In fine tradition, Hong Kong Sevens sponsor Marriott Hotels has jumped on the annual fever for all things rugby, fancy dress, cheesy singalong songs and bananas to launch its new campaign, 'Stay Brilliant', created by Ogilvy.
The series of short films features retired French rugby star Sébastien Chabal, he of hair and beard so lustrous and long that the French media dubbed him l'Homme des Cavernes—the Caveman.
'Bonjour', the first film, published on YouTube on March 15, stars Chabal in a fetching maid's uniform demonstrating Marriott's 'new pilot alarm clock programme'—bursting through the wall to wake up a sleeping guest. The plaster-shattering routine isn't earth-shattering comedy material, but the ad laughs at itself as well, so we like it. Sevens ads and the art of subtle suggestion were probably never meant to be pitch partners.
Bonjour was followed by two teaser videos, both showing Chabal offering heavy-handed ways rugby fans can 'Stay Brilliant' throughout the event. The sight of Chabal rubbing together his enormous hands in preparation to deliver a head massage is not easily forgettable. His hands make that man's head look like a walnut that he's about to crack. Scary.
The final video, 'Hey Baby' (at the top of this page), will play in the stadium itself during the games. It's classic Sevens material—rugby legend dresses up in variety of ill-fitting outfits and sings—Chabal actually sings, in a low, rich and exceptionally French manner—'Hey Baby' by DJ Otzi, a tune beloved of tipsy South Stand partiers across the years.
It's not especially comfortable to watch from the confines of a quiet office, but when accompanied by the roars of a 40,000 strong crowd in the stadium, Marriott will no doubt feel the satisfaction of a job well done.
Chief Creative Officer: Reed Collins
Creative Director: Jim Fong / Richard Sorensen
Associate Creative Director: Jeff Vitkun
Senior Art Director: Jo Wong
Senior Producer: Jacqueline Ho
Director: Helen Clemens
Executive Producer: Bernd Out (Made for Digital)
Editor: Kay Kwan / Henry Gaunt (The Visual Asylum)
Composer: Lindsay Jehan (Song Zu)
Executive Producer: Donny Pereira (Song Zu)
Managing Partner: Caroline Jackson
Account Director: Antony Hung