UEFA Euro 2020: Creative campaigns that have hit the back of the net this year

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30th Jun 2021
Posted By Yasmin Flowers

After what feels like a lifetime of waiting, the highly-anticipated Euros tournament is finally here.

Brands have returned to the playing field to collaborate with the UEFA football tournament which was unfortunately (like many things!) postponed last year. Euro advertisements are no doubt a huge, impactful part of the event - both leading up to and during - as they help to build tension, excitement and atmosphere.

More than 44 million people tuned in to ITV’s Euro coverage in 2016 and this year is predicted to be even bigger. As a result, marketing teams have been working hard to get ahead of the game, creating the best adverts possible in an attempt to generate buzz for fans. So, which brands have successfully taken advantage of the event via strategic marketing efforts?

BBC - Our Wait Is Over & OOH Campaign

The pressure was on for the BBC to deliver an impressive marketing campaign ahead of the Euros. But did they manage to get the UK’s football fever high? They certainly did. The leading broadcasting company wanted to assure fans that they are the place to go for 24/7 football coverage across TV, radio and online, which has certainly been apparent through all of their marketing efforts so far. The core message of the BBC’s well executed campaign was focused on how long people have been waiting for this tournament, with it being postponed last year due to the pandemic. This notion was pushed across a variety of media outlets - the most notable being their ‘Our Wait Is Over’ animated cartoon ad and out-of-home campaign (OOH); both of which resonated well with fans across the UK.

The campaign succeeded in communicating the upcoming feelings of excitement, drama and national unity that the competition undoubtedly brings. The animation's simple storyboard involves a waiting room scene to signify the experiences that both fans and players felt leading up to the event, which is then followed by a dramatic change in atmosphere to showcase that when the tournament finally arrives, it’s more meaningful and passionate than ever before.

But the BBC didn’t stop there. They also released a range of clever OOH football-themed campaign posters tailored to each nation's fanbase. A variety of designs and comedically worded messages were plastered all over the UK to raise awareness of the BBC’s association with the tournament. Starting with England, the BBC reminded fans of the unexpected advantage of waiting another year with, ‘At least we’ve had an extra year of penalty practice’ written across various posters. Then for Wales it was, ‘Wales. Wales. Wales. In that order’ written in both English and Welsh, as a nod to Gareth Bale’s celebration. Finally moving up north, ‘Is it finally time to Boogie? Yes Sir’ was on display throughout Scotland, reminding fans of the 1970’s disco classic. Well played BBC; combining these comedic posters with an emotive ad campaign definitely hit the mark - or should I say, scored a belter?

Paddy Power - #SaveOurGame

This marketing move was one that no one could have predicted - Paddy Power encouraging Irish fans to support England. Yep, you heard it right! The Irish gambling company pledged to donate at least €10,000 to Irish football for every England goal scored, giving both sides of the Irish sea something to celebrate. As you can imagine, the patriotic campaign drummed up a fair bit of attention across the social landscape and, in particular, with football fans. The advert now allows Irish fans to get involved cheering England players with a clear conscience, emphasising the fact that everyone can be a winner this summer. This was a brilliant move from Paddy Power - not only did it generate a lot of attention, but it also positioned them in a good light by donating to a generous cause and supporting their ‘opposition’ for the greater good.


Adidas: It’s Coming Hame

Of course, leading sportswear brand Adidas had something clever up their sleeves for Euro 2020. Every time England plays in a football tournament, you hear the chorus ‘It’s Coming Home’ at some point or another, and Adidas have certainly made use of this well known song with their latest OOH ad. Their Glasgow-based billboard was hard to miss as they unapologetically spray-painted out the word ‘home’ and replaced it with the Scot’s version ‘Hame’ to poke fun at the famous phrase. The striking blue display paired with the local lingo would’ve been sure to stop passers-by, whilst drumming up attention online too. Well done Adidas for making a bold and provocative ad; it’s certainly worked its magic in the marketing world!

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Snickers: Bothlands

Snickers came through to deliver a genius video advertisement, highlighting the conflict of interest regarding the brand sponsoring both England and Scotland. This tongue in cheek campaign, titled ‘Bothlands’, captured this friendly rivalry brilliantly. The ad brings players from both teams together, standing side-by-side (begrudgingly!) whilst staring at the turf in front of baying fans. The awkward and tense atmosphere builds as the blue and white unity shake their heads as the camera pans across. The 20 second ad captures the campaign's theme flawlessly and draws attention from audiences - especially with the finishing display title of their slogan - being the ‘officially awkward sponsor of England and Scotland’. Sometimes it’s the simple concepts that are most successful and Snickers have most certainly proven this with their Bothlands campaign.

And that’s a wrap! It’s evident that these brands have all executed outstanding advertising campaigns in-line with one of the biggest events of the year, and they all show the importance of creative campaigns and how they can drive incredible results and exposure.

Thinking of creating an attention-grabbing campaign of your own? Get in touch with one of our friendly marketing experts today at marketing@weareccm.co.uk.