A film from water technology company Xylem turns to soccer to deliver a pressing environmental message.
The company is targeting U.K. football fans with the story of a little girl who supports Manchester City. It follows her journey over the years, from child to parent. As a girl, she watches TV with her father, who switches off news reports about climate change, bush fires and floods in order to find the sports channel. They discuss Manchester City and the various players, but as they brush their teeth and head to the stadium via a pub, we see examples of water wastage, such a leaking pipe or tap left running. The timeline then moves to the future, as the girl, now a mother living in a futuristic Manchester, takes her son to see Manchester City play for the last time, as all stadia will be closed due to drought.
The ad, which features several Manchester City players including Raheem Serling as a hologram in the future, was created by agency Brave, whose parent company Sportfive manages Xylem’s global partnership with Manchester City. Roar Uthaug directed via Great Guns. Running on Manchester City social channels and on video-on-demand, it aims to convey the message that projections estimate that by 2045 more than five billion people could suffer water shortages.
While it was made before COVID-19 halted all sporting events, the film's imagined scenario may have extra resonance for viewers post-pandemic. Whereas the "end of football" might have once been hard to imagine, fans have had a temporary taster of that over the past few months due to coronavirus.
“Though the End of Football campaign was conceived and shot before the coronavirus pandemic brought a temporary halt to football, the message behind the campaign has never been more appropriate," said Joseph Vesey, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Xylem, in a statement.