Funnily enough, when we first watched this ad on adforum.com, it was titled ‘Fancy Dress Street Rugby’ which implies there is an element of a joke to the theme. Yet at the end of watching it, we surmised this ad as… ‘pretty serious’. Low and behold, it appears on campaign titled ‘Serious Play’ (it’s almost like we should be in advertising).
Even with a fun song looped over the top, you feel the sense of importance here, that there is a goal in what the players are doing. They are not playing, they are trying to win. That’s passion for the sport. Yet there is also a sense of fun towards the tournament. The ad uses teams in costumes including Cowboys, Centurions, and our favourite, Green Army men; with the game being played throughout the streets of Hong Kong to give it a rush.
The concept is not alien to sports ads, teams playing on a location other than home turf and there is a real sense of ‘you have to be in it, whole heartedly, to win it’ in rugby, and that is applied brilliantly here. This is about the Rugby and Hong Kong, nothing underlying about finance. That is pure and proud sponsorship which HSBC clearly feel strongly about being aligned to.
It’s the little things which make this ad realistic and give it the edge… how fast they turn, how hard they hit, and how they run. It’s captures the essence of the sport and the passion shared jointly by both its’ participants and its’ spectators. A great piece of work from JWT and massive tick in the box from us.