Cannes Lions

Portrait Of A Champion

NBCUNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS, London / CREDIT SUISSE / 2023

Film
Original Content

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Credit Suisse wanted to engage audiences in a new way, using their well-known brand

Initially, the brief was to arrange for a young artist to paint a portrait of Roger Federer– the objective to create a five minute film. Intrigued by the idea of working in fine art, however, Roger had his own ideas. What was a one day shoot, would end up as months of collaboration, culminating in a premiere at the Venice Biennale in 2022.

The objectives were as follows :

Create an entertaining piece of creative work using Roger Federer

Highlight shared values between Roger Federer and Credit Suisse: purpose, curiousity, collaboration, drive and courage.

Reinforce alignment between the tennis star and brand.

An unexpected partnership of arts. A marriage of Roger Federer’s passion and grace with Ugo Rondinone’s artistic mastery and skill. An immersive and compelling story told through film.

Idea

Keeping true to the objectives, it became apparent that a ‘normal’ portrait was not curious or courageous enough. Enter Ugo Rondinone and the idea of featuring Roger in Ugo’s upcoming exhibition to be showcased at the Venice Biennale came to life. Roger Federer would pose for a full body cast to become one of seven figures suspended from the ceiling of Scuola Grande de San Giovanni Evangelista. The film follows the creation of the sculpture, intimate interviews with Ugo and Roger telling how Roger leapt from ‘fan of Ugo’ to ‘Cloud Six’ in the art installation. As news unfolded of Roger’s retirement, the story adapted to feature key updates, ensuring relevance at the time of release.

The protagonists of our film were both modest in their work. This modesty influenced promotion of the film, where the work and craftsmanship of the art and filmmaking took the focus.

Strategy

In a difficult time for the brand, Portrait of a Champion fueled the only positive press amid a background of industry chaos. Brand perception results have been delayed due to the current situation, however the reach and engagement across channels during the campaign were high – exceeding all internal benchmarks.

Audiences welcomed the film with great positivity, creating a previously untapped community of sport and art fans united. Fans of Roger got an exclusive insight into the world of sculpture, whereas art fans were treated to a unique view of an artist’s life before a new exhibition.

Management from both parties were completely absorbed in the creative storytelling of the film, with both teams across every element, every step of the way during the three-year filming journey. What started as a mutual respect between two people for each other’s work ended as a friendship, likely to be continued across teams.

Execution

In the film, acclaimed artist, Ugo Rondinone, is asked to paint a portrait of tennis legend Roger Federer. Initially declining, he invites Roger instead to participate as a model for one of the seven flying figures that will be part of an art installation entitled Burn Shine Fly. Not one to do things by half-measures, Roger fully immerses himself in the making of this art, learning from Ugo what it takes to go through the creative process. Along the way, we come to understand the tennis star through in depth, intimate interviews at a critical time in his life – the end of his pro tennis career. The documentary crescendos with the reveal of the art exhibit at the 2022 Venice Biennale, and book ended with Roger announcing his retirement.

Outcome

In a difficult time for the brand, Portrait of a Champion fueled the only positive press amid a background of industry chaos. Brand perception results have been delayed due to the current situation, however the reach and engagement across channels during the campaign were high.

21.5M impressions

1.8M video views

263k link clicks

151k landing page views

05:11 average time on hub

Campaign performed above internal benchmarks:

4x engagement rate​​ – 1.7%

3x click-through rate ​– 1.2%

2x video completion rate – 31.4%

Audio card featuring Ugo delivered an average CTR of 7.67% - 5x internal benchmark, with one ad on Facebook achieving a 20%

All videos performed above target with an average of 31.44% compared to internal benchmark of 14%.

Objectives were met through storytelling– highlighting the shared values of both parties: courage, curiosity, drive, purpose and collaboration, in a way never seen before in marketing for financial services.

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