The Migration Museum, TikTok and Paddy Power
The UEFA Euro 2020 tournament dominated everything from the news agenda to office chat this summer. After being delayed by a year due to the pandemic, everyone was bubbling with excitement to celebrate something. There were countless PR campaigns centring around the tournament, here’s a few that caught my eye…
The Migration Museum
International sport is about representing your country. But many footballers wouldn’t be representing their country if it wasn’t for immigration. This is a topic the Migration Museum was keen to highlight with its #FootballMovesPeople campaign.
The social media campaign highlights what the England squad would look like if it weren’t for immigration, with graphics scratching out players in the starting line-up that have international heritage. This includes big names such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, and Kyle Walker. In fact, more than half of the England squad have at least one parent or grandparent born outside the UK.
Why we like it: I personally love an effective social media campaign, which is exactly what this is. The graphics make a statement and play into the wider conversation of football being for all, no matter your ability, age, sex, race, nationality, or anything else. These factors are what shape the game we love, and we should recognise and celebrate it.
Even though it was the most downloaded app of 2020 and boasts over a billion users worldwide, TikTok still chose to be one of the headline sponsors of the major tournament. Rather than seeing the sponsorship as a means to drive yet further downloads, the platform saw it as an opportunity for engagement and used it to launch the ‘where fans play’ campaign. Designed to combine the passion and excitement of the Euros with the fun, inclusivity, and playfulness of TikTok, the campaign launched with footage of unforgettable moments from the tournament overlayed with current TikTok content. The campaign then encouraged users to get involved and create their own versions.
Why we like it: Video content is extremely important for engagement. TikTok perfectly played to its strength here by encouraging users to get involved at home by creating their own football content. It worked too. Football content had a significant rise on the platform, with more than 118 billion views on the #football hashtag, up from 70 billion when the partnership was announced in February. We also have to respect a creative approach to marketing for something other than pure downloads.
The Irish gambling giant launched its #saveourgame campaign ahead of the Euros where it would donate €10,000 to grassroots football in Ireland for each goal scored by England. The brand also went a step further by introducing a ‘backstabber bonus’ where it promised to donate €20,000 if either Declan Rice or Jack Grealish scored, two England internationals that previously played for Ireland before switching allegiance.
To launch the campaign, a giant mural of the now England stars appeared in Dublin, emblazoned with the words ‘Come On You Boys in White’.
What to learn: Paddy Power is known for its brave marketing and PR stunts, and this is another example. Beyond being headline grabbing, it also helps grassroots football clubs, many of which were decimated by the pandemic. However, not everyone saw the funny side of the tongue-in-cheek mural which appeared in Dublin, and it was consequently defaced with graffiti. It would be like Harry Kane deciding to play for Ireland (which he technically could) and his mural appearing outside Wembley Park. Very much rubbing salt in the wound, especially when seen out of context.