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💡 nutmeg fc #13
Today: (Some of) the best creative ideas from the football industry.
August came to an end and, despite the huge amount of new jersey announcements, there wasn't much creative output. At least, what I understand as creativity, which goes far beyond aesthetics.
The visual part is very important, but it can't be the only thing. And it can't always be the same. There comes a time when you get tired of seeing a bunch of players huddled together and staring at you like, "Yeah, I've got a new jersey, so what?
I believe in creativity as the driving force behind a brand. It's what allows it to come alive, to be three-dimensional, to connect with people, to excite, to go where it seemed unreachable. To stand out.
And for that, it must find the solutions in the brand's own storytelling and not in what others are doing. More insights, less trends.
But, I have worked in this kind of campaigns and I know how difficult it is to get something really original out there. There are many barriers (and fears) to overcome. That's why I don't want to focus on what could have been done better, but on what was done well.
The creative ideas I chose for this newsletter are not extraordinary, but they have the rare virtue of being consistent with the storytelling of the brand and the club. And for that alone, they deserve to be highlighted.
How far we've come (Hyundai)
A few weeks ago I shared (some of) the best creative ideas from the Australia/New Zealand World Cup that would end up being won by Spain.
This idea had not yet come out when I made the selection, so I take the opportunity to share it now.
Hyundai decided to link itself to the history and evolution of football played by women based on something that makes them stand out from other brands: they have been sponsors of the World Cup since 1999.
The closing of the spot (See how far we've come. Watch how far we’ll go) also fits perfectly with the brand concept (Come grow with us).
This content is part of a larger campaign called Goal of the Century, which includes an exhibition at the FIFA Museum and ongoing work with Common Goal to promote gender equality in football.
A deal with the Devils (Manchester United + Adidas).
On the one hand, there are the aesthetically pleasing but ephemeral jersey presentations, without much substance. On the other, there is what Manchester United did to present its alternative jersey that has the figure of the devil replacing the official crest.
The spot stars Roy Keane, who doesn't say much, but says it all. For example, at one point he mentions that "The devil is not something you wear" as we see the jersey. I expected him to finish the sentence with "The devil is something you are", but he never said it. He didn't need to.
Nor did he need to make it explicit that Manchester United is not a fad, or who is. Those who are devils know that.
Thanks for inspiring the future, Timber (AFC Ajax).
Argentinos Juniors defines itself as "The seedbed of the world" for having trained players such as Diego Maradona, Fernando Redondo, Román Riquelme and Alexis Mac Allister in its youth divisions.
This would then leave Ajax with the not to be underestimated position of "Europe's seedbed" since in the last years and decades they have offered to European football some of the best players in the world.
From Johan Cruyff and Dennis Bergkamp to Christian Eriksen and Frenkie de Jong. They all grew up at Ajax. They all left Ajax.
Maybe that's why they have become experts in farewells. A few years ago, Edwin van der Sar published a beautiful letter to say goodbye to Donny van de Beek who was leaving for Manchester United.
Now they've created a video to say goodbye to Jurrien Timber, who left for Arsenal, and to thank him for the role he played at the club, beyond what he did on the pitch.
With a clear and strong concept, "for the future" that remains, the storytelling comes out easier.
The Voice (Brentford FC).
Finally, I wanted to include this Brentford initiative. It is not as creative or impactful as other ideas I have shared in this newsletter, but it has great merit: it is consistent.
The symbol of Brentford is the bee and, as such, all the strength is in the hive, in the whole.
From this they have developed different initiatives to tell the stories of the different members of the hive.
Thousand of Stories is one of these initiatives. A series of mini-documentaries focusing on the people (or characters) who make Brentford the stunning club it is today. The story I share here is The Voice, about the man who has been the voice of the stadium for over fifty years. The value of the hive is portrayed when the team captain invites him to lift the Premier League promotion cup.
I didn't see all the stories, but what I did see was very interesting, very well written and very well produced.
Hopefully they will evolve this storytelling into a documentary series, because it's a really different club, with lots of behind the scenes stories to know and connect with.