Cannes Lions

The Unofficial Football

LEO BURNETT FRANKFURT / REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS / 2019

Case Film
Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

June 2018 – the world in football fever. Host country Russia shows its best side. But reality is different: Human rights are ignored, freedom of the press is restricted. But nobody is aware of that.

Idea

To draw public attention, Reporters Without Borders captured the iconic symbol of the games: the official World Cup ball. Inspired by its pixel design, Reporters Without Borders brought its own ball into the game: "The Unofficial Football" – a ball that reveals what the pixels hide.

Using an NFC chip, one could de-pixelate the pixelated portraits of persecuted journalists and learn more about their fate. On the website, you could pass the ball forward and spread the message.

Strategy

Key message: The Unofficial Football

Target group: decision makers, influencers and journalists

Media Placement: Original Footballs, Press Conference/Guerilla Stunt, Microsite, Social Media Channels

Execution

Two days before the opening of the World Cup, "The Unofficial Football" was presented to the media in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin. That’s how Reporters Without Borders showed a world of football fans what the Russian government wanted to hide: The fate of journalists critical of the regime and the suppression of press freedom.

Outcome

As a result of this campaign, we not only sent a message to embassy members and their security staff, but also received coverage in daily newspapers, magazines and on TV. So we reached football fans all over the country and sensitized them to this important topic.

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