Neil Back – Run With It


Heineken needed a way to highlight their continued sponsorship of Europe’s premier rugby competition in its inaugural year as the European Rugby Champions Cup (ERCC), previously The Heineken Cup. It wanted to target male rugby fans aged 22-35, also the bullseye market for the beer itself. The most effective platform was through social media channels, but the campaign had to have significant stand out in already crowded market place. But we also wanted to make the fans the star of the show. And so began an intricate and elaborate ruse that would test our fans metal to the very limit.


The major innovation in this campaign was to trick our followers in to believing that we had accidentally disclosed private information through twitter. We posted a photograph from a ‘behind-the-scenes’ set shoot that featured the mobile number of Rugby’s most infamous player whose actions had robbed Munster of their first shot at the European title. We had hoped this would provoke and angry response from Irish fans, and they didn’t let us down. We then turned the tables on the trollers and brought them on a journey that would end in some cringe-enduring hilarity.


In the first 48 hours, the video received more that 500,000 views. That’s more than 1 in 8 of the entire population of Ireland, let alone our target audience. It was picked up by rugby blogs & Facebook pages and shared multiple times. #RunWithIt garnered over 7.7 million social impressions via twitter, reaching just over 3.8 million people. The campaign generated over 2.9 million impressions in editorial coverage.


Views were spread over Heineken’s YouTube Channel, Twitter Video, Facebook native video as well as various other pages republishing the video (see screen grabs).