Oscar winning director, Tom Hooper and Folk Wunderman Thompson capture the spirit of Irish rugby squad in new Vodafone campaign
Posted on 2023 Aug,22

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To celebrate Vodafone’s sponsorship of the Irish rugby team ahead of the Rugby World Cup, Folk Wunderman Thompson agency in Ireland have launched a campaign that hits at the heart of what makes this squad special. 

The Vodafone network prides itself on having ‘connections you can always rely on’. And so, the story behind this world cup campaign centres around one core family value – reliability. Because with the guidance and support of head coach, Andy Farrell, this Irish team have learned to rely on each other like family. 

The latest campaign, created by Folk Wunderman Thompson, explores the moment Andy was first thought to rely on his teammates like family in 1980’s Wigan, and how he took this ethos to the Irish squad today. The spot finishes in the modern day with Andy’s words ringing true to the players, as they prepare to walk out onto the pitch for one of the most important matches of their lives at the Rugby World Cup. 

Oscar award-winning director Tom Hooper, known for his films such as ‘The Kings Speech’, ‘Les Misérables’, and ‘The Damned United’ was attracted to the emotional power of the story. 

The campaign, which went live on August 21st across TV, cinema and out of home, consists of a hero ad created by Folk Wunderman Thompson, Tom Hooper and PRODUCTION COMPANY Smuggler. Hooper’s direction gives the audiences a unique insight into the squad and how Andy Farrell has instilled a strong sense of togetherness among the team. 

Speaking about the campaign Orla Nagle, Head of Brand at Vodafone Ireland said: “Since the beginning of our partnership with the IRFU we have seen the team take their performance to the next level. Through this advert we wanted to celebrate that success and bring to life the teams spirit, by capturing its foundations which are deeply rooted in reliability, dependability and what it means to be part of #TeamOfUs.
These values strongly mirror what we aim to deliver to our customers so they can truly feel the connection through the power of our mobile and broadband networks. We are excited to join the nation in celebrating what we hope is yet another special moment in history.’’

Karl Waters, Creative Partner at Folk Wunderman Thompson, adds “Andy Farrell has instilled a sense of family and reliability in the Irish camp. We wanted to get to the heart of where Andy learned this, going all the way back to Wigan in 1983. Reliability is of course the role Vodafone’s network plays with Irish families too”.




Wunderman Thompson

Creative Partner: Karl Waters

Creative Director: Jonathon Cullen

Copywriters: Karl Waters, Robert Cummins

Art Directors: Jonathon Cullent, Orla Byrne

Managing Director: Enda Kelly

Account Team: Laura Kelly, Louise Smith, Melissa Byrne

Agency Producers: Michael Cullent, Eric Brindley

Strategists: Tara Finnegan, Kim Comiskey


Photographer: Liam Murphy

Media Agency: Carat



Production company: Smuggler

Head of Production: Amelia Hanbury

Director: Tom Hooper

Director of Photography: Barry Ackroyd

Production Designer: John Hand

Post-supervisor: Barnes – Rascal

Grade: Rascal

Composed and produced by: Peter Raeburn & Ben Jones – Soundtree Music

Sound mix: 750mph


Client team

Head of Brand: Orla Nagle

Head of Sponsorship & Business Brand: Gerry Nixon

Brand Manager: Ciara Kennedy

Sponsorship Activation Manager: David Dunne