NRL claims ‘Rugby League’s got a hold on me’ in ad starring Jessica Mauboy

NRL adThe NRL has launched an ad campaign to mark the start of the 2013 season, with a dance anthem performed by Jessica Mauboy.

The campaign, created by MJW, features young women playing the game at school and on the beach, specifically designed to target females as part of a broader “whole of game” brand promotion the NRL has adopted. The past focus of ads was mainly on players.

It is the first time a female has fronted an NRL campaign since Tina Turner’s hugely successful Simply The Best ads were launched in 1989.

The female targeted ad ironically breaks on the day that Sydney’s Daily Telegraph ran a front page splash where star Bulldog’s player Ben Barba’s wife – who he recently separated from – denied extensive social media rumours that he had assaulted her.

A series of 30 and 60-second TV ads, featuring the words ‘Rugby league’s got a hold on me’ to the tune of Mauboy’s ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’, a cover of an Etta James classic, will be combined with retail activation, outdoor, press, radio and digital activity.

Meanwhile Mauboy’s ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’ is to be released by Sony Music next week.

The campaign also invites NRL fans to edit their own version of the ad at and share it with friends through social media.

“The campaign has aligned itself to the game’s strategic plan with particular emphasis placed on showcasing the values of the sport, while continuing to broaden the appeal of the game’s showpiece event, the Telstra Premiership”, MJW’s MD Paul McKay, said.

Mauboy said in a press release: “The NRL is my game, I love it. Performing two years ago at the NRL Grand Final was a career highlight, so to be part of the advertising campaign for the season is incredibly special.”


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