Guinness is marking its sponsorship of the Six Nations with a 60-second "love letter" to the rugby tournament, stressing how the event brings fans together (not least while quaffing pints of the black stuff).
The Diageo stout brand and We Are Social created a social media campaign highlighting how rugby brings people together no matter what team they support.
Launching today, the spot opens with a voiceover by Fleabag "sexy priest" Andrew Scott saying: "Where ruby reds replace January blues. Where this union of rugby never falters, nor fails to entertain. Where character and camaraderie bind six nations as one. Where differences are set aside, nullified and pints of Guinness flow… Come as rivals, leave as friends."
The film is appearing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube across the UK and Ireland. Over the course of the tournament, Guinness will unveil other ads at contextually relevant moments that will feature captains of the six teams – England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and France.
In addition, We Are Social is running a number of brand activations called "Guinness Gameday Live", showing broadcasts of women’s and men’s games from across the UK at Guinness-sponsored venues including The Camden in Dublin, Depot in Cardiff and The Pear Tree in Edinburgh.
Other activity includes an augmented-reality photo booth in London’s Flat Iron Square, where fans can have their picture taken alongside virtual representations of the team captains. Guinness has also teamed up with Guinness Storehouse head chef Sean Hunter to create a series of menus that it will share across social media.
Niall McKee, head of Guinness Europe, said: "During the Six Nations championship, rivalries are fierce on the pitch, but there's also always an enduring feeling of friendship, camaraderie and respect both during and after a match – this is true of fans as well as players. We wanted to draw on this unique power that sport, and rugby in particular, has to bring people together."
The work was created by Gareth Leeding, Kenneth Moore and Rob James, and directed by Rob Rafalat. Media planning and buying is handled by Carat.