Cannes Lions

Everyone Can Go to The Finals

ARTPLAN, Sao Paulo / HOTELS.COM / 2019

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Case Film
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Hotels.com became an official UEFA Champions League sponsor. To communicate this, they launched a promotion to take 4 people to the championship’s finals in Madrid 2019. The goal was to let everyone know that anyone can go to the Champions League Finals, one of the most wanted sports events in the world.

Idea

To show that literally anyone can go to the Champions League finals in Madrid, Hotels.com decided to use the best spokesmen we could find: the worst team in the world. Sport Club Ibis, a professional Brazilian soccer team, is actually recognized by the Guinness World Records as the worst soccer team in the world. They are also a social sensation in Brazil, since they embraced the image of the worst of the worst, celebrating each loss with an ever growing number of fans, due to their strong presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Strategy

Ibis, as a football team, is a social media phenomenon. Their own fans feel outraged when they win any games. They are known by any soccer fan in Brazil, not only for their own marketing, but since they tend to tease every other soccer team on social media whenever they lose a match. Our strategy to use the team was phased in two parts: at first, Ibis by itself started a campaign to be at the Champions League finals. In a bold claim, they started to play with a jersey where it was written that they would go to the finals, using every sport interview to reinforce this. This was quickly embraced by the fans.

Then, Hotels.com revealed itself as the one behind this idea, using the worst team in the world to prove that anyone could, indeed, go to the finals.

Execution

Ibis simply posted on their social media platforms a new jersey with their new objective, saying that they were “on the road to the finals”. Then, they used the jerseys on a friendly match, which got the media attention. The team and their coach used every interview to reinforce the argument that they would indeed go to the finals. On social media, Ibis kept this going, maintaining the ruse. A few weeks later, on a press conference, Ibis revealed their strategy to get to the finals: a website in which you can subscribe in a Hotels.com promotion to get a chance to win tickets for the game in Madrid. After everything was revealed, we started the official campaign on social media and TV with scenes of Ibis playing and actual Champions League footage, saying that “If even the worst team in the world has a chance, you also do.”

Outcome

The revelation that Hotels.com was behind it all was seen as a punchline for a long joke - and people joined in. We managed to reach the target audience intended in a way that the brand itself couldn’t. Not only we used Hotels.com channels, but we also appeared on Ibis and some of the best sports channels in Brazil. Only in the first 24 hours of the campaign, Hotels.com had over 50.000 subscriptions and the numbers are only going up, since the promotion will last up until the end of may. Hotels.com site traffic rose 31% compared to the same period last year, and had an increase of 25% compared to the month before the campaign. On social media, Hotels.com official channels had an increase of 29% of user engagement, with a rise of positive feedback of 68% compared with previous months.

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