Dinner violation for Rafa Nadel – Integrated branding

posted on 1st Feb 2019 by Gary Gleeson

Anyone sitting on their couch down-under watching the Australian Open tennis final on channel 9 last Sunday would have been very surprised to see in the middle of a break between games that Rafa Nadal seemed to order takeout! Strewth, what’s that fella doing? It was, in fact, a very clever “integrated” television advert. 

A channel nine spokesperson said they worked in collaboration with UberEats and Tennis Australia “to secure talent, vision, audio, locations and spot placement.” The campaign was filmed inside Melbourne Park’s Rod Laver Arena to achieve the authenticity of the tongue-in-cheek campaign. Nadel even wearing the same tennis attire that he was wearing in the final (good forward thinking from Nike). It all worked seamlessly but there were some complaints from viewers that it blurred the lines between advertising and sports broadcasting.

Brand integration has been around for years, it allows a brand to reach out to the consumers by integrating the brand within the entertainment media content which is consumed by the users as entertainment. Think Ray-bans in Topgun, a 40% spike in sales as a result (and 500% spike in applications for the US Navy).

Brand integration isn’t a typical brand advertisement. It includes entertaining and engaging storytelling which integrates the brand in such a way that it doesn’t look and feel like a brand promotion. It gives authenticity to the consumer who can see themselves in that particular situation.

Unlike product placement which is the placement of a brand or a product in one or more scenes of the film – think an actor drinking Coke during a scene, whereas brand integration is when the entire scene revolves around the brand, for example – a scene shot in a Domino’s outlet and revolves around a pizza. You can see how valuable this can be for brands! Soon it will be hard to know what’s real and what’s an advert, ‘fake sport’ is on the way.

Gary Gleeson, Partner

Gary is a Partner at Neworld, a brand agency with over 30 years experience developing brands to position them for future growth. Gary has worked with some of Ireland’s biggest brands such as Diageo, John Rocha and O2 and is a recognised expert in hospitality branding, working with Fade St Social, Powerscourt Hotel, Mount Juliet and Adare Manor to name but a few. His belief in branding and its relationship with design effectiveness has seen him guide a myriad of companies through the branding maze. He realises client visions using this synergy of strategic branding and design. He is also the self-professed champion of chilli-making!