Cannes Lions

FIFA21 - "Win As One"

ELECTRONIC ARTS, Redwood City / EA GAMES / 2021

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Played by 300m global fans, FIFA is the world’s biggest sports gaming franchise (and 6th best-selling video game of all-time) with 95% of the global market-share of console football games, and a position in football culture to match.

“Some people believe that football is a matter of life and death… I can assure you it is much more important than that.” Bill Shankly, 1981, former Liverpool FC manager.

In a year where Shankly’s quote was cast into sobering perspective, football was halted, and many turned to gaming to attempt to fill the sporting void the pandemic had created.

The annual launch of FIFA has been driven by fierce competition, both within the gaming category, but also as a reflection of the hugely competitive sport itself. The launch of FIFA21 in November 2020 needed to drive mass awareness of the new title, and ultimately bring in new players to the franchise.

Strategy

The target audience was identified as fans of football aged 16-34 – the group for whom the social currency of football and FIFA was most important (and most missed). FIFA21 was the most socially connected version of the game ever, something that would be central to highlight to young fans who were missing the connection that social distancing had paused.

In order to bring these football fans together across the globe and launch FIFA21, the Win as One campaign was built with three clear tasks that would deeply resonate during the pandemic.

1) Celebrate the football community through stand-out demonstrations of FIFA’s love for it

2) Make the celebration a collective and connective event like real football itself, conspicuously reaching ‘crowds’ of people.

3) And whilst sport had no physical gatherings, find football crowds in those places where the sport intersected with broader culture – music, pop-culture and street-fashion.

Execution

We reinvented the traditional gameplay trailer. A global film celebrating football’s global connection was run directly in the intersections between the sport and fan’s other interests - research identified these were music, fashion, youth culture and recordings of sport.

Once football resumed, we cherry-picked the biggest games to play to the crowds at home during the half-time breaks (alongside FIFA’s in-game crowd noises providing the atmosphere in empty stadiums during TV broadcasts).

Street art and murals have a strong connection to local communities, as icons travelling to the world beyond. In 7 cities around the world, we celebrated local solidarity with jaw-droppingly large murals featuring the next generation of star-players in their hometowns, painted by local artists.

And where those collective and connective football contexts didn’t exist already, we created a series of films that celebrated, discussed and explored the sport’s nuances, reaching crowds of millions across the globe.

Outcome

FIFA21 launched in October in 33 countries with 30 large format OOH, 9 Murals, 78 partnerships, TV spots around Live Football and reached +70m of the target audience.

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