Samsung Activates RFU Relationship With ‘School Of Rugby’ Spoofs Fronted By Johnson, Dallaglio & Jack Whitehall

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This month sees Samsung launch its multi-platform Rugby World Cup campaign, The Samsung School of Rugby, led by a new TVC series fronted by a set of Samsung player ambassadors and comedian Jack Whitehall.

Samsung Electronics UK, and Official Partner of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), has structured the integrated campaign (which spans TV, print, in-store, product-offers, digital and social) around a set of ambassador-taught, spoof rugby lessons.The series was initially trailed on 1 September through an online teaser posted on Samsung UK’s YouTube channel.

This saw the Samsung School of Rugby introduced by England and Rugby World Cup legends Lawrence Dallaglio and Martin Johnson putting comic Whitehall through his paces to try and teach him the fundamentals of rugby.

This was followed by a set of lessons all featuring (and part-scripted by) Whitehall and other rugby endorsers such as Jason Robinson, Jason Leonard and Maggie Alphonsi.

‘Lesson 1 - Power’ (posted on 3 September) which sees the two England icons teach Whitehall about power through mauling with former teammate Jason Leonard. See

In total a six lesson plan series of 60-second films each revolving around a rugby skill and all including Whitehall and the brand's rugby ambassadors, will roll out on TV and online through the tournament.

In addition to more general brand building, the spots also specifically promote the Galaxy S6 Edge mobile handset and close with the Samsung logo and the iconic England Rugby rose. 

The commercials were initially released online, but will debut on TV during Sky Sports' coverage of the England vs Ireland QBE International warm-up match (and will also be simultaneously screened in stadium at Twickenham Stadium for fans at the game) and then run through an eight week national TV campaign.

The initiative also includes a 360-degree virtual reality experience lesson – thus enabling viewers to feel as though they are on the football field with star Jack Whitehall and to immerse themselves in an elite expert rugby lesson.

The campaign, developed in harness with creative agency <a href="">BBH Sport</a> (were the team was led by creative director Ewan Paterson and producer Victorian Keenan), is running across Samsung’s UK’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels and through the personal platforms of the brand’s rugby endorsers.

In addition to legends and previous winners Dallaglio and Johnson, Samsung has also assembled a triumvirate of present England player ambassadors in George Ford, Joe Launchbury and Jonathan Joseph.

All three current players will also feature in Samsung’s School of Rugby as it evolves: including fronting a set of six-second 'tutorials with a twist' blipverts in which they will explain rugby’s intricate terminology and super slow-motion movies exploring crucial aspects of the game that will run on Samsung’s social platforms during the tournament.

Fans can keep abreast of the latest School of Rugby lessons through the hashtag #SamsungRugby.

The stars were unveiled as Samsung endorsers in early August when it was announced their core role was to raise awareness of ‘Samsung’s commitment to enhancing fans’ enjoyment of sport through technology’.

‘We are delighted to be working with three outstanding players as we head into an incredibly exciting few months for England Rugby and rugby fans everywhere,’ adds Samsung UK and Ireland chief marketing officer Russell Taylor.

A grassroots strand of Samsung’s England partnership sees the electronics giant offer all RFU affiliated clubs a unique purchase proposition to upgrade their club houses with the latest in digital display screens.

The offer runs through to the end of 2015.

‘Technology is becoming even more important for sport – not just for us as players but for the fans as well,’ said England fly half George Ford in the Samsung campaign press release.

‘It can get them closer to the action as well as giving them the chance to interact with the game in new ways, which is not only exciting for them but for us as players too. Samsung’s commitment to enhancing people’s experience of rugby is clear and I’m already a big fan of their products,’ he adds.

'Rugby is a fascinating and sometimes utterly baffling sport and the Samsung School of Rugby offers a light hearted look at the game to really get people excited about rugby,' adds Jack Whitehall.

'I had to sacrifice my health and well-being as I battled it out against the likes of Lawrence Dallaglio and Jason Robinson but think the end results are worth it. Though I doubt Martin Johnson will want to ever see me again.'


This campaign feels fresh, funny and certainly far less controversial than the last time we analysed a rules of the game style campaign leveraging the Rugby World Cup (<a href="">see our case study on Lynx's sexualised 'Rules Of Rugby' from New Zealand's 2011 tournament</a>).

Samsung is using gentle humour and genuine expertise to make rugby more accessible and exciting to everyone.

Indeed, Samsung, which was announced as the Official Consumer Electronics &amp; Smartphone Partner as well as Official Home Technology Partner to the RFU and England Rugby Team at the end of 2014, is adopting a similar activation approach as several other rugby sponsors leveraging the RWC in so much as it's work aims to broaden the appeal of the game beyond its core following and engage the mass market.

‘At Samsung we take pride in bringing sports fans closer to their passions and creating unforgettable experiences through our technology,’ says Samsung’s Taylor.


Samsung UK YouTube:

Samsung UK Twitter:">@SamsungUK

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RFU Website:


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