Arrows hit the bullseye with quippy campaign

Who: Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club, with Toronto agency LP/AD.

What: “Big men. Short shorts,” a new awareness campaign for the four-year-old Major League Rugby franchise (the only Canadian team in the 12-team North American league). It is LP/ADs first campaign for the Arrows, which hired the agency in February. LP/AD has previous sports experience that includes work for the Toronto Raptors, as well as being lead agency for the now-defunct Toronto Wolfpack rugby team.

When & Where: The campaign broke this week, with large format OOH complemented by social ads.

Why: The goal here is to attract new fans who may not be familiar with the Arrows or even the sport of rugby itself. LP/AD creative director Erin Rodness describes it as an “explainer” campaign, designed to help would-be fans gain an understanding of the sport (if not the actual rules, then certainly its spirit) in an “eye-catching and provocative” manner.

How: It’s a copy driven campaign that is quite literally built largely around a superboard alongside Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway that delivers the primary message of “Big men. Short shorts.”

That will be supported by planned social ads consisting of messages like “Big men hurting each other while you day drink” and “Spoiler alert: everyone gets knocked up.”

“Not everyone is familiar with rugby, so we thought it would be neat to create copy driven ads that help viewers understand the game from a humorous perspective,” said Rodness.

And we quote: “We looked at various aspects and characteristics of the game and re-defined it in literal terms. When you go to a rugby event it’s full of energy, wild fans, face paint and fun. While the game is serious, the audience is there to let loose and have a good time. Our ads reflect the event’s spirit and playfulness.” — Erin Rodness, creative director LP/AD

Chris Powell