MAGDALENA MAREK AND JAN BARAŃSKI OF HAVAS WARSAW CHAT ABOUT AN EFFIE AWARD-WINNING CAMPAIGN WHICH REINVIGORATED CANAL+’S TRADITIONAL COVERAGE OF THE ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE.
The “Wściekle Szybka Premier League” campaign enlisted the expertise of Polish hip-hop legend OSTR, who joined iconic Canal+ football panelists Twarowski and Nahorny to reinvigorate the traditional commentary.
With his super quick pace and his extensive football expertise, OSTR’s inclusion was a hit, evoking massive media coverage, drawing 4 million unique viewers to speciality episodes and doubling Premier League viewership on Canal+.
Here, Magdalena, Creative Director, and Jan, Senior Strategic Planner, talk about the impressive campaign which has led to OSTR becoming a permanent fixture on Canal+.
How did this idea take shape?
To attract millennials to the Premier League we decided to be single-minded and instead of focusing on the many attractions that the Premier League undoubtedly has, we emphasised just one key feature, its fast pace. It was a very simple promise, but it was not enough. To succeed and truly disrupt millennials’ thinking about the best football, we needed a spectacular form that would break the convention of typical football broadcast commercials, which typically focus on those spectacular goals or extraordinary talent by the top stars, spiced up with an emotional commentary.
We brainstormed for a long time to develop an untraditional illustration of speed in football. One of our creatives is a massive hip-hop fan and that is how we ended up recruiting the Polish hip-hop legend OSTR, famous for his fast pace of rapping. We engaged him to emphasise the speedy pace of the Premier League.
What made the collaboration so impactful?
Polish millennials grew up on hip-hop and still they listen to this type of music like no other group. We wanted to pull talent and culture from outside the football world, with the confidence that doing this would highly engage millennials. We aimed to involve millennials in the Premier League broadcast on Canal+ through a completely different perspective. OSTR reflects their perspective and adds a new voice to the panel. Moreover, OSTR is actually a big football fan and an expert on the Premier League, which only reinforced the authenticity of his inclusion and participation in the initiative.
Furthermore, because millennials are very critical of advertising and allergic to inauthentic narratives, we didn’t want to land on a typical celebrity endorsement. That is why it was crucial to move beyond classic commercial formats. Canal+ hired OSTR to join the iconic panel of commentators and play an equal role on the team. It turned out to be a bell ringer. It drove talkability and raised the profile of the campaign. This type of content collaboration also strengthened the campaign’s credibility because it was authentic.
What were the campaign’s biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge was to resonate with men and women who are dedicated football fans and also those with a less invested interest. We created assets that were funny and engaging, digital episodes and unexpected snack content for social media that was simple and strongly performed. Thanks to this unusual marriage, English football and Polish hip-hop, we have created one of the most effective advertising campaigns in recent times. Working with Canal+ on this project was amazing. Without them, we wouldn’t have ended up with such a bold and innovative idea.
Hiring a hip-hop legend as an actual commentator of Premier League on Canal+ and broadcasting live from Old Trafford was a golden move. Such unusual collaboration drove authenticity and boosted this campaign to reach up to over 4 million unique users online.
Combining football and music, two seemingly exclusive universes, was a breakthrough in the category that couldn’t go unnoticed. After years of viewership deadlock, it made Premier League shine again and provided a double digit growth for Canal+.