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Celebrating Football Fandom with TikTok's 'Where Fans Come to Play'



Dark Horses creatives Adam Burns and Paco Lopez take us behind the scenes on their latest campaign

Celebrating Football Fandom with TikTok's 'Where Fans Come to Play'

The UEFA EUROs 2020 has been greatly anticipated this year. Focusing on getting back to some form of normality it is crucial that fans feel a sense of community within sports. The TikTok campaign ‘Where fans come to play’ brought people back together and celebrated one of the largest football tournaments. Dark Horses creatives Adam Burns and Paco Lopez give us a deep dive into the work. 

What was the brief?

TikTok’s sponsorship of Euro 2020 represented it’s first step into the world of football and our brief was to connect with football fans across Europe and hopefully change their perception of the platform. 

Football has a huge impact on culture in Europe and its crossover into the worlds of music, fashion, art and comedy, make it the perfect vehicle for TikTok to connect with people. Fans and creators were already remixing football content on TikTok, our job was to elevate their creativity through the lens of the most anticipated football tournament in decades. 

Where did the inspiration for the campaign come from?

At its heart, ‘Where fans play’, is a celebration of football fandom, we’d spent a year without fans in stadiums and their absence has left sport incomplete. Delving into the UEFA archive and watching some of the most iconic moments, we allowed ourselves to remember a time when everything was wonderfully normal, the unbridled ecstasy of a winning goal, the heartbreak of a penalty shoot-out exit, the atmosphere that only a full capacity stadium brings. 

So we wanted to create something that evoked the nostalgia of football as we knew it and merged the creativity of TikTok. 

Were there any obstacles and challenges you had to overcome?

When you have to develop a global campaign the challenges will always be cultural, luckily football is an international language, but there are still nuances to navigate. We’ve created unique assets, across multiple mediums, that speak directly to a variety of countries from England to Russia. 

The other big challenge was timings, TikTok and UEFA only agreed the deal at the turn of the year so we only had a few months to produce a huge amount of work. The team at TikTok are extremely collaborative, which was so important when moving at such a fast pace. 

Did you bring any new/learned skills you picked up during the pandemic to the campaign?

I think the pandemic has given us all perspective, we’ve been through some very tough times so it's important to be able to bring some joy through our work. 

How did you work together with the client to make the work impactful? 

The TikTok team hold a huge amount of knowledge about the platform and their creators, so ensuring we authentically brought the world of TikTok to life was massively important and something we worked closely with the internal team on. 

What makes this campaign unique?

With reduced capacity stadiums and most fans unable to travel to matches, it’s fair to say that the virtual space will play a bigger role than ever in connecting fans. Our TVC feels unique within the ad break as it merges the homemade TikTok world with some of football's most iconic moments and it captures the emotion we all encounter during a major tournament. 

Do you see new brand trends emerging on the back of the type of brands who are now sponsoring the Euros? 

I suppose you could say its unsruprising that brands like TikTok and Just Eat are headline sponsors  of a  tournament where more fans than ever will be watching at home with friends and family. They will both play a big role in improving the at home fan experience.

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Lucky Generals, Thu, 17 Jun 2021 15:55:02 GMT