to-face with the enemy.

The final design of the structure made it look like there was a giant rugged pipe bored through the earth. We hid the technology within the structure and focused on letting human interaction take center stage.

The project sparked a frenzy amongst the rugby hooligans, broadcast media, and social media giving Microsoft exactly the exposure they wanted from their sponsorship and for their brand.

Execution

• We had a three-day activation period and an additional 24 hour build out period. During the build out, we installed large signage to spark interest with messages like, “We’re digging 7918 kilometers in one day”

• A singing trash-talking challenge through the hole was won by the Lions fans in Cardiff

• Twitter trivia challenges were amplified by our social media wall with over 1000 participants

• Welsh band Manic Street Preachers performed from the British location through the hole to a live audience of over 2000 fans in Melbourne

• A 30-foot infographic surrounded the hole displaying the journey through the center of the earth, captivating fans and encouraging them to share their experience

• Retired rugby players were interviewed through the hole by broadcast news on opposite sides of the world

• Brand Ambassadors were there to encourage trash talking between rival fans

Outcome

• 32,600 fans flocked to the hole over 3 days, and in the spirit of the rivalry, shared countless profanities and insults

• Our audience grew to over 50 million with international broadcast news covering the event in Europe and Australia

• Over 4 million people interacted through dedicated social media

• The project sparked a frenzy amongst the rugby fans, giving Microsoft exactly the exposure they wanted from their sponsorship and for their brand

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