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Industry Transport, travel & tourism, Airlines
Media Film
Market Australia
Director Gregor Jordan
Creative Steve Street, Kevin Phillips
Producer Adrian Popek, Luke Hannan, Michael Hilliard
Released June 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
Branded content & entertaiment lions Best fictional program, series or film where a client has successfully created a drama, comedy or miniseries around a product or brand Gold
Media Lions Best Use of Branded Content & Sponsorship Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best fictional program, series or film where a client has successfully created a drama, comedy or miniseries around a product or brand
Advertiser: QANTAS
Product/Service: TOURISM
Advertiser QANTAS
Type of Entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best fictional program, series or film where a client has successfully created a drama, comedy or miniseries around a product or brand
Advertiser/Client: QANTAS
Product/Service: TOURISM
Entrant Company: WONDER Sydney, AUSTRALIA
DM/Advertising Agency: WONDER Sydney, AUSTRALIA
2nd DM/Advertising Agency: FINCH Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Director: Gregor Jordan (Finch)
Producer: Michael Hilliard (Finch)
Showrunner/Writer: Nathan Earl (Finch)
Writer: Nick Hayden (Finch)
Writer: Nick Mcdougall (Finch)
Writer: Phil Lloyd (Finch)
Creative: Kevin Phillips (Ogilvy)
Creative: Steve Street (Ogilvy)
Producer: Adrian Popek (Wonder)
Creative Director/Writer: Glen Condie (Wonder)
Producer: Luke Hannan (Wonder)
Assistant Producer: Sarah Jayes (Wonder)
Describe the campaign/entry
With a few notable exceptions, most Branded Entertainment to date in Australia has been web based content or straight up product placement – not entertainment developed around a brand strategy.
In 2010, the 4 Australian free to air commercial networks – 7,9,10 and SBS, all added digital channels, vastly increasing the amount of advertiser supported programming available to consumers. There are now 16 free to air channels in a market of 22m people.
The free-to-air networks consider a show successful if it pulls over a million viewers an hour. Their digital channels need about 300,000 viewers to win a timeslot, and cable can range from 15,000 for non-sports shows up to 150-300,000 for blockbuster event shows.
Australians have always been early technology adopters. The fractured media landscape and challenges of pitching brand-funded shows to the networks has pushed advertisers to the internet as a viable cost per eyeball way to measure return on investment for branded entertainment. As advertisers move from a model (where they supply a car as a consumer promotion on a game show) into branded shows (where the channel, story, character or situations are built around a brand’s agenda) there is tremendous scope for long-form storytelling.


New Zealand was the host of the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC). The Great Crusade (TGC) was Qantas’ leverage campaign for their major sponsorship asset, the Qantas Wallabies (Australian Rugby team). The Objective was to A) increase intention to visit the destination of New Zealand and B) be seen as a major sponsor of the tournament (despite not being one) without breaching tournament rules and regulations.
The campaign was divided into 3 parts:
1. Recruitment – 3 months prior to the World Cup, we ran a national promotion recruiting consumers to submit a video showing how far they’d go to support their team and load it on the website.
2. Event – The Great Crusade Tour. 25 Qantas and Wallaby branded campervans touring New Zealand seeing and doing all that NZ had to offer and attending all the Wallabies matches. The tour was broken into 3 waves allowing over 100 people to live the experience of a lifetime.
3. TV Production. A 22 part ‘mockumentary’ comedy series, produced and released over 35 days was developed by director Gregor Jordan starring Australian comic Phil Lloyd, starring as big shot squash and badminton sports reporter Toby Withers. Over 20m viewers have seen the episodes on TV, In-flight and on line. The campaign ran across all channels including TV, Print Radio, outdoor, Retail, Digital, Social Media and Promotional Teams.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

Audiences were drawn to The Great Crusade across 4 central pillars. A social network based around TGC website, and then through in-flight screenings on Qantas, after which the weekly clips were uploaded to TGC website.
The videos were so popular that the segment started appearing as part of the New Zealand television show ‘The Crowd Goes Wild’, and ultimately led the producers to write in a segment for Toby to appear live on the show, mixing the on-line and broadcast components of the story.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible.

Nielsen Research showed: a) 70% of people exposed to The Great Crusade were more interested in booking a trip to New Zealand (in the next 12 months), and b) Qantas were the most recognised ‘sponsors’ of the Rugby World Cup, despite not actually being one.
Over 100 people got to live the experience of a lifetime touring around New Zealand experiencing the best it has to offer and attending all of the Wallabies matches. Over 20m people followed them and TGC across various content platforms.
The Great Crusade content received an Emmy nomination in the Digital Fiction category