Thierry Henry wants to watch football with Barca fans but there's an evil catch... plus 4 more footballer non-sport ad campaigns

A snapshot look at a trending campaign with a curated pick of past campaigns that use a similar creative approach in some way.

Thierry Henry wants to watch football with Barca fans but there's an evil catch... plus 4 more footballer non-sport ad campaigns

Football is an earned media darling. If you want to grab attention or spark conversation, then leveraging the popularity of football and footballers - by either fair means or foul – is one of the most proven ways to earn national or even global media attention. It’s followed by millions passionately and, as the Lay’s Campaign below shows, there is a multitude of pregame and postgame rituals just waiting to be hijacked or utilized by a clever idea.

No Lay's No Game | Lay's Crisps | Slap Media

To celebrate the countdown to crunch time in the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League (UCL) tournament, Lay's brought former Barca and Les Bleus football icon Thierry Henry to the doorsteps of Barcelona's most passionate football fans to announce the "No Lay's No Game" platform. During match day, he surprises Barca fans at their home and asks to watch the big game with them – but only if they’ve got Lay’s Chips. This devilish idea conveys beautifully that there's nothing better than watching a football match with friends while sharing a bag of Lay's crisps. And watching the shell-shocked Barca fans' reactions is priceless as they go from the highest high to the lowest low if they had no Lay’s in the house, therefore missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Foamy Haircut | Brahma | Africa

Brazilian football has banned alcohol sales in stadiums and team jersey sponsorships. However, Brahma, a sponsor, wanted to promote smoothness and foam. To achieve this, Brahma partnered with a barber, Ariel Franco, and created the Foamy Haircut. The haircut resembles a glass of Brahma with a golden liquid at the bottom and white foam on top. In July 2021, footballer Reinaldo Manoel da Silva debuted the haircut during a game. The next day, Brahma released an ad featuring Franco and Reinaldo creating the hairstyle. Within two weeks of launching, the Foamy Haircut blew the brand's annual social targets out of the water with 264,288 mentions, over 90% of which were generated organically.

#WTFRonaldo | Snickers |AlmapBBDO

Another classy addition to Snickers' "You get confused when you're hungry" platform idea was this campaign featuring Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo. In a promotional video he shared on his social media profiles, Ronaldo was seen cheering for Argentina, Brazil's traditional rival, during a friendly match against Spain in Madrid. The ad showed Argentinian fans watching the game on TV being shocked to see Ronaldo rooting for their team. After realizing the confusion he had caused, Ronaldo ate a Snickers and returned to his normal self. The campaign aimed to highlight the idea that people can become confused and act out of character when they are hungry, emphasizing the importance of satisfying one's hunger. Ronaldo's involvement in the campaign generated buzz among soccer fans and Snickers' target audience.

Unlimited Apologies | Entel | McCann

Entel, a wireless provider, wanted to launch a promotion that permits its prepaid users to make unlimited calls regardless of carrier. To demonstrate this benefit, McCann made a popular soccer player call an entire country to apologize for a goal he missed in an unexpected manner in the last minute of play that would have qualified Peru for the World Cup 2006. This campaign, aside from positioning the brand as the only one to offer unlimited calls regardless of carrier, became a media and cultural sensation.

I Don't Remember | Alma | Hoy

ALMA, the Association to Fight Alzheimer's Disease, wanted to raise awareness about the disease and encourage conversation about early detection. To achieve this, they partnered with Racing Club, one of Argentina's most popular football teams, and created a campaign that simulated short-term memory loss in the team captain during a post-game interview.

The unexpected response generated a stir on social media and among journalists, who were soon supporting the awareness message. The campaign quickly went viral, with Sigali, Racing, and Alzheimer's becoming trending topics in Argentina within minutes and staying in the top 10 for more than a day.

The campaign generated more than 270 million organic impressions and reached over 58 million people, a remarkable achievement given Argentina's population of 45 million. In just 48 hours, ALMA received more consultations than it had in its entire history. The success of the campaign highlights the potential of creative and unexpected approaches to generating conversation about important topics, such as Alzheimer's disease.