Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

BBC World Cup Teaser is a Great Case Of Unconscious Signalling In Action

Experiential Marketing
London, UK
Martyn Gooding, Creative Director at Jack Morton gives insight on the unconscious elements in play in the new BBC World Cup creative

The new Fifa World Cup teaser from the BBC features a montage of historical tournament moments brought to life by embroidering every frame and then photographing it to create the animation.

 But why would they do something that makes the animation process so complicated?

The answer lies in unconscious signalling.

When a brand puts something out into the world, they are communicating something consciously but also unconsciously.

The conscious message for this ident is that the BBC is the place to watch this historic tournament.

But the unconscious message is the BBC take this seriously, they love the sport, and they get it. They've taken the time to make this lovingly, to think about the experience the film creates, and the implication is they will do the same for the coverage of the matches.

We know from many years of creating content for every imaginable surface that the work that does well is the work that looks hard to do, the work that shows that great consideration has gone into it. Content featuring difficult, crafted acts of creativity are always better than the perceived easiness of creating something on a computer.

Because while it is not true, to a viewer the perception is a computer has a button that makes things come to life. It's easy. The brand didn't take the time, the love, the thought. They took the shortcuts. They don't care.

The BBC creative team Xander Hart and Edward Usher said as much in an article for The Drum: “If we’d just gone, ‘let’s CGI it’ it would have felt like a cop out".

But making stuff out of 227,000 meters of thread - that is hard.

Of course, some marketing platforms lend themselves to showcasing effort more than others. Social, for example, suffers from a perception of being easy, through association with platforms for which anyone can create in very little time, whereas experiential has the perception of time and love. A brand showing up at a physical space and building something immersive unconsciously signals effort. Yet signaling effort can be instilled into any experience a brand creates, no matter the medium. 

And that is the key.

The opportunity for us as creatives is to remember the unconscious signal, as well as the conscious.