Home News Out Look: High Anticipation for Rugby World Cup

Out \ Look: High Anticipation for Rugby World Cup

James Byrne, marketing manager, PML Group with this week’s Out \ Look on Out of Home

High Anticipation for Rugby World Cup

Next month sees the Rugby World Cup take place in France, running between 8th September and 28th October. Twenty nations will compete in stadiums across nine cities. The are high hopes for Ireland being the #1 world ranked team.

The tournament offers brands the opportunity to leverage the positive relationship the Irish public have with their rugby team. Research PML Group commissioned in recent weeks, and carried out by Ipsos, reveals that a 69% of Dubliners intend on watching the games which breaks out as at 8 in 10 males and 6 in 10 females. This peaks with 25-34 year-olds (77%) and ABs (82%).

Of those watching, 45% intend to do so in a bar while 31% plan to visit a family or friend’s house which highlights the role OOH can play in reaching fans as they spend time out of home. 6% of respondents are looking forward to travelling to France for at least one of the fixtures.

Ireland have been drawn in Pool B for Rugby World Cup 2023 – alongside South Africa, Scotland, Tonga and Romania. Ireland will begin their campaign against Romania in Bordeaux on Saturday 9th September.

OOH Planning Tip: The tournament will be a boom for bars with many matches having evening kick offs. Positive messaging in airports will resonate with fans as they make the trip to France.

Last spring’s Six Nations game between Ireland and France was billed as ‘unmissable’. As the bout between the two highest-ranked teams in world rugby was set to take place in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, lead sponsor Guinness were keen to light the capital up with the final score via the use of dynamic DOOH.

The Liveposter-enabled creative triggered as Ireland celebrated their undisputed closing quarter at the final whistle, displaying the 32-19 score across Digipanels, Adshel Live Roadside, and the Green Screen at Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre.

Sports events offer brands the opportunity to use OOH in a contextually relevant way, employing dynamic content to optimise messaging in the run up to the match, during the game, and post-final whistle. According to our OCS study 35% of those passionate about rugby union are VERY interested in Digital Screen messaging relevant to a live sporting event (Index: 172) while a further 40% are quite interested.

This is amplified by the Moments of Truth study which revealed showing relevant content at its most relevant moment on DOOH screens can lead to an average +32% improvement in brain response, recall and sales for campaigns. This is in addition to a +6% average increase in time spent viewing at either the most relevant moment or applying the most relevant dynamic content, a +17% average increase in spontaneous ad awareness for relevant ads, and a +6% average increase in creative rating across metrics relating to brand consideration, recommendation, trust, and preference.

Virgin Media’s ‘Play Defenders’ Activation Takes Over Ireland

It’s been quite the cycle of activity for Virgin Media Ireland as their ‘Play Defenders’ activation has been spotted up and down the country. The multi-format, special hybrid Out of Home takeover has been the talk of the town since surfacing at the beginning of last week, with activations spanning the country spotted since.

Throughout last week at Dundrum Shopping Centre, shoppers had the chance to experiencing the nostalgia-inspired game on the ‘big screen’ – a Global dX screen located outside the Mill Pond area. Scanning the QR code on-screen would activate the game on the player’s phone, harnessing the power of mobile to consume and act on the content in real-time. The phone would then function as a controller, with the game displaying on the format while in-session.

Planned by OMD and PML, with creative from Publicis, the campaign encompasses a full contextual takeover across Dundrum Digital Out of Home panels including dPods, Transvisions, and dX screens – the latter lighting up the mall’s centre chamber with the message ‘Ready Player Dundrum’ in the typeface of the game. Vinyl wraps produced by Sipit encompass dining pods and wall displays near the Mill Pond area, turning it into a ‘hub’ for the activation.

The action heated up on Saturday as professional Irish gamer Chris O’Gara was on hand to try out the game, while giving insight into a gamers lifestyle.


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The activation then continued over the weekend as the action migrated towards Tralee, making a pop-up appearance prior to the Rose of Tralee Festival on Showtime Digivans around the town as the festival kicked off.

A great implementation for innovation on Outdoor, as well as capitalisation on a key event in the Irish calendar for some event-based marketing, Virgin Media continues to innovate and engage using Outdoor as their preferred medium.

In ‘Touchpoints’, we outlined key trends for OOH in 2023, the first of which was ‘Everything on the go’. This trend encapsulates how brands can engage mobile consumers in OOH environments with instant information curated for relevant search behaviours as they navigate their daily lives. By bridging our public and private worlds, OOH advertising extends reach beyond the streets, driving consumers from In Real Life (IRL) experiences to online actions (URL).

OOH Planning Tip: Searches initiated in OOH locations are more diverse and valuable to brands than those made at home, with audiences more primed to receive the message and take action.



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