‘8000 miles? Child’s play’
Shortlisted for the Brand Film Awards and released in anticipation of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, ‘The 8000 Mile Auto5Graph’ is a documentary short (but no less sweet) by award winning producer WING for Vodafone. Produced to demonstrate the potential everyday applications of the telecom giant’s 5G technology, remote shirt signings by legends of the game for a few lucky fans works well in pushing audiences to revisit their childlike curiosity.
While the British and Irish Lions prepare to capture the Webb Ellis Cup at their training camp in South Africa, Vodafone begin their own campaign showcasing how their offering of digital connectivity has come on leaps and bounds. Following Mark, Graham, Dee, and Rocco as they meet some of their sporting heroes both in person and online, Vodafone invite the 4 to watch their commemorative shirts being signed from a training camp some 8000 miles away thanks to a cutting-edge robotic arm that holds the pen.
5-year-old Rocco steals the show here, and for good reason, but the narrative choice of foregrounding his natural acceptance and engagement with this type of technology is a clever device employed by producers.
Sport itself is often a great equalizer and a fantastic vehicle for brand messaging whatever the field of play. Whether we take part at an elite level, a local court with friends on a Sunday afternoon, or watch from the comfort of our own homes, healthy competition for the sake of competition is something audiences often identify with and get behind. We might ask ourselves, where would we be without such a communal outlet? Vodafone propose that this is also a question that can be applied to communication.
Afterall, Vodafone isn’t always just a telecommunications company, just like a shirt isn’t always just a shirt.