'The idea, well, is pants' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Vijaya Varilly, strategy director at W Communications, takes a critical look at creative campaigns from the past seven days.

'The idea, well, is pants' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

My evenings this week have been spent watching the glamour group ties of the Euros whilst having a look at the way brands have decided to get stuck using The Beautiful Game as its muse. Turns out whilst there has been a few pieces of work that have hit the metaphorical top corner, there have also unfortunately been one or two that should probably have been side-lined long before the tournament kicked off.


Migration Museum, 'Football Moves People'

All 26 nations competing at Euro 2020 have players in their squad currently playing outside of their home countries; and, more than half of the England squad have at least one parent or grandparent born outside the UK. Yet despite this, migration is not a part of football conversations. This is the inspiration behind The Migration Museum, which has developed a campaign to demonstrate that 'the beautiful game' knows no boundaries or borders.

Cleverly titled 'Football Moves People', the new campaign works to highlight how migration has defined not only the shape of the sport, but the teams and players we love to watch every weekend.

Playing out over the next two weeks through tactical billboards and social, the work is a beautiful example of how to start and own a conversation in a way the audience can instantly relate. Topical, perfectly timed, and brought to life through a series of bespoke posters, the campaign manages gives football its roots back. And rightly so.

British Heart Foundation, 'The Ad We Never Expected To Make'

Nobody was ready for what unfolded last Saturday. Christian Eriksen’s on-pitch cardiac arrest shocked not only those in the stadium and BBC TV studio but just about everyone across the world; clearly highlighting our own mortality in the most public of ways. If it could happen to a footballer at the pinnacle of their career, a heart attack could happen to any of us, at any moment.

The British Heart Foundation rightly decided to use this shocking moment to educate and inspire us into action, calling upon the UK to “help save lives by learning CPR” whilst also outlaying the facts that “less than one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation, decreases a person’s chances of survival by up to 10 per cent.”

Created using little more than emotive black and white stills, the 40-second ad called upon football hardman Vinny Jones to lend his gravelly tones to cleverly named “The Ad We Never Expected To Make”. Aired during yesterday’s game between Denmark (Eriksen’s own nation) and Belgium, BHF’s simple yet hard hitting spot, really does hit the spot.

Rarely is reactive marketing so poignant and important.


Greenpeace fails to land

The Euros has well and truly kicked off but as fans tuned into watch the first “heavyweight clash” between France and Germany on Tuesday evening, they were left scratching their heads pre-game wondering: "Wtffff just happened?"

A protester was seen paragliding recklessly into the stadium with the slogan: “KICK OUT OIL!” and “Greenpeace” to make a public stand against tournament sponsor Volkswagen’s continued use and production of petrol and diesel engines.

The original idea was to use a paraglider to drop a soft oversized ball directly into the centre circle minutes before the first whistle blew; but the pilot ran into problems forcing an emergency landing on the pitch after hitting over-head camera cables on his way down.

Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, but after two fans suffered injuries from falling debris, Greenpeace was forced to apologise to the organisers of the game and tournament.

Own goal for Greenpeace.

Irn Bru x Colin Hendry Lucky Pants

Today isn’t any Friday. Today is about a football game of epic proportion. England versus Scotland at the Euros.

For the first time in more than two decades at major tournament, the Scots travel to Wembley to face off against a young England team fighting to finally bring football home (where it belongs, I might add).

Not to let one of the biggest sporting moments of recent years simply slip by, revered Scottish brand Irn-Bru has pulled in the help of ex-Rangers defender Colin Hendry to support the team, and their chances ahead of tonight’s game.

Part of the last Scotland squad to beat England at Wembley back in 1999, Hendry was asked channel his past success and “bless” a series of outlandish Irn-Bru Orange pants, which will then be distributed to the “Tartan Army” to wear under their kilts as they travel south to London.

Now pants and football isn’t a new combination. Paddy Power and Nicklas Bendtner famously went there a few years ago, and since then the idea been added to PR handbook’s grey area (sitting alongside floating something down the Thames). For the country’s biggest game in over 23 years, I would expect such a loved brand like Irn-Bru to push the boundaries and convert the passion of their followers into pride for the players in a more creative way.

The idea, well, is pants. Let’s hope Scotland miss as much as this did later this evening.

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