New Zealand’s favourite mayonnaise brand, Best Foods, has cleverly adapted to the marketing challenges presented by COVID-19 – namely, the initial cancellation of activities relating to its two biggest sponsorships for the year, the Vodafone Warriors and NZ International Comedy Festival – with a digital content series that marries both sponsorships.

Having signed off a new major two-year sponsorship of the Vodafone Warriors, Best Foods was also preparing to leverage its long-term sponsorship of the Comedy Festival – until the COVID-19 lockdown hit New Zealand and the world.

With the nation on hold and all events cancelled, Best Foods has pivoted its planned approach in a matter of weeks, turning the pandemic into a perfect collaboration with the Vodafone Warriors x Comedy Festival mash up, a digital content comedy series featuring Warriors players as talent.

The series sees Vodafone Warriors League stars, Gerald Beale, Isiah Papali’I and Blake Green, completing every day chores and activities around the house during quarantine such as making a Best Foods mayo sandwich, playing chess and entertaining the kids. Footage was shot by players from their mobile devices, with commentary added in from comedic geniuses James Nokise, Tim Batt, and Donna Brookbanks to produce a humorous ‘alternative commentary’.

Head of Unilever New Zealand, Matt Rigby, says the content series was the ideal way to continue leveraging its sponsorships, whilst supporting its brand partners during a challenging time.

“We knew we needed to find a way to support our partners and needed to act fast – so why not engage the two together with an entertaining content series? We’re excited to keep our partners in front of Kiwis in a light, humorous and relatable way that gives fans a light relief during a stressful time,” says Matt Rigby.

In late March, Comedy Festival organisers announced this year’s event was cancelled due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The NRL recently confirmed the 2020 season will commence in Australia from 28 May, with no games being played in New Zealand.

The Best Foods Vodafone Warriors x Comedy Festival mash up is not the only activity the brand has undertaken during COVID-19 – having just wrapped up its ‘Supermarket Heroes’ campaign to recognise and reward Kiwi supermarket and grocery workers for their hard work during lockdown this week, announcing one winner to receive a weekend at Huka Lodge, and four additional winners to receive a years’ supply of Unilever products.

It also implemented ‘Come Digitally Dine With Me’, a socially-led competition giving Warriors fans the opportunity to have lunch with their favourite players via Zoom, earlier this month; and ‘Lockdown Laughs’, which sees the Comedy Festival team share their top picks of what to watch, listen to and read during lockdown with Best Foods recipes to enjoy and prize hampers to win.

The Best Foods Vodafone Warriors x Comedy Festival content series is now live on the following social channels: