Canterbury is a renowned rugby brand, creating stylish and durable kits since 1904. It’s known for its innovation in the game and delivering landmark kit staples including the base layer. Inclusivity is at the heart of Canterbury’s values, recognising that rugby belongs to everyone. Canterbury translates this into the products it makes.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 was “embracing equity,” and Canterbury turned to SCREENSHOT Agency to develop and deliver a campaign that was aligned to this and rugby’s values – it’s a sport that’s inclusive to everyone, embracing all that play it and are passionate about the sport everywhere, no matter what you look like.
SCREENSHOT Agency developed the idea of ‘Not a Rugby Girl’ to challenge stereotypes, amplify the core values of both rugby as a sport and Canterbury as a brand, and tell authentic and empowering stories. It was important for us to elevate the diverse women who play rugby, challenging the wider stereotypes about girls who play the sport. By taking a deep dive into the rugby community and researching challenges faced by female players, we aimed to create an authentic and empowering campaign that would launch on International Women’s Day 2023 and the weeks that followed.
The goals were to convey Canterbury’s key message – that the brand shows up for women as an ally every day of the year – whilst delivering impact for the brand. This included:
‘Not a Rugby Girl’ was a two-phase empowering, meaningful and authentic campaign which highlighted Canterbury as a brand and its support of women during International Women’s Day 2023. We focused on UGC, with the second phase of the campaign inspired by high-performing trends native to TikTok and Instagram, so that the campaign was embedded into a socially native environment and sat organically on the talents’ feeds. UGC meant we could find the balance between authenticity and branded content, whilst cutting through the noise of International Women’s Day.
Phase 1 utilised a hero video to spread awareness of the campaign before its full rollout during Phase 2. We worked with seven UK elite athletes, amateur players, and content creators who are redefining the game:
Phase 2 leveraged three high-performing TikTok and Instagram trends – GRWM, A Day in the Life, and Expectation vs Reality – to create a series of socially-native Reels that were genuine, energetic, and engaging. Each of the seven rugby players used a pre-selected Reel format and prompt from the trends to convey their unique and compelling perspective in a purposeful way. SCREENSHOT’s recent survey of 6,000 18-24-year-olds revealed that 56% of TikTok users prefer short-form content, and 18% prefer creative, so Phase 2 was all about highlighting the players individually, in an accessible way that resonated with the rugby community and wider audience. The players showed us what it was to be a rugby girl, while drawing attention to their passions and interests beyond the pitch, honing in on authenticity.
We set out to achieve a 2 million reach, 4% engagement rate, 300,000 video views, and 15% VTR.
Top performing videos included the hero video, which had a total reach of 246K, and Jodie’s A Day in the Life, which reached 201K views. Across the whole campaign, our creative strategy carefully balanced authenticity with branded content, and ensured that Canterbury was positioned as an ally. We’re not the only ones that believe this - comments from Instagram users include “A professional Rugby player and nurse, Linda a total warrior 👏”, “What a role model 👏” and “So proud of all our rugby girls ❤️🔥👏”.
By making use of socially native content that sat organically in the players’ feeds, SCREENSHOT and Canterbury generated empowering and uplifting videos of inspiring players that shook up International Women’s Day, while also kickstarting a campaign that breaks down what it means to be a girl that plays rugby.