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It’s All the 'Real' That Makes Rugby League So 'Unreal' in NRL's Creative Platform from Emotive.

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The National Rugby League launches bold new creative platform with spot directed by Airbag's Ariel Martin

It’s All the 'Real' That Makes Rugby League So 'Unreal' in NRL's Creative Platform from Emotive.

The National Rugby League has launched a bold new creative platform, which is being rolled out across the whole business. ‘UNREAL’ is the first major work from independent creative agency Emotive since it won the NRL account following a competitive pitch in October 2021.

The work represents a significant development for NRL as it moves away from separate event and product-led campaigns in favour of unifying the game under a singular long-term creative platform.


‘UNREAL’ taps into the authenticity that sets NRL apart from other sports. It's the real grit, drama, determination, skill, and heart that makes rugby league so unreal to watch. As the launch film says, “It’s so real, it’s UNREAL.”

Produced in collaboration with Airbag and directed by Ariel Martin, the launch film opens on NRL game footage commentated by the legendary Ray Warren, before rewinding to take us on a journey through some of the real stuff that goes into making rugby league so Unreal. As well as TV, the campaign will launch through Ch9 broadcast integration, and will also feature across OOH and digital, merchandise and experiential.

Beyond the launch campaign, ‘UNREAL’ will be rolling out across the business with campaigns for the 2022 Premiership, grassroots Club Rugby League, All Stars, NRLW, Magic Round, State of Origin, Women’s State of Origin, and the Finals Series.

Says Corina Black, General Manager, Marketing, NRL - “Unreal is a bold step forward for the NRL brand. An all-encompassing platform idea born from all the real that makes Rugby League the most entertaining and connected sport in Australia. By bringing together the best of what’s on offer across our incredible portfolio of events and grass roots programs this platform helps us to connect with core fans and attract new audiences to our community so they can experience all the real that makes NRL so Unreal."

Says Michael Hogg, Managing Partner and Head of Strategy, Emotive - “Some things are meant to be, like the Bunnies winning the Grand Final in 2014 for the first time in 43 years, or ‘UNREAL’ being the creative platform for NRL. Not only does it conveniently have the brand name in it - how often does that happen? …but more importantly, it captures the very essence of what makes NRL distinct as a game and as an entertainment property. And as such, has a chance to help unite the game and to be enduring.”

Says Simon Joyce, CEO & Founder, Emotive - “I’ve always loved the NRL. It’s a sport where you experience every possible emotion week in week out, and we feel incredibly privileged to be working with the team at the NRL. And we couldn't be prouder of the masterbrand launch work. The platform allows us to simply showcase all that’s unpredictable, gritty, and real about the game, on and off the field. Everything that makes NRL so Unreal.”

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Client – NRL

Chief Customer and Digital Officer: Alexi Baker

General Manager Marketing and Brand: Corina Black

Head of Campaign & Digital Marketing - Courtney Alderson
Graphic Designer and Brand Lead - Lucy Bean
Creative Agency – Emotive

Founder & CEO: Simon Joyce

Head of Strategy & Managing Partner: Michael Hogg

Business Director: Ciaran Miller-Stubbs

Creative Director: Ben Sampson

Copywriter: Pierce Thomson

Head of Production: Hayley-Ritz Pelling

Senior Producer: Savannah Anseline

Production Company - AIRBAG

Director: Ariel Martin

Executive Producer: Alex Tizzard

Producer: Megan Ayers

Line Producer: Fiona Pakes

DOP: Jules O’Loughlin


Post-Production Company - AIRBAG

Offline Edit: AIRBAG

Post-Producer: Nick Venn

Offline Editor: Mark Bennett

VFX: AIRBAG

Grade: Matt Fezz

Online Edit: White Chocolate


Music & Sound – Otis Studios

Genres: People

Categories: Events, Sports and Leisure

Emotive, Mon, 07 Mar 2022 08:19:00 GMT