Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell’s rousing ‘Fear of God’ speech ahead of Ireland’s 2007 first rugby game in Croke Park is invoked this week in a new advert commissioned by Aldi Ireland to drive awareness and encourage participation in Aldi Play Rugby, a national IRFU initiative that encourages school children to get active, participate in regular exercise and to eat healthily.
Developed by Dublin based agency Boys and Girls and called “Aldi Fear of God Speech”, it tells the story of a young boy (played by actor Sam Hardy) that idolises Paul O’Connell so much that each morning before his rugby practice he recites Paul’s stirring words. The young boy paraphrases much of Paul’s speech that has become part of Irish rugby folklore, calling for ‘manic aggression’ and to ‘get on the case’ of those ‘not filling a gap’, before finally meeting his hero, Paul O’Connell.
The advertisement was shot over two days in County Wicklow by director Zak Emerson with Butter Production. It launches on Sunday 18th September and will be aired across TV, digital and social channels and will also appear during each of the November international matches.
Aldi is investing heavily in the campaign to encourage participation in Aldi Play Rugby, with significant print and outdoor advertising appearing alongside the new TV advert.
According to Finbar McCarthy, Aldi Ireland’s Group Buying Director, “we are delighted to have Paul O’Connell as an ambassador for Aldi Play Rugby. It is hard to believe his ‘Fear of God’ speech has been inspiring Irish rugby players for almost ten years and we hope that this new advert helps encourage some of the rugby stars of the future to take up the game and participate in Aldi Play Rugby.”
As part of its new sponsorship with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), Aldi has made a substantial investment to support Aldi Play Rugby over the next four years. Aldi Play Rugby assists teachers, coaches and parents involved in rugby at primary school level to develop a rugby programme in their school. The IRFU and Aldi aim to increase the number of children participating in the initiative to over 100,000 by 2018.