Winning is awesome. But sometimes, how you play the game transcends the final score.
TBWA Auckland and production house Sweetshop work from that playbook in this inspiring film they developed for ANZ, a major financial services player in New Zealand and Australia. Director Mark Albiston presents vivid scenes from pitches, playing fields, ocean races and mud runs, stressing sportsmanship and the deeper, lasting lessons of athletic competition.
"Community and friendship play the biggest role in attracting people to sports," Albiston tells Muse. "As a kids' rugby coach and a dad, I can see just how important this is to keeping our population happy and fit."
At one point, we see footage of a New Zealand Black Caps cricketer's heartfelt gesture toward a rival, but amateur and local sports are the main focus. Some dudes rock wings on the pitch because fancy-dress charity games are a tradition in the local and amateur ranks.
"I had my two kids working with me on the commercial, and they put together some of the weirder costumes—the cardboard armor and abs were made by my son," Albiston recalls. "It was really nice working with family on set, as it spoke to the spirit of the commercial."
Youthful voices also rise on the soundtrack. "We made the spot with some of the chants from netball players that we recorded on set," he says. "We also wrote parts for schoolkids to sing. We wanted to create an anthemic track that felt like it was made by the people, for the people."
In a sense, the approach amplifies other recent sports-related messaging, such as this global push from Adidas, extending the notions of mutual respect and cooperation to members of opposing teams. Spotlighting kids and weekend athletes helps the work feel less blatantly brand-centric (though of course, a big corporation called the plays).
"The message is for all of New Zealand, not just sports folk," Albiston says. "We see real people being good people—everyone can relate. ANZ wanted a film that people would love young and old alike."
The director felt especially moved while filming the rugby wheelchair sequence.
"One of the players told us a beautiful story," says Albiston. "He was a reluctant bystander at one of the rugby trainings, and one of the players asked him if he wanted to join in. He told them he didn't want to, but they made him—and then proceeded to tip him out of his chair. He fell in love with the sport on that day, and now he's going to the World Cup" as a competitor, with the team shown in the film.
Out-of-home, digital and in-branch marketing will follow, along with grant programs and awards celebrating good sports on and off the field.
Client: ANZ New Zealand
Agency: TBWA Group NZ
Production Company: Sweetshop
Director: Mark Albiston
Executive Producer: Ben Dailey
Executive Producer: Kate Roydhouse
Producer: Andy Mauger
DOP: James L Brown
Post Production: Offline: Luke Haigh, Grade: Peter Ritchie, Online: Jon Baxter
Music, sound design & mix: Beatworms Cam Ballantyne