#BETTERSTATEDEBATE: NRL bolsters Origin with Influencers
Cue our solution to rally new fans and get everyone talking – the #BetterStateDebate. This year, people weren’t just chatting about what happened on the pitch, but rather conversing over a range of topics in a reignited state rivalry.
We needed to create authentic conversation drivers that engaged people in an ongoing basis over the course of the three games. So we enlisted the help of influencers – proud NSW native @NeelKolhatkar and Maroons’ mad fan @MichaelBeveridge to start the “which state is better?” debate.
Prior to the MCG kickoff, we kicked off the series with a launch film on the influencers’ and NRL’s channels. The video introduced the rivalry between Beveridge and Kolhatkar, who play co-workers in an office, and was followed up by the the first debate film, which focused on convincing Melbournites to pick a side for Origin.
Debate two was released after the Blues win in Game 1, and the final debate film was released following the Blues series-deciding victory in Game 2.
In-game activity included custom reactive GIFs featuring Beveridge and Kolhatkar that were tweeted during key moments of play.
This year’s Origin proved to buck the decade-long trend, and luckily we were prepared for that. Predicting unpredictability, we shot multiple versions of the films to keep content reactive in accordance with the games. To appeal to a broader audience than just Leaguers, we touched on a range of topics including music, food, beaches and importantly, celebrities. We then let NSW and QLD faithfuls duke it out in the comments.
Some other notable Aussies even got behind the banter, with Savage Garden singer @DarrenHayes engaging on Twitter.
The debate was boosted further by the Betoota Advocate, who we enlisted to release social and web content reacting to Game One and discussing the debate.
You can read more here.