Ireland is currently ranked No. 1 in the world for men’s rugby. But under no circumstances is that cause for optimism in a new campaign from Guinness launching as the Rugby World Cup starts Friday.
The pain of 2019 still lingers for Ireland, which was knocked out of that year’s World Cup by New Zealand in the quarterfinals. A new 60-second spot from AMV BBDO recalls that disastrous moment—with superstitious fans regretting their own or their mates’ overconfidence at the time, and pledging not to expect too much this time around.
The agency said the approach came through social listening—that Irish fans are worried any overconfidence is going to come back to bite them. But it’s also just a fun universal truth that sports fans are superstitious and tend to believe anything they do personally might somehow affect the outcome of the games.
The spot, which will also air as a :30, was directed by James Rouse through Biscuit Filmworks. It features the Ronan Keating track “When You Say Nothing at All.” Supporting OOH ads reminding rugby fans to “not jinx it” will be placed near pubs nationwide. Other activations are in the mix, too.
Ireland play Romania in their first group game on Saturday.
“No matter what your sport or who your team is, we’ve all got too carried away and jinxed things—it’s a universal superstition that even the most skeptical of us believe to be true when it comes to sport,” said Will Brookwell and Louis Prenaud, creatives at AMV BBDO. “Heading into another enormous tournament with their team ranked No. 1 and previous years’ heartbreaks fresh in their minds, this insight has never been truer for Ireland fans. Guinness, too, is a huge fan of the national team, so our campaign aims to get ahead of the loose lips and remind everyone to support safely, and to never say that one forbidden thing.”
Guinness sponsors Irish Rugby Football Union as well as the Six Nations Rugby Championship, which Ireland won this year.