CASE STUDY: HAWTHORN FOOTBALL CLUB
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
The Hawthorn Football Club, or the Hawks as they are known, are an elite professional sporting team in the Australian Football League. Last year, they made it into the finals for their seventh consecutive year.
To celebrate that, and to generate buzz, excitement and ultimately ticket sales, the Hawks devised a finals marketing campaign with the creative tagline, 'Embrace The Hunt'.
They approached us, looking for an idea and execution that would could launch this campaign, by generating widespread media coverage. The idea needed to encapsulate the theme, Embrace The Hunt and ingrain in the minds of the general public, that Hawks were on the attack.
It was important that the idea captured the attention of the Australian media, with a particular focus on Melbourne, Hawthorn’s home city.
A hawk dropping a dangerous snake on people. That was our Hook. There were proven quantities (i.e. pre-exisiting viral audiences) a plenty when it came to hawk attacks and skin crawling snake encounters. We just needed to build on those by taking things to the next level and introducing an incredibly unlikely, absolutely terrifying, but not necessarily impossible sequence of natural events. Which in turn became our audience debate - a crucial ingredient to our viral formula. An improbable, but not impossible situation.
We chose an iconic, inner city Melbourne location to execute the idea, to ensure that local media ran with the story. That was our relevance. And we timed the release to hit the web three days prior to the first ATL media for the Hawks marketing campaign. That was our timeliness.
This video achieved over 5 million views within the first 48 hours of release. And whilst it received world wide news coverage (without any paid media or promotion behind it), more importantly the major TV networks in Australia ran with the story and the local radio stations talked about it all day.
It was important to drive a direct link between the video that embodied the theme of the wider marketing campaign and the campaign itself. So the moment the viral hit it’s critical mass, we were already prepared to claim it. And that’s exactly what we did. In less that 72 hours after it’s release, with a traditional PR statement we targeted local news outlet’s laying claim to the video and directly linking it to the Hawks 2016 finals campaign. Hawks were on the attack and embracing the hunt.
The result? All those mainstream news outlets and radio stations ran the story again, this time revealing the prank and tying to the football club. Hawks were talk of the town that week leading into the finals. This video went on to do over 27 million online views.
Neither the client or TWC had the resources to calculate projected online viewership, projected readership or TV audience numbers, but with 27 million trackable online views, it was probably pretty big.
This campaign went on to win the Hawks the Most Outstanding Use Of Online @ the 2016 AFL Media Awards.
For clip licensing inquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 3 9939 9581