Cannes Lions

You've never seen England like this

WIEDEN+KENNEDY, Amsterdam / NIKE / 2023

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

England loves football. But most of their love has been directed towards the Men’s National Team. Why? Because fans know the players. They recognize their faces, they know what clubs they play for, they understand what makes them incredible athletes.

It's the 2022 Women's Euros. Women's football is on the cusp of blowing up in popularity. Everyone knows England is football crazy. But how could people get excited about the women representing their nation - a team they hadn't heard or seen enough of?

The challenge was clear - hype the England team and make women's football unmissable by doing something of epic proportions.

We made sure everyone got to know these players by hijacking famous UK landmarks representing a strength possessed by each player, and plastered the spaces with striking projections of what makes each athlete special.

Strategy

It’s hard to believe it now, but a year ago, English football fans weren’t invested in their Women’s football team—largely because they hadn’t really seen the team in action since the 2019 World Cup.

But we knew people were missing out.

While nobody was watching, this team had quietly built themselves into the most exciting English squad in decades. They were playing a kind of football people hadn’t seen before. They were being led by players who did things differently.

So, we needed to make their game unmissable and ensure that their Nation was in full support.

We didn’t do that by begging for attention, we did it by tapping into the football fan inside every English person—compelling them to witness an amazing, new version of the beautiful game they’d never seen before.

Execution

We reclaimed the St George’s Cross, an often negative symbol of English football, for the women’s team. The red of the cross bleeds into the athletes, so it stays recognizable but symbolises new talents, new hope and a new attitude for the nation.

To rally the nation to get behind the squad, we celebrated and championed The Lionesses by introducing their strengths through a series of projections on England’s most iconic landmarks.

Each place we chose has a strong cultural meaning that’s connected with the personalities and skills of the players. Lucy Bronze represents power on the Battersea Power Station, the captain Leah Williamson was projected on Tower Bridge, creative Keira Walsh – on the National Gallery, defender Demi Stokes – on the Thames Barriers, and incredible performer Georgia Stanway was celebrated on the Royal Opera House.

Outcome

Our goal was to get a football-obsessed nation to pay attention to their Women’s National Team and give them the support they rightfully deserve.

Our send off for the Lionesses made them unmissable to the whole nation through epic landmark projections. This helped the team dominate the media before the tournament started and results in Nike obtaining 80% of EURO 2022 engagement vs. competitors. It gained coverage in a number of publications including the BBC, The Guardian, Time Out and Soccerbible.

On Instagram, @nikelondon saw a 44% increase in female engagement. And that support transcended the digital world as 93% of Nike’s total England home jerseys sold out.

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