ITV has turned to the occult in its campaign for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Created by in-house agency ITV Creative and directed by Sami Abusamra of Mister Tibbs, the hero film shows a man having his tarot cards read by a fortune teller.
Only it’s not his fortune she’s telling, but that of the Rugby World Cup. Turning over cards for South Africa (“The Champions”), Ireland (“The Grand Slammers”) and New Zealand (“The Legends”), she then turns over cards for Scotland, Wales, Japan, Argentina and hosting country France.
Finally, she turns over the card for England (“The Resurrected”).
When the fortune teller snatches the cards away, the screen reads “This one’s impossible to predict”.
ITV creative directors Jack McPartland and Shane O’Neil worked with illustrator Youssef Sabry to design 20 tarot cards, one for each nation participating in the tournament.
The cards drew on the culture and symbolism of each nation and Sabry said the project had given him the opportunity to “depict so much of the world and its rugby culture”, while still allowing him to keep his “artistic voice”.
Spanning across broadcast, out of home, social and influencer marketing, paid media has been planned and bought by EssenceMediacom. Media across ITV has been planned by Ben Yacobi and Alfie Carver.
Jane Stiller, chief marketing officer at ITV, said “these huge, unmissable TV moments are what make ITV so special” and added: “We wanted to create a campaign that reflected the brilliantly unpredictable nature of this year's tournament”.
The tournament starts on 8 September.