How Creative Production can Cut-Through in a Competitive Environment | Aldi Kids Rugby Panel

Client: Aldi Ireland

Agency: Boys & Girls

Project: Aldi Kids Rugby Panel


What was the main aim of this campaign? 

Aldi Play Rugby is a free initiative developed by the IRFU and supported by Aldi for young people in Ireland. The programme is a fun, safe and non-contact way for kids to get involved in playing rugby in national primary schools. Less than two years into the sponsorship with the IRFU, Aldi’s challenge was to bring it to the next level regarding scale and national engagement.

The campaign had three main targets:

  • Promote children participating in the game (meeting IRFU targets)
  • Promote affordable healthy living for children
  • Improve awareness of Aldi’s quality and Irishness


What was the chosen solution and why?  

In 2017, Aldi needed to build critical mass and cut-through against brands who were already well established in the rugby sector. The concept was about creating contextual, fun content to complement RTÉ coverage and punditry of the games. The Aldi kids created their own pre-match, half-time and post-match show. As part of the set up, we built a mini replica TV sports studio set similar to RTÉ’s -  but it was just for kids. We created a ‘show’ logo and nominated on-screen graphics to mimic sports coverage, and really contextualise our content.

The campaign ran during Ireland’s 6 Nations games which gave Aldi an immediate association with the sport. The distinctive cast, as well as the live element, led to greater campaign cut-through in what is renowned as an already crowded space. 

There were four distinct phases to the campaign:

1. Pre-promotion including the recruitment of the kids to drive awareness, including:


2. Build up to each match, including:

  • Announcement of the Panel
  • Pre-promo videos including with an interview with Paul O'Connell by Charlie, one of the Aldi kids
  • Push on RTÉ social channels
  • VOD on RTÉ Player.
  • Coverage from the real IRFU press conference in Carton House where the Aldi kids gave their views


3. The match day broadcasts, including:

  • 20 Live Executions of pre, half-time, and post-match hosted by Barry Murphy (Après Match)
  • Content pushed on Social, VOD and Aldi Match Day TV Listings ‘flashes’ in the RTÉ Guide.


4. Post match analysis. including:

  • 'Best Bits' videos were released immediately after the match on Twitter and Facebook, to amplify the partnership.



Why did you choose to work with RTÉ?

RTÉ took a sporting property and created a bespoke solution that fit with Aldi’s objectives. The Commercial Solutions team created a new agile model which allowed Aldi to bring the live ads to screen efficiently and creatively, in an extremely pressurised environment.




The Aldi Play Rugby Partnership was truly a media first. We used two RTÉ TV Studios for the duration of the 6 Nations, and in the process developed new processes and technical models - breaking new ground in the Live commercial space. From creating a 'Live' kids 'pundits' panel in the studio with time-sensitive supporting social activity to a media first bespoke activation across the RTÉ campus. This included RTÉ TV, Digital, Radio, Print and Outside Broadcasts, as well as a 6 Nations Aldi Wallchart.”

– Rita Kirwan, Marketing Director, Aldi


What was the result?

The initiative was very successful with 15% of Primary School children in Ireland taking part in the Aldi Play Rugby Programme in 2017. An additional 4% (compared to 2016). Primary School children are now more active as a direct result of the Aldi Play Rugby Programme. The number of National Primary Schools that signed up surpassed the IRFU’s target by 39%.

The Aldi Kids Rugby Panel reached 1.9 million unique social users across Facebook & Instagram. Collectively, content gathered 17.7 million impressions across key social channels.

As part of the partnership, RTÉ conducted two waves of research, once after the first match and the second after the final match. We measured recall and the likability of the campaign. The research ran from February - March 2017 and had a nationally representative sample of 600 Total Adults. 

This campaign was nominated for Best Use of Content  and Best Creative Direction / Execution By a Media Owner in the Media Awards 2018.  It was also nominated in the AIM Awards for Best Advertising Campaign.