Battle of AFL Grand Finals’ Fan Support Campaigns

Battle of AFL Grand Finals’ Fan Support Campaigns
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All eyes will be on Melbourne this Saturday as the Sydney Swans takes on the Hawthorn Hawks in the 2014 AFL grand final. But what else will have your attention this weekend as temperatures heat up in the advertising and marketing stakes? Writes Matt Sterne, ECD at Edge.

In the lead up to the all important last weekend in September, brands have been battling it out on our TV screens and online for consumers’ attention.

Predictably, the AFL has rolled out its finals season campaigns in an effort to promote the drama of the game, sell tickets, corporate packages and ad space.

It’s Don’t go Quietly campaign certainly has most of our attention encouraging fans to share their voice and scream loud during the finals. They’ve also built a Facebook app, allowing fans to paint their face with their teams’ colours virtually and then insert their profile image into a photo with their favourite player. The AFL has then used these images in projections at the MCG and ANZ Stadiums in the lead up to the grand final – a nice use of customer engagement.

In addition, the AFL has announced it will be introducing Snapchat to its #AFLFinals campaign and has called on fans to add the league to their list of snappers ahead of Saturday’s game. Believe it or not, Snapchat offers great potential for brands – and with the likes of McDonalds, HBO and GE rushing to introduce Snapchat to their content marketing strategies, it is great to see Australian brands prepared to test drive this powerful marketing medium.

In other finals footy fever news, NAB really upped the stakes in the ad battles with its Footify Fansplant campaign  in which the ‘Big-4 bank’ drop kicked five Fansplantees (international sports fans with little knowledge of AFL – or even Australia – from Sweden, Spain, India, Japan and USA) into “footy mad Aussie households” and forced them to learn the ins and outs of the game in an effort to become “truly Footified”.

In addition to filming these five foreigners on their Footified journey, NAB asked customers to decide which of the Fansplantees is the most Footified. If you nominate the Fansplantee with the most votes, you have a chance to win a trip to their home country and $5,000 spending money on a NAB Traveller Card.

Combine this with NAB’s Footify Glossary, the opportunity to Footify a Friend and a short quiz to identify what team you are (based on your love of tattoos, clothing preference and hair-styling) NAB is sure on to a winning marketing campaign which is highly entertaining and engaged.

And AFL wouldn’t be the same without the great Australian pie getting some air time. Good old Four’N Twenty – the iconic food brand synonymous with sport – jumped on the AFL content marketing bandwagon with its Player of the Round campaign. After each round fans have been able to vote on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the player they think deserves the best player nomination using the hashtag #AFLPOTR. This hotly contested topic is a simple and effective means for prompting consumers to engage with the brand and share their views, and reminds consumers just how closely linked “The Great Australian Taste” is linked to Australia’s game.

There is no doubt 2014 has seen brands push the boundaries more than ever before when it comes to content marketing, and I look forward to game day to see how far brands are willing to truly push the boundaries when it comes to real time marketing.

Grand final day also wouldn’t be the same without the launch of a Carlton Draft beer campaign – what are you delivering to us this year boys? Hopefully something interesting.

Enjoy your grand final footy… #AFLGF #goswans

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