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Top 6: October 2nd 2019
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O2: #BeTheArmour

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Top 6: October 2nd 2019
Righteousness. Heroic courage. Compassion. Respect. Honesty. Honour. Loyalty. Self-control. These are the tenets of Bushido, the warrior code that informed the samurai way of life. It's also a code that Eddie Jones, the England team manager, who also happens to be half-Japanese, uses to lead the team. And for mobile provider O2, it's a set of values that informs their new campaign that champions the England rugby team in their endeavours in this year's world cup. Devised by agency VCCP, the campaign rallies English rugby fans behind the team with the call to action #BeTheArmour. The campaign combines Kurosawa-esque creative that imagines the team as samurai dressed in white armour, bolstered by a vast, diverse army of fans, with a more grounded series of social content that sees reality star Jamie Laing explore different aspects of Japanese culture together with pundit and former England player Ugo Monye. The campaign revolves around a rallying call to the England fans to get behind the team, to metaphorically #BeTheirArmour. With that in mind, the hero film transports the team to an ancient Japanese village that could have been plucked straight out of Rashomon. There, craftsmen forge white samurai armour and the players are suited up ready for battle. It was directed by Rogue’s Sam Brown and, with incredible attention to detail, sets in Prague and in Bristol were transformed. The meticulous costume designer Rosa Dias was tasked with creating the magnificent white plated armour as well as authentic underclothes and wrappings. The track is from up-and-coming artist Clare Wyndham – ‘My Love Will Never Die’ – an unexpectedly modern yet haunting song. Initially the creative team had planned an orchestral composition made especially for the campaign but they decided to go a less obvious route.

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