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This 2008 ad is a classic move from the rugby marketing playbook. Daft voiceover? Check. Vague fantasy reference? Yep, the one with Gerard Butler shouting in a loincloth. Grunting sound effects? Oh yes, every rugby tackle sounds like Shrek squeezing one out. Lovely stuff.
In 2013, the BBC stirred things up a bit, and came up with something that looked like an outtake from unutterably daft movie Green Street, the one where Frodo Baggins plays a football hooligan.
Bless them for trying, but even with all this “lovely neighbours” tripe, could you really in good conscience invite this bloke into your front room?
All of the England-based Rugby World Cup adverts seem pathetic in retrospect, but this ‘On Your Shoulder’ number from O2 takes the biscuit. England losing in the group stages was estimated to have cost up to £3 billion for shareholders. Ouch. But hey, at least we didn’t have to keep watching corporate cash-ins like this.
This BBC Wales promo tried to sell the Six Nations as a wedding, birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. Tom Jones, daffodils – it’s like a Gavin & Stacey fever dream.
Remember what we said earlier about copying from random fantasy shows? This BBC opening sequence just re-made the Game of Thrones opening titles, added some GarageBand drum and bass and left it at that.
Rugby players are rubbish actors, so even if you get Charles Dance (yep, more Game Of Thrones references) delivering the greatest team talk in history, the best you’re going to get out of them is a bemused nod. Ah well, at least the guy from Milton Keynes had a nice day out…
Little Scott became a household name in Wales thanks to this 2013 series of ads, which celebrated Welsh culture as curry-chugging, red sock-wearing, pint-chucking nutters. Hmmm.
It’s OK Wales, you’re not the only ones who make weird rugby adverts. Sky Sports New Zealand prepared for the 2011 World Cup with this Army drill instructor putting rookie cameramen through their paces. At least Six Nations naffness is still terrestrial…
OK, this one’s cheating, because it’s not naff. It’s glorious. It’s not every day you can get Morgan Freeman to recite Invictus over heart-pumping footage and crunching tackles. “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”