All the soccer fans are female in a new ad from Heineken, which is announcing a major new initiative this week to tackle gender bias in the world of soccer.
The ad, by Publicis Italy/Le Pub, shows female fans braving storms to watch their favorite teams, getting fan haircuts, and ignoring the partners on dates and even during sex in order to watch the match. We also see female fans experiencing the highs and lows of fandom; the riotous celebrating and the tears. (And it's not just younger women that we see; in one scene, an older lady turns up the TV to listen to the match.)
It's the kind of behavior you might (stereotypically) expect from a male fan, and seeing it in women rams home the message that females too can be crazy about soccer. The spot ends with the line: "Cheers to all fans. Men included." Directed by Ali Ali of Good People Films, it's set to the famous Liverpool soccer anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone." (This is the second ad we've seen this week to use it, the other being Nivea Men's new mental health-themed spot.)
The campaign, debuting around the UEFA Champions League, sees Heineken focusing all its sponsorship efforts this season on correcting gender bias in soccer. Last year, it widened its sponsorship of the Champions League to include the women's game, sponsoring the UEFA Women's Champions League and women's Euro 2020 tournament.
The effort also aims to challenge the algorithms and search engines of key websites, buying key AdWords around popular soccer-related questions and creating a new website, Fresher Football, that provides correct responses to the most popular questions asked online about the UEFA Champions League, where answers tend to overlook key data around the women’s game.
Female soccer player Alex Scott will also star with French male player Thierry Henrry in a campaign video to help promote the importance of equality within the sport.
"Heineken's campaign will help promote the importance of equality in the sport and we look forward to supporting them with their movement," said UEFA's Chief of Women's Football Nadine Kesler, in a statement.