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21 September 2015

Animated cartoon ads: what's all the fuss about?



The Rugby World Cup and O2 have chosen a softer, more positive, more inclusive and more youthful image for the advertising campaign to accompany its sponsorship of the English Rugby team. In prior years, the image was tough and gritty and targeted to the core "laddish" culture of rugby. The new advert is aiming to make the Rugby World Cup and the advert attractive to all young people including women and children.

The advert was the product of Blinkink, a company who also did the very successful Bear and the Hare advert for John Lewis in 2013.

Bear and hare

The use of animation, combined with a fairytale theme and story, has great emotional impact. The reasons for this being it reminds us of our childhood and engenders positive and faith based responses. Animation often linked to a story like narrative has worked many times in the past, not only the Bear and the Hare for John Lewis but Monty the Penguin and the creature comfort ad by Aardman for British Gas, to name a few.

These cartoons also tend to make us more receptive to whatever message that the advert is trying to convey, especially as the story is told visually, not using any words. The feedback and response to the advert seems to support how well these aims have worked.

Back to the Rugby World Cup and O2 campaign, it has over 2.5 million views on YouTube and the overall reaction has been very positive and a step away from the norm of rugby advertising.

The associated social media campaign and events are very much aligned with this, in particular the advert and other events are targeting children as a major target segment for mobile phones. I believe the aim is to also celebrate all fans and motivate them to make the whole nation feel included in the World Cup.

By Jacques de Cock at London School of Marketing


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