WINNING ISN’T A MINDSET.
IT’S A RELIGION.
IT’S YOUR FIRST THOUGHT
YOUR LAST BREATH.
IT’S WHAT YOU DO.
IT’S WHAT YOU NEED.
IT’S WHO YOU ARE.
IT’S NOT ABOUT COMPETITION.
BECAUSE ONCE YOU’RE DONE,
THERE IS NO COMPETITION.
THERE IS VICTORY.
OR THERE IS NOTHING.
YOU WENT FURTHER.
YOU FOUGHT LONGER.
BECAUSE YOU KNOW
OFFICIAL PARTNER OF WINNING.
World Cup defeats provide abundant food for thought. For some of us, that includes opportunities to contemplate the engagement between advertising and corporate sponsorship.
In the present example, the client’s concerns will have differed from those of the local double glazers or builders’ merchants who back non-league teams through thick and thin, or indeed of the household brands which choose to promote worthy national causes or events. Sunseeker’s 2018 sponsorship is an example of a third type, in which a purveyor of exclusive goods gets behind a high-profile participant for the duration of an international competition.
Such campaigns are highly visible. They’re also consistently baleful in their effects on copywriters and art directors, whose discomfort is evidenced by overheated copy and the implementation of half-baked concepts.
Both of the latter symptoms are apparent in the Sunseeker promo clip.
The brief sequence of a yacht chasing a giant football demonstrates how pointless it is to dip into the client’s pocket before you’ve thought your ideas through. (It’s possible that AfterEffects was used to float the ball, but it seems more likely that an honest-to-God 10ft inflatable went to the Mediterranean along with a Predator 74, a pro photographer, and a helicopter.)
Meanwhile, the shouty, swash-capital prose begs two questions: does anyone actually believe this guff? And, if not, where exactly does it come from? The answer to the first is simple: No, not even the client. The second invites speculation.
Here’s what we think happened. Copywriters, being wordsmiths, tend to be abstemious. It’s a quality which makes them good with text but uncomfortable around gated communities, platinum jewellery and ostentatious boats. We reckon Sunseeker’s creative team were so intimidated by their surroundings that they overcompensated. They delivered a pantomime version of red-blooded capitalism. And, for their part, the Sunseeker management acquiesced in the role of the dame.
The resulting copy started to look off-message as soon as England entered the qualifiers. In the aftermath of the Croatia match, it seems positively radioactive.
Our rewrite aligns the campaign more closely with the national mood.
[CU on teenaged Harry Kane doing up a bootlace]
They say:/ “Success is a journey…”
[Midshot as Kane scores]
They say:/ “…not a destination.”
[CU on Kane hugging teammates]
We say: “Make every step count.”
[Midshot on Gareth Southgate presenting at a blackboard]
They say:/ “Never compromise.”
[Midshot on Southgate gesticulating from the touchline]
They say:/ “Never give in.”
[Midshot as Southgate shouts in triumph]
We say: “Enjoy your victories.”
[Longshots on Southgate and players training on a misty morning]
They say/ “The only place success comes before work…”
They say/ “…is in the dictionary.”
[Iconic CU on Bobby Charlton lifting the World Cup.]
We say: “Keep your eyes on the prize.”
[Aerial shot of England team in formation on the deck of a Sunseeker yacht.]
Official Sponsors of the 2018 England World Cup Team