Nike urban rugby spectacular unlikely to air in the UK

LONDON - A hard-hitting, mini-epic Nike TV ad for the Rugby World Cup, which begins with a man crashing through a plate glass window and ends as a player flies off the roof of an office block, is unlikely to ever air in the UK.

The 90-second ad, "keep the ball alive", features a host of rugby stars, including England's Lawrence Dallaglio, taking part in an impromptu rugby game on the streets of London.

However, the aggressive 90-second TV ad, which has been running in Australia, falls foul of strict rules laid down by the BACC.

The spectacular opening of crashing glass sees the ball roll across the street to be taken up by Dallaglio, who smashes a car windscreen as he stomps over the top of a car when he takes up the ball and moves the game on.

As well as the England forward, the ad sees the ball taken up by a number of international players including Ireland's Keith Wood, France's Fabien Galthie, England's Dan Luger and James Simpson-Daniel, and former Wallaby Tim Horan.

With more than 300 extras involved, the ad, shot in London's Liverpool Street, perfectly transports the rough and tumble of the rugby field to a crowded city street.

As the play moves along, hard tackles send people flying, a ruck looks like a scene from a city riot as cars are pushed out of the way, a drop kicks sends the ball soaring and one player dives in front of an oncoming bus to collect the ball.

"Keep the ball alive" culminates on the rooftop of an office building as the crowd of players rush forward chasing the ball, only stopping in bitter disappointment as it flies off the edge of the roof.

However, one player, Fijian Rupeni Caucaunibuca, doesn't hold back and takes the "keep the ball alive" line to the extreme as he dramatically flies off the roof after the ball.

It is a scene, along with various others, that would certainly be cut if it were ever to run in the UK. Nike Australia said the ad was made for Australia "with the aim of creating a representation of fun and exciting rugby, the type of rugby people like to see."

The ad, set to a rock soundtrack provided by Unkle's 'Eye for an Eye', was directed by Australian directors Steve Rogers and Rey Carlson of Revolver and created by Publicis-owned agency Publicis Mojo. The ad was creative directed by Darren Spiller, art directed by Christy Peacock and written by Steve Jackson, with agency production by Corey Esse.

Timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup Nike has put the ad online at KeepTheBallAlive.com

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