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O2 lines up behind England rugby team

News, 10 September 2015

LONDON: British mobile telecom operator O2 is using a marketing campaign to link itself directly with the hoped-for success of the England team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which kicks off at the end of next week.

According to Nina Bibby, O2's marketing and consumer director, its multifaceted "Wear the Rose" campaign is aimed at positioning the brand behind the team.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has also tasked O2, an official sponsor of the national team since 1995, with "galvanising the nation", which he believes will give the team an edge as England hosts the global tournament.

"The Rugby World cup presented us with another one of those Olympic moments when the nation comes together," Bibby told The Drum.

"We're here with Stuart and the team on their quest to win the World Cup on home soil; it's a fantastic opportunity," she added.

On top of shirt and poster giveaways, O2 has rebranded all its stores in England with the red rose emblem that is used by the England team, and launched a social media campaign on Wednesday 9 September that features an animated film.

Running on Twitter, the campaign idea is for the online film to unlock once enough people have clicked on a Twitter ad, Marketing Week reported.

The film features outsized and animated versions of England captain Chris Robshaw, full back Mike Brown and lock Courtney Lawes and it also will debut on TV this Friday, 11 September, exactly a week before the tournament starts.

People will be encouraged to show their support for the team by wearing a red rose emblem or tweeting and posting their support on social media via the hashtag #weartherose.

It is reported that out of home (OOH) and digital activity will react to tweets, showing real time updates of what fans are saying across social media. In addition, O2 will update the creative as the tournament progresses.

"One of the advantages of having animation is that we can change and adapt content on the fly, we don't need the rugby players themselves to make content so we can be very reactive and active on social media," Bibby explained.

"It will be very much real time in terms of response. This is about supporting England to be giants," she said.

Data sourced from The Drum, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff