Pele Helps Soccer Foes Put Prejudices Aside in Mastercard's UEFA Champions League Campaign

Campaign by McCann Takes Aim at Prejudice

Published On
Feb 26, 2018

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In an increasingly divided world, brands are trying to bring people together and overcome prejudice. Recently, we've seen campaigns from Heineken, Ancestry and ING that aim to reunite people who are full of hostility to each other, whether for generational, political, nationality-based or in ING's case, financial reasons.

MasterCard is the latest in its new global campaign for its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League soccer tournament, via McCann. The brand invited soccer fans from 22 different countries to play in a game together. Divided into two teams, the players had to put aside their nationality-based rivalries in order to work together for a common goal: a chance to win 11 Champions League tickets.

The film captures the fans' prejudices against rival nations beforehand the game, and their changed attitudes afterwards: and the final scenes see them greeted in the locker room by Brazilian soccer legend Pele. The latter is something of a stroke of genius, as Pele is one of those players who transcends nationalistic pride and is admired by everyone. He also looks geniunely moved by the event -- which elevates this beyond the simplistic "let's sort out the world's problems" theme.

The campaign is by McCann New York/McCann Worldgroup Europe, with the film produced via Fish Films. It breaks as the UEFA Champions League is now at the Knockout stage, with the final set to be played in Kiev on May 26.