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| Football Fever 1

a winning

formation shots and ALF line up together to bring you the Top 10 UK Football Ads and the best in football-inspired creativity Brought to you by

Cover Illustration Elly Walton

Contents 02-11 Top 10 UK Football Ads shots rummages in its kitbag and produces its best 10 UK football spots of the modern era ​ 12-13 World Cup Fixture List Dig out the replica shirt, book your seat on the sofa and never miss a goal with our kick-off timetable 14-17 Creative Playmakers Why football is such a deep creative seam for creatives and where the narrative might be heading next ​ 18-20 Brand Beckham He may have hung his boots up, but David Beckham is still the football icon of choice for global brands

Contact For any enquiries relating to information in this booklet or to subscribe to shots or ALF, please contact: Disclaimer All data correct at the time of going to press Brought to you by


he Beautiful Game is often made even more beautiful, exciting and visceral by creative advertising. Be it a star-studded extravaganza or a more fan-focussed take on the UK’s national sport, advertising has used football in a host of interesting and often pulsating ways to promote an array of brands. As a certain global festival of football will soon be upon us, the teams at shots and ALF thought now might be a good time to create this special supplement to highlight how and when UK advertising has most creatively employed the game of football and why the sport is such a rich and resourceful playground for branding. Used by agencies, media owners and marketing services companies, ALF is a veritable mine of UK advertising data. As a lead-generation tool, it enables you to grow your business with in-depth marketing and advertising intelligence and provides fast and efficient access to key brand decision-makers and their associated agencies. And

with shots’ news, insight and inspiration around the creative advertising industry, its highlighting of the best work, most innovative thinkers and relevant themes, it’s not hard to see why we make great teammates. To demonstrate this, we have chosen our top 10 UK-made football spots by delving into the vast archives of and retrieving 10 great films that use passion, humour, emotion – or sometimes a mixture of all three – to great effect. We have then extracted sample data from ALF that relates to the advertisers and brands featured in these spots to provide a more data-rich read. As well as examining what makes football such a creative advertising seam, we also scrutinize that most revered of footballing icons – certainly in advertising terms – David Beckham, by asking those in the know what it is that makes Becks such an advertising star. So, that’s the warm-up done, let’s get on with the main event. Danny Edwards Editor, shots Adeline Bonnet Head of content, ALF

2 Football Fever | Top 10 UK Ads

ALF data

adidas Unlock the Game

Agency BBH Sport Production company A+ Director Niall O’Brien Creative director Ewan Patterson Post production The Line; Electric Theatre Collective Editor Simon Hargood@ Assembly Rooms


The most recent spot on our list of best British football ads, this film from BBH Sport – a new division of the agency which, as the name suggests, focuses on sporting brands – and Hill & Knowlton Strategies combines liveaction with animation and rotoscoping to illustrate how the best players practice hard to be better than the opposition and unlock tight games. Directed by Niall O’Brien, the spot features stars including Leighton Baines, Luis Suarez and Juan Mata, and is an inventive, lo-fi approach to football advertising.

Advertiser adidas (UK) Ltd

UK brand spend (2013)* £2,899,287

Brand adidas footwear range ​

UK brand TV spend (2013)* £1,187,862

Brand contacts Nick Craggs, director of marketing Barry Moore, brand marketing director

Lead creative agency TBWA\London Ltd ​ Agency contact Tom Wong, development & marketing director

News snapshot (Mar 2014) adidas has unveiled a new online gaming platform, #fastorfail, starring Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi. The game, which is hosted on a microsite,, can be played on mobile or desktop and allows users to play from the perspective of Messi on the pitch. *Source: Nielsen

Top 10 UK Ads

adidas It’s Blue, What Else Matters?

Promoting a new club kit is now a yearly affair, such is the short shelf life that replica kits have. But rather than leave it to the traditional last-game-of-the-season showcase, Chelsea made a film to highlight their 2013/14 strip. Directed by Mark Zibert through The Corner, the 90-second spot shows different Chelsea players including John Terry, Gary Cahill and David Luiz being covered in viscous blue paint from head to toe. Shot in slow motion and set to a pulsating soundtrack, it’s an inventive and stylish piece of work.

UK advertiser spend (2013)* £4,130,034

Brand adidas sports sponsorship ​

Lead creative agency TBWA\London Ltd

Brand contact Nick Craggs, director of marketing

Agency contacts Tom Wong, development & marketing director Tom Lamming, account executive

News snapshot (Apr 2014) adidas has rolled out a viral film to promote the 2014/15 Chelsea football kit launch. The film features Chelsea players including Gary Cahill and Fernando Torres frozen in classic football poses, held up by strings.

*Source: Nielsen

ALF data

Advertiser adidas (UK) Ltd

UK brand spend (2013)* £184,424


Agency The Corner Production company 24 Director Mark Zibert Creative director Tom Ewart Post production Smoke & Mirrors

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4 Football Fever | Top 10 UK Ads

ALF data

Barclay’s loVe is toUGh

Agency BBH Production company Blink Productions Director Benito Montorio Creative director Nick Gill Post production MPC Editor/Editing company Andy McGraw @ Stitch


A different approach to the rest of the campaigns on this list; Love is Tough takes a more measured, emotional approach to football and is all the more powerful for it. Following fans of different teams as they make their way to the match, it emphasises the emotional connection people have with their club and the lengths to which they go to support it. Directed by Benito Montorio through BBH, its impact is heightened by a beautiful rendition of Leo Sayer’s I Can’t Stop Loving You sung by Samantha Whates, and can’t fail to raise the hairs on the back of the neck of any football fanatic.

Advertiser Barclays Bank Plc

UK brand spend (2013)* £240,895

Brand Barclays sport sponsorship

Lead creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Brand contact Matt Appleby, sponsorship director

Agency contacts Andy Cairns, strategic business lead Debra Stephens, strategy director

UK brand spend (Q4 13)* £67,894

News snapshot (Jan 2014) Barclays is currently said to be considering ending its sponsorship of the Premier League. After paying £40 million to remain the title sponsor in 2012, the bank is now concerned about the cost of renewing the sponsorship when the current deal expires at the end of the 2015/2016 season. *Source: Nielsen

Top 10 UK Ads

carlinG the BiG match

Brand Carling lager range Brand contacts Ali Pickering, brand director portfolio Christian Sarginson, brand manager

Who doesn’t love an impromptu kick-about in the street? In this spot from Leith London and director Kevin Thomas, that concept is taken to the limit as hundreds of people take to the street to have a massive game of shirts versus skins. The spot starts in a flat where two men are having a game of keepy-uppy when the ball flies out of the window, prompting more and more people in the street – and, eventually, the city – below to get involved. It’s an epic spot which showcases the mass appeal of The Beautiful Game.

UK brand TV spend (Q4 13)* £716,886 UK brand Spend (Q4 13)* £3,891,854 Lead creative agency Creature of London Agency contact Dan Shute, managing partner

News snapshot (May 2014) Molson Coors’ Carling brand has revealed that the reintroduction of ‘laddish’ humour it used in its advertising during the 90s in its recent creative has ‘helped reverse declining sales’. Off-trade sales across the beer portfolio saw a rise of 4.7 per cent for the 52 weeks to 29 March, to £323m. *Source: Nielsen

ALF data

Advertiser Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK & Ireland ) Ltd


Agency Leith Production company Thomas Thomas Films Director Kevin Thomas Creative director John Messum Post production The Mill Editor Bryan Dyke

| Football Fever 5

6 Football Fever | Top 10 UK Ads

ALF data

Carlsberg Fan Academy

Agency Fold7 Production company Academy Films Director Peter Cattaneo Creative director Ryan Newey Post production Finish Editor/Editing company Sam Rice Edwards @ Assembly Rooms


This spot mixes nostalgia with a more modern approach as three England fans are shown around the Carlsberg Fan Academy by broadcaster Des Lynam. It’s here that they can learn to become true England fans from a variety of famous British men and women. Sprinter Linford Christie times fans in the gents; survivalist Ray Mears instructs on the weather and actor Brian Blessed delivers singing lessons. Successful fans receive a pint of Carlsberg from Sir Bobby Charlton. Directed by Peter Cattaneo through Fold7, Fan Academy is another match-winning performance from Carlsberg.

Advertiser Carlsberg UK Ltd

UK advertiser spend (Q4 13)* £595,099

Brand Carlsberg lager ​

Lead creative agency Santo

Brand contact Darran Britton, director of marketing & strategy

Media agency OMD (UK)

UK brand spend (Q4 13)* £108,867

Media agency contact Richard Maisey, associate director

News snapshot (Apr 2014) Carlsberg has launched its Carlsberg Fan Squad campaign in support of its sponsorship of the Barclays Premier League and the England team. The brand is aiming to ‘amplify fans’ enjoyment of the beautiful game’. Activity will run on-pack and be supported by print, broadcast, POS and digital. *Source: Nielsen

Top 10 UK Ads

Carlsberg Old Lions


Football nostalgia never gets old, and this spot for Carlsberg from Saatchi & Saatchi London and director Chris Palmer is one of the best examples of how to use former football stars to great effect. The three-minute spot showcases a team of ex-England players taking on an amateur team in a Sunday league game. Managed by the late Bobby Robson, players including Peter Beardsley, Bryan Robson, Stuart Pearce, Jack and Sir Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton exchange passes as well as jokey football banter in a brilliantly choreographed film.

UK advertiser TV spend (2013)* £4,061,050

Brand Carlsberg lager ​

Lead creative agency Santo

Brand contact David Scott, marketing director

Digital agency AIA Worldwide Ltd

UK brand TV spend (2013)* £1,624,152

Digital agency contact Nathan Perrott, head of digital marketing strategy

News snapshot (Mar 2014) Carlsberg has unveiled a World Cup-themed marketing push to kick off its long-term football strategy. The strategy aims to make Carlsberg ‘the beer of choice’ for England fans during the World Cup this summer.

*Source: Nielsen

ALF data

Advertiser Carlsberg UK Ltd

Agency Saatchi & Saatchi Production company Gorgeous Enterprises Director Chris Palmer Creative directors Richard Denney, Dave Henderson Post production The Mill Editor Paul Watts @ The Quarry

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8 Football Fever | Top 10 UK Ads

ALF data

H&M One for the Ladies

Agency Saturday Production company RESET Director Guy Ritchie Creative director Marc Atlan Post production MPC Editor/Editing company Rich Orrick @ Work


You can’t have a feature about great British football ads and not have David Beckham in it. Beckham has been the star of many ads over the years, but we would hazard a guess that none have been more popular with a certain section of the public than this Guy Ritchie-directed film for H&M. Ok, hands up, the link to football is tenuous (there’s a scene where he interrupts kids kicking a ball about in the yard) but come on, Becks is a legend and this ad perfectly plays on his image as a style icon and heart-throb but mixes it with wry humour and a kicking track.

Advertiser H&M Hennes & Mauritz UK Ltd

UK advertiser TV spend (Q4 13)* £279,483

Brand H&M Hennes store ​

Lead creative agency Wednesday London

Brand contact Ulrika Miller, head of marketing

Media agency UM London

UK brand TV spend (Q4 13)* £279,483

Media agency contact Eve Samuel-Camps, managing partner, client services

News snapshot (Jan 2014) H&M has launched a campaign featuring brand ambassador David Beckham. The advert ‘has delighted fans’ by featuring Beckham in his underwear. The push showcases the clothing retailer’s spring 2014 range.

*Source: Nielsen

Top 10 UK Ads

Nike Parklife


A seminal spot directed by Jonathan Glazer through TBWA\Simons Palmer. It features Eric Cantona, Ian Wright, David Seaman and Robbie Fowler as members of various Sunday league amateur teams playing on adjacent pitches on East London’s Hackney Marshes. Set to the strains of Blur’s Parklife, it’s a much grittier approach than many other Nike campaigns, but the spot balances great humour with great skill to feel like a truly British approach to how most people play football every week.

UK brand spend (2013)* £477,453

Brand Nike corporate ​

UK brand TV spend (2013)* £461,575

Brand contacts Nicole Hubbard, marketing director Ben Reeve, senior sports marketing manager

Lead creative agency Wieden+Kennedy UK Ltd ​ Agency contact Laura Jacob, group account director

News snapshot (Apr 2014) Nike has launched its World Cup campaign with an ad starring brand ambassadors Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, alongside several content initiatives under the Risk Everything umbrella. Created by Wieden+ Kennedy, the ad follows each of the stars travelling to a game. *Source: Nielsen

ALF data

Advertiser Nike (UK) Ltd

Agency TBWA\Simons Palmer Production company Academy Films Director Jonathan Glazer Creative director Tony Malcolm

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10 Football Fever | Top 10 UK Ads

ALF data

Nike Football My Time is Now

Agency Wieden+Kennedy London Production company Stink Director Adam Berg Creative directors Phil Haworth, Stuart Harkness Post production The Mill Editors/Editing company Gus Hardman and Paul Hardcastle @ Trim Editing

Created by Wieden+Kennedy London and shot by Adam Berg, this spot is a Nike extravaganza: a big-budget, slick football-fest that is as clever as it is star-studded. It begins with a France versus Holland match before the game is invaded by an aspiring footballer, followed by scores of others. Stars including Neymar, Ronaldo, Ribéry and Piqué feature as well as an appearance by NBA star LeBron James, and the scene becomes a wild football free-for-all. A digital element allows viewers to search for hidden content, which aligns with Nike’s global scouting initiative, The Chance.

Advertiser Nike (UK) Ltd

UK advertiser TV spend (2013)* £751,705

Brand Nike apparel range

Lead creative agency Wieden+Kennedy UK Ltd ​

Brand contact Nicole Hubbard, marketing director

Agency contact Alex Best, group account director

UK brand TV spend (2013)* £133,500


News snapshot (Mar 2014) Nike has revealed it is to launch its first marketing campaign focussed on Paris Saint-Germain footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović. The sportswear brand is working to ‘exploit’ Ibrahimovic’s ‘rising global profile in the run-up to the World Cup’ by encouraging consumers to ‘attempt the impossible’. *Source: Nielsen

Top 10 UK Ads

Paddy Power Fat Watch


Straight-up comedy in this campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky and director Andy McLeod. Betting company Paddy Power likes to take an alternative view of sport and this spot is no different. Taking a swipe at ‘fat, lazy, millionaire players’, the spot shows fictional footballers as they take squirty whipped-cream refreshment, sit on a Lay-Z-Boy-type chair on the subs’ bench and remove their shirt after scoring, to the revulsion of the celebrating crowd. It’s funny and a refreshing change from the usual footballing approach.

UK brand TV spend (Q4 13)* £791,274

Brand ​

UK advertiser TV spend (Q4 13)* £2,174,318

Brand contacts Christian Woolfenden, global marketing director Paul Sweeney, head of brands

Lead creative agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky Ltd Agency contact Jenni Cowdy, account director

News snapshot (Apr 2014) Paddy Power has recreated its 2013 Scouser’sThird Wish creative, as Liverpool FC sits at the top of the Premier League. With the team at 13/8 to win its first title since 1990, the bookmaker has resurrected its work on Europe’s largest full-motion digital screen.

*Source: Nielsen

ALF data

Advertiser Paddy Power Plc

Agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky Production company Rattling Stick Director Andy McLeod Creative director Ben Walker, Matt Gooden Post production Big Buoy Editor/Editing company Art Jones @ Work

| Football Fever 11

12 Football Fever | WORLD CUP FIXTURES 



GROUP C 14 June

GROUP E 15 June

Brazil v Croatia

Colombia v Greece

Switzerland v Ecuador

Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo, 21:00

Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, 17:00

Estádio Nacional, Brasilia, 17:00

13 June

15 June

15 June

Arena das Dunas, Natal, 17:00

Arena Pernambuco, Recife, 02:00

Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, 20:00

17 June

19 June

20 June

Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza, 20:00

Estádio Nacional, Brasilia, 17:00

Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, 20:00

18 June

19 June

20 June

Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, 23:00

Arena das Dunas, Natal, 23:00

Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, 23:00

23 June

24 June

25 June

Estádio Nacional, Brasilia, 21:00

Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá, 21:00

Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, 21:00

23 June

24 June

25 June

Arena Pernambuco, Recife, 21:00

Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza, 21:00

Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 21:00

Mexico v Cameroon Brazil v Mexico Cameroon v Croatia Cameroon v Brazil Croatia v Mexico GROUP B

Ivory Coast v Japan Colombia v Ivory Coast Japan v Greece Japan v Colombia Greece v Ivory Coast GROUP D

France v Honduras Switzerland v France Honduras v Ecuador Honduras v Switzerland Ecuador v France GROUP F

13 June

14 June

15 June

Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, 20:00

Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza, 20:00

Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 23:00

13 June

14 June

16 June

Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá, 23:00

Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, 23:00

Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, 20:00

18 June

19 June

21 June

Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 20:00

Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo, 20:00

Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, 17:00

18 June

20 June

21 June

Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, 17:00

Arena Pernambuco, Recife, 17:00

Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá, 23:00

23 June

24 June

25 June

Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, 17:00

Arena das Dunas, Natal, 17:00

Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, 17:00

23 June

24 June

25 June

Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo, 17:00

Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, 17:00

Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, 17:00

Spain v Holland Chile v Australia Spain v Chile Australia v Holland Australia v Spain Holland v Chile

Uruguay v Costa Rica England v Italy Uruguay v England Italy v Costa Rica Italy v Uruguay Costa Rica v England

Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina Iran v Nigeria Argentina v Iran Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina Nigeria v Argentina Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran


| Football Fever 13

GROUP G 16 June

Germany v Portugal Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, 17:00 16 June

Ghana v USA Arena das Dunas, Natal, 23:00 21 June

Germany v Ghana Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza, 20:00 22 June

USA v Portugal Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, 23:00 26 June

USA v Germany Arena Pernambuco, Recife, 17:00 26 June

Portugal v Ghana Estádio Nacional, Brasilia, 17:00 GROUP H 17 June

Belgium v Algeria Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, 17:00 17 June

Russia v South Korea Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá, 23:00

SECOND ROUND 28 June (Game 1) Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, 17:00 28 June (Game 2) Winner Group C v Runner-up Group D Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 21:00 29 June (Game 3) Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza, 17:00 29 June (Game 4) Winner Group D v Runner-up Group C Arena Pernambuco, Recife, 21:00 30 June (Game 5) Winner Group E v Runner-up Group F Estádio Nacional, Brasilia, 17:00 30 June (Game 6) Winner Group G v Runner-up Group H Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, 21:00 1 July (Game 7) Winner Group F v Runner-up Group E Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo, 17:00 1 July (Game 8) Winner Group H v Runner-up Group G Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, 21:00 QUARTER FINALS 4 July (QF1) Winner Second-round 1 v Winner Second-round 2 Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza, 21:00 4 July (QF2) Winner Second-round 5 v Winner Second-round 6 Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 17:00 5 July (QF3) Winner Second-round 3 v Winner Second-round 4 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, 21:00 5 July (QF2) Winner Second-round 7 v Winner Second-round 8 Estádio Nacional, Brasilia, 17:00 SEMI-FINALS

22 June

8 July (SF1) Winner Quarter-final 1 v Winner Quarter-final 2 Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, 21:00

Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 17:00

9 July (SF2) Winner Quarter-final 3 v Winner Quarter-final 4 Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo, 21:00

Belgium v Russia 22 June

South Korea v Algeria Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, 20:00 26 June

South Korea v Belgium Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo, 21:00 26 June

Algeria v Russia Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, 21:00

THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF 12 July Loser Semi-final 1 v Loser Semi-final 2 Estádio Nacional, Brasilia, 21:00 WORLD CUP FINAL 13 July Winner Semi-final 1 v Winner Semi-final 2 Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 20:00

14 Football Fever | Creative Playmakers

Nike: Winner Stays Agency Wieden+Kennedy Portland Production company Rattling Stick Director Ringan Ledwidge Creative directors Ryan O’Rourke, Alberto Ponte Editor Rick Orrick @ Work

Creative Playmakers

| Football Fever 15


playmakers The Beautiful Game is fertile ground for creatives, but after the fan’s-eye-view spots and the big-brand blockbusters, David Knight asks if the genre is in need of a new narrative


ou know the World Cup is coming when the big Nike ad arrives. Famously, Nike are not official sponsors of Fifa’s greatest football show on Earth, but their sizzlingly creative ad featuring most of the world’s greatest players is a sure sign that the tournament is almost upon us. Four years ago it was the jawdropping Write The Future directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. This time, the Ringan Ledwidge-directed Winner Stays is the Nike ad combining humour, VFX trickery and an awesome array of soccer talent, including Ronaldo, Neymar, Rooney and Ibrahimović, to name just a few. And that is the challenge to all the advertisers who are not Nike or, to a lesser extent, adidas (who have Leo Messi) but want to exploit this summer’s football fever. Without the awesome playing talent, is football a rich seam of creativity in advertising, during the World Cup or any other time? Nick Gill, ECD at BBH responsible for recent ads that celebrate Barclays’ sponsorship

of the English Premier League, certainly thinks so. “It’s a great subject to write about – it fires the imagination,” he says. “Football is obviously a very emotive subject. It instils such passion. You can philosophise about it, address big themes.”

“Without the playing talent, is football a rich seam of creativity in advertising, during the World Cup or any other time?” Gill’s ads for Barclays – Thank You, directed by Seb Edwards, and Love Is Tough, directed by Benito Montorio – are focussed on the dedication of fans in following their Premier League teams, both in England and across the world. With a down-to-earth realism, Thank You shows the mundanity, boredom and frustrations that come with being a football supporter. “We didn’t want to do a traditional football film,” he says. “The idea was to thank the people who make the beautiful game what it is.”

Ryan Newey, ECD at Fold7, has also been involved in football-related campaigns that shy away from player endorsements in favour of fans. “Players are not the heroes they once were,” he explains. “Brands don’t ally themselves with players, so communication is directly with fans.” Track record of humour Newey creatively directed Fan Academy for Carlsberg for Euro 2012 – a sort of St Trinians for England supporters – tapping the beer brand’s strong track record of humour-based ads that focus on the England team and their long-suffering fans. And the latest Carlsberg ad (out of Saatchis) again plays on England’s dismal penalty shoot-out record at major tournaments. “Carlsberg uses the selfdeprecating British sense of humour,” says Newey. “It’s about knowing we probably won’t win, and accepting that. There is a self-awareness and a it’s a case of not taking it too seriously.” Similarly, bookmaker Paddy

16 Football Fever | Creative Playmakers

Nike: Write The Future Agency Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Production companies Independent Films; Anonymous Content Director Alejandro González Iñárritu Creative director Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy Editors Rick Orrick, Ben Jordan, Stephen Mirrione @ Work

Power has combined football and humour in its ads – but tends to be even more irreverent. Creatives Kate Baker and Tom Hall at Crispin Porter + Bogusky have developed their Ball of Shame series of ads out of the existing We Hear You campaign – taking inspiration from social media. “We tend to look at Twitter to find out what people are saying,” Baker explains. “We found that people were always talking about the bad behaviour

“In the old days, a football ad was a goal and a cheer. Now it’s the biggest game in the world with a massive audience.” in the Premiership. Ball of Shame was our attempt to tap into that.” It has resulted in several comedy sketch-style ads such as Fat Watch, targeting lazy millionaire players, and other online-only wheezes.

The Paddy Power ads – and football isn’t the only sport they parody – tread a fine line between humour and controversy. (Baker notes: “There’s a saying at Paddy Power – if you don’t cross the line occasionally, you’re not close enough to it.”) The production style is also distinctively un-slick. “Other companies are trying to glamorise football – Ball of Shame is the complete opposite,” says Hall. “Its what everyone’s thinking.” Raja Seghal, sound designer

Creative Playmakers

“It’s a rich territory but there are similarities appearing. The fans’ story and their passion has been done. We need a new story.” at GCRS in London, has created audio for some landmark football-related commercials of the past 20 years, including Impossible Team for adidas and the mother of them all, Nike’s Write The Future. He has experienced how football advertising has evolved. “In the old days, a football ad was a goal and a cheer. Now it’s the biggest game in the world with a massive audience. It’s about knowing which part of that audience you’re aiming at. It’s a great playground for the creative.” Creating from scratch Seghal, who recently worked on the Powerade ad There’s Power In Every Game, which intercuts grassroots football and ordinary and disabled players with Spanish midfield genius Andrés Iniesta, usually has to create all the sound in football-related ads from scratch. This was the case with Nike’s Write The Future – which he worked on for a few months – recording all the kicks and tackles himself. “It was awesome project, but I didn’t just want it to be a wall of sound,” he says. “I wanted to be clever about it – have moments of silence, even – and

| Football Fever 17

Powerade: There’s Power In Every Game Agency Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Production company Caviar Los Angeles Director AG Rojas Creative directors Alvaro Sotomayor, Rosie Bardales Post production Glassworks Amsterdam Editors Russel Icke, Charlie Harvey @ Whitehouse Post London

the creatives were open to all kinds of things.” Write The Future turned out to be the blockbuster to beat all previous Nike blockbusters. Four years later, it is the football ad people still tend to mention first. So will that still be the case after Brazil 2014? “It’s a rich territory, but there’s a lot of people playing in it,” says Newey. “There are familiarities appearing and

things overlapping. I think that the fans’ story and their passion has now been done. We need a new story.” “I don’t think we’ll run out of football ideas and platforms,” adds Gill, who is also working on adidas ads that cross into social media. “The stuff that stands out this year will have a proper insight, driving your emotions. And we do need new insights.” S

18 Football Fever | BRAND BECKHAM

H&M: Uncovered Agency Strange Cargo Film; Suburbia​ Production Company Stink​ Director Nicolas Winding Refn​ Creative director Lee Swillingham, Stuart Spalding UK advertiser spend (2013) £6,745,430 UK advertiser TV spend (2013) £1,319,241​

Sky Sports: Meet the Beckhams Agency Brothers and Sisters ​​ Production company Rattling Stick ​ Director Ivan Bird ​​ Creative director Andy Fowler Post production MPC Editor Jonnie Scarlett UK brand spend (2013) £13,183,352 Uk brand TV spend (2013) £43,487 ​​ *Source: Nielsen


| Football Fever 19


BECKHAM His playing career may be over, but Golden Balls can still hit the back of the net better than any other sporting icon when it comes to global brand tie-ins, as David Knight discovers


e is one of the world’s most famous men, a global icon known to billions, a devastatingly handsome sporting hero who has the common touch and, with his wife Victoria, he presides over a business empire that turned over £35 million in 2012 – about £100K a day. David Beckham was never going to fade into obscurity once he retired from playing football. (There is more chance of England winning the World Cup – on penalties.) And a year after he hung up his boots, Becks is seemingly more ubiquitous than ever. There are the numerous companies he endorses, from the high street to high-end luxury goods: adidas, H&M, Sainsbury’s, Sky Sports, Breitling, Coty, and more. He was recently signed by Diageo to front (together with his manager Simon Fuller) the global launch of a new whisky brand, Haig Club – his first endorsement of an alcohol brand, which caused a few eyebrows to raise. There are his roving ambassador roles for various good causes, including highly paid

long-term deals, such as for the Chinese football Super League, and Sky’s Sky Academy. And quite apart from the endorsement work, there are his own trademarked fashion and fragrance brands. Beckham has partnered with H&M to produce his underwear and swimwear

“Beckham was never going to fade into obscurity. A year after he hung up his boots, he is seemingly more ubiquitous than ever.” lines – and star in big-budget commercials, directed by Guy Ritchie and others. Then there are his own new football-based ambitions – which are huge. In February, Beckham announced his plans to activate an option to purchase a Major League Soccer franchise that he negotiated when he joined LA Galaxy back in 2007, and to create his own team in Miami. He also stated his intention to build a $250 million purpose-built stadium on the Miami waterfront. Andy Milligan, a brand con-

sultant, co-founder of The Caffiene Partnership, and author of the book Brand It Like Beckham, says that the MLS franchise plan fits exactly with the long-term planning that has been a hallmark of ‘Brand Beckham’ from the early days – and adds that David and Victoria’s talent for strategic thinking is rarely appreciated.

An ever-evolving story “They are very good at executing the telling of the story,” says Milligan. “There are lots of twists and turns, but it’s always evolving. Beckham’s MLS franchise plan is fascinating. But it’s been so well signposted over the years that it’s not a shock.” Milligan adds that, together with an inituitive gift for longterm planning, Beckham is “also good at knowing how to select a team that can deliver it, who are good at the details”. Andy Fowler, creative director at ad agency Brothers and Sisters, can vouch for the attention to detail exercised by the Beckhams’ team at Simon Fuller’s company 19 Management, when they make ads together

20 Football Fever | BRAND BECKHAM

adidas: David Beckham Production company Passion Pictures Directors Dan Sumich, Sean Thompson, Dean Maryon ​ ​ Creative directors Sean Thompson, ​ Dean Maryon UK advertiser spend (2013) £4,130,034* UK advertiser TV spend (2013) £1,702,085* ​ ​

*Source: Nielsen

for Sky Sports. Having created the first Meet The Beckhams commercial last year (featuring multiple Davids crossing paths with each other as they enjoy Sky Sports on various devices) directed by Ivan Bird, they have now made a new ad to herald the start of the 2014-15 football season, also directed by Bird. “We go to 19 with ideas and get David’s input about what he feels comfortable doing and not comfortable doing,” says Fowler. “There’s tight control about what is appropriate. They want to hear about exactly what it’s going to look like – who’s the photographer, who’s the director – every detail.” Fowler adds that as well as Beckham being the expected model of focus and professionalism when making ads – and he’s now fronted more than 100 commercials – he is also receptive to creative ideas. “The new

ad will be very different from any ad that Sky has done before,” he reveals. But he admits the fact that Beckham is no longer a footballer is an issue that could affect his standing with at least part of the public in years to come.

Process of reinvention “His story was the working-class boy made good, who worked for every ounce of his ability on the pitch. Now he’s just a guy, so he is in the process of reinventing himself. And as time goes on he needs to find a new raison d’être.” Milligan contends that Brand Beckham have planned for this moment for years, to extend David’s post-playing career in areas “inextricably linked to what he feels passionate about” – namely fashion and football, with an additional celebrity ambassadorial role. He says

“Brand Beckham have planned for this for years, to extend David’s post-playing career in areas he feels passionate about.” that if this strategy plays out as planned, there is no reason why long-term endorsement deals should not continue for years. Milligan adds that the Beckham brand also draws strength from its impressive longevity. Both David and Victoria have been in the public eye for nearly 20 years, and have endured through a period of enormous change. Now they are more successful than ever. “In the end, we know a fake when we see it,” he says. “If it’s authentic it tends to last.” But this is certainly a crucial phase in the amazing career of David Beckham, and what happens next could define him for a time to come. At the start of May he was in Miami stating the case for his MLS franchise and its waterfront stadium. Here the Beckham charm, the Beckham fame, and the promises of even greater riches (Fuller has said “we will generate more money than any other MLS team can dream of…”) is facing opposition from powerful vested interests such as Royal Carribean, the only cruise company based in PortMiami. Becks has a habit of achieving his goals, but this could be his biggest challenge yet. S



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