The NRL has gone back to the future for its 2020 marketing campaign, rebooting Tina Turner’s famous Simply The Best ad from 1990.
As well as nodding to the thirty-year anniversary of the campaign, the two-minute video looks back at some of the best and worst moments in the game from the past three decades.
From Newcastle Knights winning the premiership in 1997 to Benji Marshall’s famous flick pass in the 2005 grand final, the campaign celebrates all of the game’s greatest on-field moments.
But it also does not skim over the Super League war that divided the game in the 1990s and the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ brief exile from the competition in 2000 and 2001.
The campaign also looks at how the ethos of the game has developed over the past 30 years, including the inauguration of the NRL Women’s Premiership in 2018 and Macklemore’s performance of Same Love at the 2017 grand final.
It’s a far cry from the original, which is still widely-regarded as the NRL’s greatest ever marketing campaign.
While the campaign has so far drawn some criticism on social media for being too ‘woke’, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has defended the video.
“Rugby league in Australia is still Simply The Best and that will be our theme for 2020,” Greenberg said in a statement.
“This campaign celebrates the best on and off-field moments in our game over the last 30 years and acknowledges some of the challenges we have overcome. It also reflects on the impact of rugby league in Australian communities and how our game, like no other, brings communities and cultures together.
“We have always stood for inclusion and the campaign addresses some of the most important social issues our game has helped shape. There’s so many highlights and so much to be proud of. This campaign brings it all together to acknowledge the best of our game and the anniversary of our most iconic marketing campaign.”
For The Monkeys, it follows the campaign created last year in partnership with DrinkWise and the NRL that highlighted the importance of drinking in moderation.
Creative Agency: The Monkeys, Sydney
Executive Creative Director: Vince Lagana
Creative Directors: Dan Fryer & Stuart Alexander
Writer: Dan Fryer, Stuart Alexander & Michael Dawson
Producer: Wendy Gillies
Group Account Director: Ciaran Miller-Stubbs
Account Director: Anna Willis
Senior Account Manager: Ruth Peck
Senior Planner: Charlotte Marshall
Production Company: Good Oil Films
Director: Stuart McIntyre
Producers: Chana McLallen & Sam Long
Casting: Natalie Jane Harvie @ Citizen Jane
Music/Audio: Tim Bridge – Sonar Music
Music Supervisor: Anton Trailer – Trailer Media
Editor: Simon Price & Phoebe Taylor @ Arc Edit
Flame Artist: Eugene Richards @ Arc Edit
Grade: Alter Ego, Toronto
Client: National Rugby League
Head of Marketing and Brand: Peter Jarmain
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