At a glance:
- Wowing your customer with celebrity-fronted campaigns or shiny new tech is secondary to using a language they understand
- Newspapers enable brands to insert themselves into a relevant, topical context with a huge audience
Videogames are big business – doubly so with sports titles. But when McCann London was tasked with plugging EA’s footballing cash cow, FIFA 18, for Xbox, they shunned the Hollywood ball in favour of something with a little more finesse – and in print, no less.
It took Christiano Ronaldo to pull off perhaps the greatest Champions League goal of all time to plant the seed for a newspaper ad that was part match report, part videogame manual.
“With our biggest competitor spending a lot on a huge global marketing campaign for FIFA 18, we had to promote the game in a new, innovative way,” says Jim Nilsson, senior creative at McCann London.
Throughout the season, McCann produced reactive social posts that translated football highlights into Xbox commands. For example, shoot is B, pass is A, etc. (Take a look). They also created a first-of-its-kind video in which Real Madrid players performed certain actions as the corresponding Xbox commands lit up in neon in the background.