Premier League, Sprite, The Big Issue, New Zealand Rugby and Carlsberg: top 5 performance marketing campaigns this week

From new football and rugby experiences to pop-up vending machines and virtual 7 metre shopfronts, we pick the standout performance marketing campaigns from brands this week.

Every week, the PMW team picks the top 5 ad campaigns that incorporate performance marketing techniques such as pay-for-performance advertising or data-led audience targeting, crediting the work behind it and reviewing the strategies involved.

In this week’s campaigns round-up, Alexandra Willis, Director of Digital Media and Audience Development at the Premier League, talks us through the league’s new location-based, augmented reality mobile fan experience, aimed at building the hype for its inaugural US-based Summer Series.

“We hope to enable even more people to celebrate with us across the USA this summer, and at the same time, learn about how fans want to engage with and interact with this innovative technology,” Willis explained.

Read about the Premier League’s campaign and more in PMW’s top five performance marketing-based campaigns this week.

1. Premier League: building Summer Series tournament hype with an augmented reality fan experience

2. Sprite: out-of-home campaign and world first vending machine that responds in real time to its surroundings

3. Big Issue Group: connected campaign using QR codes to create a realistic 3D ‘storefront’ mural aimed at empowering its vendors

4. New Zealand Rugby: partnership with SmartFrame allowing the national rugby union organisation to uncover new advertising revenues and fan engagement opportunities

5. Carlsberg: integrated media strategy with new agency iProspect

Premier League launches Augmented Reality experience ahead of first-ever Summer Series tournament in the USA

Ahead of the inaugural Premier League Summer Series in the USA, football fans will be able to immerse themselves in the hype via a new Augmented Reality mobile experience which will see them hunt down the covered Premier League Trophy in the series’ five host cities.

Working with: Doppelgänger, Rose Digital and Niantic's 8thWall.

The performance marketing strategy: The location-based mobile experience will allow fans the chance to locate 20 Premier League trophies, each representing a different club, hidden at high-profile locations in each of the five host cities. A gamified AR experience, the trophy hunt is web-based and accessible to anyone with a smartphone. All trophies will be visible through a navigation map on the experience landing page here and every trophy that fans find increases their chance of winning a host of prizes, including VIP tickets for Premier League Summer Series matches, signed shirts and Premier League Summer Series merchandise.

The client’s verdict: Alexandra Willis, Director of Digital Media and Audience Development at the Premier League, said: “We are honoured to have such a passionate Premier League fanbase in the USA, and are very excited to be giving them the chance to experience the Premier League Summer Series on home soil for the very first time. We have hugely enjoyed working with Doppelgänger to create this Augmented Reality mobile experience to extend this landmark moment beyond the stadium. We hope to enable even more people to celebrate with us across the USA this summer, and at the same time, learn about how fans want to engage with and interact with this innovative technology.”

Sprite taps influencer marketing to support ‘heat activated’ vending machine campaign targeting Gen Z this summer

Claiming to be the first of its kind, Sprite’s new vending machine reacts in real time to the moments of physical and mental ‘heat’ people face on the go. As heat goes up, a Sprite drops.

Working with: WPP OpenX

The performance marketing strategy: Targeted at Gen Z, the smart vending machine uses live data to surprise busy commuters by reacting to relatable, annoying moments of everyday ‘heat’ and aims to rectify these annoyances by serving up a Sprite. The experiential activation is built on the insight that we are living in a world that’s more heated than ever before, and with train stations being one of the UK’s most stressful environments the vending machine has been placed in London’s Kings Cross station.

The campaign will also be supported by a series of influencer partnerships to drive brand affinity among Gen-Z. Creating platform-agnostic, entertainment-driven content, the influencer activity is strategically designed to encourage trial through desire.

The client’s verdict: Kiran Ranmal, European Creative Marketing Manager at The Coca-Cola Company, said: “We all experience moments of heat that get us hot under the collar. “With our one-of-a-kind smart vending machine, we want to help keep the nation cool this summer no matter what is thrown their way. Gen-Z are at the heart of this campaign, and we hope that with our cheeky vending machine, we can create a meaningful experience for our audience to connect with the Sprite brand.”

Big Issue Group utilises QR codes to drive subscriptions as part of new ‘Shopfront’ activation

Mobile-supported out-of-home campaign aims to reframe the public perception of what it means to sell The Big Issue and highlight the hard work of its vendors as ‘mini-business’ owners.

Working with: Global Street Art (GSA)

The performance marketing strategy: Entitled ‘The Street is My Store’, the realistic 3D ‘storefront’ mural aims to raise awareness of a new and innovative campaign that will help create different ways for customers to interact with Big Issue vendors and help bolster their income. The digital initiative aims to empower selected vendors with personalised QR codes on lanyards taking people to web-pages that consumers can share with their friends and family to boost vendor sales. This initiative will eventually be rolled out to all vendors.

The artwork is located at Village Underground and measures 7.4 metres high by 16 metres wide. Intricately detailed, the shopfronts display an array of the most recent magazine covers and highlights information about vendors and ex-vendors, as well as the work that the organisation does to elevate people out of poverty and into work. The mural hopes to serve as an entry point for the public to find out more about BIG’s work.

The client’s verdict: Zoe Hayward, Group Chief Marketing Officer at BIG, said: “The work we do has never been more important in light of the cost-of-living crisis. We have launched this campaign to showcase ways in which our vendors work hard to earn a living and that customers can now boost their local vendors’ income in even more ways. We are pleased to mark the launch of yet another way the public can help to boost their local vendor’s income by scanning the vendor’s personalised QR code to share their story and subscribe. We would like to thank the creative team and GSA who have both worked tirelessly on this project and delivered an impactful, arresting stunt moment that we hope will capture the attention of the public and redress common misconceptions around our business model and our vendor network.”

New Zealand Rugby kicks off game-changing new partnership with image-streaming company SmartFrame to gain full ownership of its images

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UK-based start-up SmartFrame Technologies has been appointed the official photography and image-distribution partner of New Zealand Rugby (NZR), allowing the national rugby union organisation to uncover new advertising revenues and fan engagement opportunities.

Working with: SmartFrame Technologies and action press

The performance marketing strategy: SmartFrame’s model assigns the rights of all images to NZR, allowing the organisation to profit from the revenues generated by occasional in-image advertising. The partnership also provides a new media space for sponsors and commercial partners. Advertisers partnered with SmartFrame can associate with the NZR brand, reaching its fans and wider rugby audiences around the world with ads targeted to specific images, websites, geolocations, and devices, facilitating contextual advertising campaigns in the editorial content fans are already consuming.

The ad-funded model stands to generate new revenue streams for publishers, photographers and NZR by monetising the audience viewing an official SmartFrame image as opposed to licensing the asset.

The client’s verdict: Yarnie Guthrie, Global Head of Commercial Sales at NZR, said: “Imagery has always been a key component in bringing our sport closer to the fans. We’re very proud of this partnership with SmartFrame and to be the first sports team to pioneer this innovative image-streaming technology to drive both new and richer revenue opportunities, and a vastly improved fan experience from our official images. As the sports and media ecosystems evolve, we must adapt and question the status quo. In doing so, we’ve been able to win back the rights to our own imagery, while uncovering new data, audience insights and a new commercial model that has huge potential.”

Carlsberg embarks on new integrated media strategy with iProspect

iProspect has been appointed the drinks brand’s new agency, responsible for driving the company's advertising and marketing campaigns across all markets.

Working with: Digital-first media agency iProspect

The performance marketing strategy: Starting from January 2024, iProspect will assume full responsibility for all media planning and buying duties for Carlsberg Group as its media agency of record. With iProspect's support, Carlsberg aims to establish an integrated media strategy and execute impactful campaigns that resonate with consumers, aiming to ensure that its brands remain relevant and influential across all the Groups markets.

The client's verdict: Søren Brinck, Chief Commercial Officer at Carlsberg Group, said: “We are thrilled to have selected iProspect as our global media partner. Their comprehensive, creative and innovative approach, combined with their range of cutting-edge tools and strategies, convinced us that they are the ideal choice to drive our marketing and our brands’ to new heights. We are eager to collaborate closely with iProspect and leverage their expertise to achieve our objectives."