It might be responsible for some of the biggest street brawls in England and parts of Europe, but you can’t deny that football brings people together. The FIFA World Cup has shown us that it can take people from all around the world and unite them in both celebration and passion. Carlsberg has taken the world’s love of football one step further, by testing to see if it is powerful enough to overcome border conflicts, with the help of some beer of course.
In this recent campaign, created with ≈, Carlsberg invited people on either side of three of Europe’s most tense borders (Belfast, Nicosia and Kosovo) to play Border Football. This poetically involved participants using what divided them, whether it be borders, walls or fences, to bring them closer together through the game. Carlsberg then created the film, which you’ve just watched, showcasing just how well both football and beer had managed to unite people that in many ways might be seen as sworn enemies.
Carlsberg and Football
Carlsberg has a long history with football, so it makes sense that the brand would be involved in a campaign like this one. Running off the back of World Cup fever (the campaign launched in April of 2014), the timing is just perfect for them to get a nice viral spread with their advertising. The campaign is also well-timed as a way for Carlsberg to get back into the world of football, after they have worked on some other ideas, of particular interest the Bikers and Poker commercials also created by Duval Guillaume.
Beer can be one seriously tricky product to advertise, mostly because of the rules and regulations that agencies have to follow in their campaigns. That’s why, for the last few decades at least, beer advertising has always been about the experiences around drinking the beer, more so than the actual experience of drinking.
This is a notion that Duval Guillaume has fully embraced in the Border Football campaign, where they have sought to both make a lasting impression, and showcase their product in a positive way. To do this they travelled to the Peace Wall in Belfast, the demilitarized zone in Nicosia and the Merdare Border Crossing between Kosovo and Serbia. These locations, so known as being the centre of years of hate and conflict, are totally re-created in the campaign, becoming locations to celebration and play.
Why It’s Cool
One of the things that we love about this campaign is that, through the filming, Carlsberg really did make a difference on the ground. They managed a few sneaky moves during the production, which included getting access for both sides into the demilitarised zone in Nicosia. But, our favorite example from this impressive campaign is from Kosovo. The Border Football match represented the first time since the end of the civil war that people had gathered for a friendly interaction.
A Last Word
Yes, we know that the Carlsberg campaign is all about the product in the end, but we have to say that we wish there was more advertising like this. It’s the sort of advertising that takes a great product and makes us feel good about it, whether we care about beer or football.