The “Fanatics” TV spot features a brief cameo of a famous player from each national team and shows fans crammed around screens or proving their footballing passions. Although it centres on supporters, Ponce’s executive creative director Luigi Ghidotti points out that it doesn’t fall into the traps of more obvious World Cup advertising.
“We try to combine the brand concept, which is ‘Do More’, with something that runs as a counterbalance to other brands. So instead of a fan promising to do something if something happens – like shaving their head if Argentina wins the World Cup, for example – he or she has to do it before, to give the team the strength and support to be able to win.” Using hashtags, fans are encouraged to upload photos or videos to social networks, proving the leftfield things they’re prepared to do for their respective teams.
The campaign, initiated several months before the competition, is unquestionably motivated by the fact that Rexona isn’t an official sponsor – something that can make life hard due to the legal restrictions Fifa puts in place, including not being able to use the words “World Cup”, “Brazil” and “2014” in advertising, alongside official national flags and team kits. Rexona’s campaign, for example, has to rely on the power of suggestion, opening with the words: “The moment has arrived when football paralyses the country.”
Hernán Ponce – who founded the agency 16 years ago – says the advert “suggests the idea of football in Latin America” and the passions it engenders, a unique opportunity during the World Cup due to its sheer reach.
For Ponce, Argentina has always had a capacity to approach advertising in a way that can be understood universally and internationally, something that competitors in Brazil and even the UK and US are less capable of, he argues.
“Argentina has so much advertising talent and we don’t really know where it comes from,” he adds. “It’s the same with football!”