In a bid to leverage their sponsorship of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, official logistics partner, DHL Express, has set-off on a grand and ambitious journey to pass a single rugby ball from hand-to-hand, through 45 countries over a period of 45 weeks. Starting in Cape Town and ending in the host city of London, the “Africa as One” concept was created by Jozi agency, 7 Different Kinds of Smoke (7DKS) while working in tandem with specialist agencies in different sectors.
DHL Express on Tour
The main objective of the campaign is to create maximum reach and noise around the DHL brand, both within Africa and beyond, as the countdown to the official kick-off of the Rugby World Cup 2015 begins. “While DHL is present in more countries than any other company in Africa, rugby is relatively small and largely unknown across most of the continent. With this in mind and in order to maximise the value of DHL’s global sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup 2015 (for the Africa offices), it is important that we grow the knowledge and support base of the game,” explains 7DKS creative partner, James Cloete.
To this end, one objective of the campaign is to take rugby training clinics, hosted by Rugby Legends, into as many places as possible. In this way we aim to engage the local population and client base within each territory, and encourage unified support for the African teams who will ultimately compete next year. More importantly though, and from a brand and business perspective, we’re seeking to demonstrate that DHL knows Africa better than any other logistics company and that they are committed to doing business across the continent,” adds Cloete
A Window into Africa
As the lead advertising agency for the campaign, 7DKS is managing and overseeing the creative outputs of the voyage, which will see the DHL rugby ball make its way up the east coast of Africa to Sudan, before returning to southern Africa with a pit stop in the Mauritian islands. The ball will then travel the entire west coast of the continent before being delivered to London by DHL, well in time for the official opening ceremony.
Every moment of the DHL AfricaAsOne team and the journey of the ball from hand-to-hand will be captured through video, photos and words. Key and poignant moments of the tour will be documented and shared through AfricaAsOne.com, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Around 20-million consumers across Africa and the world will be reached through social media and millions more through television inserts, and of course the on the ground engagements and activations. 7DKS worked closely with sponsorship, activation and logistics experts, Treble, production company, Hammersmith and Elephant, as well as social media specialists, Have You Heard. In addition, Land Rover has supplied several vehicles, which have been custom fitted by Front Runner.
“By capturing and sharing unique content of the people we see and the places we visit, along every step of the journey, DHL will deliver a window into Africa the likes of which has never before been seen. Above all though, this campaign needs to be a demonstration of ‘delivery’ both within and for Africa,” says Cloete.
“There are many surprises still in store as this campaign rolls out through Africa and the world. What makes the idea so exciting is that our client is looking to leverage rugby to lift African pride and turn the world’s eyes on everything that this amazing continent has to offer. This is not just another sponsorship campaign; it’s an exploration of Africa – its people, cultures, foods, music, wild life, infrastructures, passions, trials and victories. The content will be unlike anything seen before and there’ll be more of it every week,” explains Cloete.
Where’s the Support?
“The ‘Africa as One’ campaign is a good example of the power that a great idea has to transcend the bounds of traditional media channels and conventional advertising definitions, thereby grabbing the attention of the consumer, no matter where in the world they may be,” concludes managing partner for 7DKS, Ryan van Jaarsveld.
Show your support for rugby and for Africa by following the rugby ball’s journey and the DHL AfricaAsOne team on YouTube and through AfricaAsOne.com.