With Leinster’s showdown with La Rochelle in the final of the Heineken Champions Cup only a day away, it has been a busy couple of weeks for Heineken Ireland as it counted down to the highly anticipated final in the Aviva Stadium.
The greater Dublin area is in line for a potential economic spin-off, worth about €50 million, from hosting the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup finals this week, according to Heineken with both matches selling out.
As part of the build-up- and in the best tradition of friendly rivalry and good old-fashioned mischievousness- Heineken Ireland made one Leinster fan’s wild idea a reality. Continuing its recent “Love Rivalry” campaign, which featured interactive billboards for fans to voice their rivalry, Leinster super-fan Colin Fennessy wanted to take the banter one step further.
Fennessy’s message, on behalf of Leinster fans everywhere, came to life this week in the most epic way – large enough to be read from 30,000 ft, on the La Rochelle to Dublin flight path. The cheeky message for Ronan O’Gara, and his La Rochelle team, reads: “Never too late to turn the plane around, ROG!”.
The mammoth message measures 30m2 and was created with a water-based, degradable paint. Installed by a crew of four, the message is designed to be the first thing rugby fans see on their approach into Dublin City.
Speaking at Ballyboughal Airfield, where the message appeared, Colin Fennessy said; “It’s mad to think that Heineken actually did this with me – I never thought my tweet would lead to this! I’m a die-hard Leinster fan and love a bit of friendly rivalry. This takes that to new heights. Come on Leinster!”
Earlier in the week, Heineken also pulled off a clever brand stunt that ignited social media and got plenty of fans talking about a mysterious rugby ball that appeared to have landed out of nowhere.
Last weekend social media channels were awash with footage of a giant 30m long rugby ball perched on top of O’Connell Bridge House in Dublin (renamed Heineken House). The footage showing the rugby ball was viewed hundreds of thousands of times and widely shared online by a wide range of content creators like Paul Olima, comedian Shane Todd and Waterford Whispers.
Only it never physically happened.
Heineken revealed during the week that the “installation” never actually existed and was a clever use of AR technology to drive excitement around this weekend’s final in Dublin between Leinster and La Rochelle.
The 30m long rugby ball was created first by shooting iPhone videos of Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge House from various vantage points around the city, to create a sense of authenticity. The ball was then modelled and brought to life using the graphic software and by incorporating atmospheric lighting, all to make it look like it was perched regally on top of the iconic Dublin landmark.
Once this was achieved, the frames were rendered and composited together in a way that achieved a gritty, phone footage effect from various angles along Dublin’s Liffey which runs on front of the building.
Before the videos went live, the metadata was changed on all of the videos to align with the date which the clever stunt went live. That way, the most astute sceptics who decided to download the videos to check the metadata were fooled into thinking the videos were filmed the morning they went live, instead of the dates and times they were actually shot on.
The stunt “installation” was delivered by Thinkhouse.
According to Rachael Crawley, Heineken Ireland: “The atmosphere in the city should be electric this weekend and we wanted to kick off the excitement in a unique way. Using clever technology and digital effects, we were able to do that, without ever needing to touch the iconic O’Connell Bridge building. Using this building was a natural option for us – it has been associated with Heineken for years and is a landmark in Dublin city.”