England's Rugby Stars Don Samurai Armour in Cinematic O2 Film

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VCCP launches 'Be their armour' campaign with spot directed by Rogue's Sam Brown
England's Rugby Stars Don Samurai Armour in Cinematic O2 Film

Ahead of the huge autumn of rugby, O2 has launched its brand-new campaign with England Rugby, inviting fans to ‘Be their armour’. The campaign is founded on the power of support, uniting fans and showing how their support can be England’s armour, helping to prepare the squad as they kick start their bid to conquer the world this weekend.

The multi-million-pound campaign set to rally the nation behind the team will launch on Wednesday 18th September via O2 Priority and O2 social channels with support from key influencers, including England Rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson. The campaign will then go live on ITV on Sunday 22nd September. 

The 90-second brand film sees mysterious riders burst into a remote forest settlement to rouse its shadowy inhabitants into action, following them through the forging and fitting of the mighty, rose-bearing armour of the England team. Armed with the extraordinary and uniquely customised English Samurai armour that the fans have made, the players are then ready to face the world - standing side by side with their fans.

Created over a period of eight months with VCCP London, the ad is directed by the award-winning Sam Brown.

Nina Bibby, chief marketing officer at O2, said: “As lead partner of England Rugby, we wanted to create a campaign that brings fans closer to the team and galvanises the nation to show their support and Wear the Rose.  Our players have now worn the shield of the samurai, but it will be the support from millions of England Rugby supporters both at home and in Japan that will be their armour on the pitch.”

As part of the campaign and to help connect supporters with an in-depth view into Japan, O2 has also unveiled a six-episode content series, featuring former rugby player-turned-pundit Ugo Monye and TV personality Jamie Laing. ‘O2 presents: Travel fan In Japan’ will air for the first time on Thursday 19th September with every episode available to watch through O2’s distribution partner, JOE Media, as well as on O2’s social channels.

Over the course of six episodes, the series discovers and highlights the power and influence of rugby in Japan, ranging from grassroots all the way to their shining moment on the world stage. Kickstarted by a meeting with England head coach Eddie Jones, each episode explores a key characteristic of what it means to be an international rugby player via five elements of the Bushido code which is closely tied to Samurai culture: respect; integrity; duty; loyalty; and courage.

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Client: O2


Agency: VCCP

Production Company

Production Company: Rogue

Director: Sam Brown

Genres: Action, Scenic

VCCP, 6 months ago