"WoMen's football"

Client: Orange
Product: Telecommunication Provider
Title: WoMen's football
Media: TV, Digital, Social Media
Country: France
Date Of Campaign: 26.06.2024

Background: In France, football is king, with a popularity that has been fueled by the success of the men’s national team : 2-times world champion, finalist of the last edition in 2022. But women's football is left out of the fervor, partly because it’s still a relatively young sport, only being officially recognized by the FFF in 1974. This 2023 Women’s World Cup was only the 9th edition, ( 22nd for the men’s) But this doesn’t but they have been #5 in the FIFA ranking for years, and have reached the semi-final during the last Euro…Before the WWC, the French fans should have been cheering for their determined team. Yet, 3 weeks before its start, no TV partner had agreed to cover it. This was a painful reminder of the lack of institutional support to the sport in France, while other countries have succeeded in bridging the gender inequalities in football, by investing. One of the reasons is prejudice about its lack of technical skills. Many fans have a strong opinion about it, without ever having watched a match.In this panorama, it was important for brand sponsors such as Orange to step in. Orange is the French leading telecommunication company, and a former state-owned company, therefore public service is a core value. It is one of the first French brands to provide extensive support for football, with a track record of 24 years backing amateur, professional women and men’s football. Since 2018, the brand has held the status of a Major Partner of the French Football Federation, supporting both the Men's and Women's National Teams with equal resources. This is why the WWC was a key moment for Orange to go beyond its usual support for the French Women's Team to tackle the prejudices that women's football suffers from.

Idea: To challenge football fans' preconceived notions, we used their love of beautiful technical moves to create a Trojan horse. We created a never-before-seen compilation of actions from players of the French men's team. For 1 minute, we see the beautiful play of Mbappé, Giroud, Griezmann, etc..., in a sequence that borrows from the codes of sports best-of videos.The reveal then unveils the ruse: the video was, in fact, a compilation of... women’s technical moves! Thanks to VFX effects, the appearance of the French woman's team has been faked in the 1st part of the compilation, to serve a strong message. These skillful women's actions, without VFX, are replayed in the 2nd part of the video, so that the audience can admire them, stripped away from the filter of their gender stereotypes.To orchestrate the virality of the campaign, we worked on the most engaging platform for football fans: X. Since our intent was to expose them to women’s actions with the filter of their gender bias turned off, we decided to go all the way and prank them. We capitalized on the account of an influencer with medium visibility but very high engagement. This X account first posted only the first part of the video (= the women's technical moves 'disguised' as men's players), before revealing the trickery a few hours later to its community by posting it in full…Engagement surrounding these 2 tweets was very high, kick-starting mainstream media PR in France: within a day of the tweet, 8 mainstream media outlets were picking up on the video. This meticulous orchestration allowed the compilation to go viral, first in Europe, then around the world.

Results: The video went viral in only days, and successfully fueled debate the biases women’s football suffers from. > +2B impressions> +200M organic views, with a high complexion rate.> Estimated organic reach: 800K$> +450 cross-media PR coverage in 91 countries: articles, TV & radio, podcasts…> Influential relays from opinion leaders of all sectors: the French Minister for Sport Amélie Oudéa Castera, Alexis Ohanian (Reddit CEO), Daniel Storey (football365) Gary Lineker, Dan Povenmire. Football players, both men and woman: Delphine Cascarino, Blaise Matuidi, Eugénie Le Sommer, Matteo Guendouzi, Amandine Henry, Oussmane Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann...> Attribution: 92,5% of media coverage pieces mentioned Orange. > Reactions were overwhelmingly positive, and to this day, the video continues to be relayed, as a piece of content materializing the issue of gender bias in sports and helping overcome it.A study commissioned by Orange on French people over 16 y/o, non rejector of football confirms that the video became an empowering tool for women and a powerful educational tool for all:• +17pts plan to watch woman football vs before watching the film• 90% agree that the film raises awareness of the sexist stereotypes that exist in society.• 92% agree that the film inspires young girls /women to play football. • 80% agree that the film inspires young girls/women to consider careers in which women seem less present.• 88% agree that broadcasting it in schools is a good idea.