NRL launches new creative platform and first work with Emotive

The NRL has launched a new creative platform via Emotive, called ‘UNREAL’, also launching the first creative work since Emotive was appointed as its creative account following a competitive pitch in October 2021.

The work represents a significant development for NRL as it moves away from separate event and product-led campaigns in favour of unifying the game under a singular long-term creative platform.

In the 60-second spot, a montage is shown of different UNREAL moments from the NRL, from the rivalry of State of Origin to children’s matches.

NRL general manager marketing Corina Black said: “Unreal is a bold step forward for the NRL brand. An all-encompassing platform idea born from all the real that makes Rugby League the most entertaining and connected sport in Australia. By bringing together the best of what’s on offer across our incredible portfolio of events and grass roots programs this platform helps us to connect with core fans and attract new audiences to our community so they can experience all the real that makes NRL so Unreal.”

Emotive managing partner ad head of strategy Michael Hogg commented: “Some things are meant to be, like the Bunnies winning the Grand Final in 2014 for the first time in 43 years, or ‘UNREAL’ being the creative platform for NRL. Not only does it conveniently have the brand name in it – how often does that happen? …but more importantly, it captures the very essence of what makes NRL distinct as a game and as an entertainment property. And as such, has a chance to help unite the game and to be enduring.”

Emotive CEO & founder Simon Joyce added: “I’ve always loved the NRL. It’s a sport where you experience every possible emotion week in week out, and we feel incredibly privileged to be working with the team at the NRL. And we couldn’t be prouder of the masterbrand launch work. The platform allows us to simply showcase all that’s unpredictable, gritty and real about the game, on and off the field. Everything that makes NRL so Unreal.”

The campaign will launch through a Channel 9 broadcast integration, and will be on TV, out-of-home (OOH), digital, merchandise and experiential.

One of the campaign assets


Client – NRL
Chief Customer and Digital Officer: Alexi Baker
General Manager Marketing and Brand: Corina Black
Head of Campaign & Digital Marketing – Courtney Alderson
Creative Agency – Emotive
Founder & CEO: Simon Joyce
Head of Strategy & Managing Partner: Michael Hogg
Business Director: Ciaran Miller-Stubbs
Creative Director: Ben Sampson
Copywriter: Pierce Thomson
Head of Production: Hayley-Ritz Pelling
Senior Producer: Savannah Anseline

Graphic Designer and Brand Lead: Lucy Bean

Production Company – AIRBAG
Director: Ariel Martin
Executive Producer: Alex Tizzard
Producer: Megan Ayers
Line Producer: Fiona Pakes
DOP: Jules O’Loughlin
Post-Production Company – AIRBAG
Offline Edit: AIRBAG
Post-Producer: Nick Venn
Offline Editor: Mark Bennett
Grade: Matt Fezz
Online Edit: White Chocolate
Music & Sound – Otis Studios


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.