Global Creativity Review: from ambush marketing to going full speedo

Global Creativity Review: from ambush marketing to going full speedo

Hope&Glory’s team of naturally curious individuals has put together another compendium of inspiration, looking beyond its four walls to seek exciting sources of creativity.

The team has handpicked work from across the industries and delved into the work of cutting-edge curators and creators, outsider artists and exciting innovators of all kinds.

Some you will have seen before. Others you may be unfamiliar with. And one or two of them are Hope & Glory’s own. But all have sparked conversation and fuelled our collective passion for the curated weirdness of the world.

Should “Ambush” sports marketing be celebrated?

Now, deep into the summer of sport, global attention turns to both EURO 2024 and the Olympic Games Paris 2024, with brand managers around the world asking the same questions.

Should my brand activate around these tournaments even though it’s not a sponsor? Can we produce something clever and engaging that avoids breaking the rules? Is it worth the risk?

Of course, rights holders such as the IOC and UEFA strongly advise against this, arguing that If brands are paying millions to associate themselves with an event, then it’s unfair for non-sponsors to carry out activity, without paying for this right. But what about the thousands of other brands around the globe that can’t afford the ever-increasing sponsorship fees?

Regulations should undoubtedly be in place to protect the rights of sponsors and the intellectual property of our most significant sporting events, but the extent to which these laws go should be debated.

Take advertising zones as an example. Of course, venues (Wembley, Wembley Way, Wembley Station, for instance) should be protected by the sponsor. However, surely, it’s unfair to stop non-sponsor brands from associating themselves hundreds of miles away (if they don’t mislead the public into thinking they are an official sponsor).

Before athlete advertising prohibitions came into effect, non-sponsor Puma cleverly circumvented tournament restrictions by giving their ambassador, Linford Christie, branded contact lenses during a 1996 Olympic press conference. This tactic exemplified how brands could exploit tournament loopholes to gain visibility, in this case, using their assets.

The incident is a notable example of the somewhat controversial "Rule 40" of the Olympic Charter, which now prevents athletes competing in the Games from allowing their name, image, or sporting performance to be used in advertising during a
designated 'blackout period'.

Specsavers x EURO 2020

Specsavers took out tactical billboards near Wembley, spelling out ‘It’s Coming Home’ in a style that mimics the brand's eye charts in stores nationwide. 

No competition logos were used, and no mention of the EUROs was made. It was simply a nod to Wembley in the background and a phrase that resonates with England fans of all ages.

Going Full Speedo

Working with Stranger Things, Dacre Montgomery, AKA Billy from Stranger Things, the world's most famous makers of exceedingly small swimwear's new campaign focussed on getting people around the world to dive headfirst into life's experiences, leaving nothing to chance in the hunt for progress.

'Go Full Speedo', launched with a series of TVC and social spots, brings a delightful blend of swagger and humour to swimming and summer sports. It transports viewers into the world of a central character who sheds the trappings of the rat race and into Speedos in a cult-like journey to Bondi Beach, portrayed as a swim lover's nirvana.

Paying homage to Speedo's Australian roots, which go back to 1928, the campaign combines tongue-in-cheek humour with general inclusiveness to foster a global community that really ruddy loves the water.

Part of Speedo's build-up to the massive summer of sport, this one gets a big thumbs up for making something deeply uncool cool again. Well, in Australia, at least.

E.L.F.' Serving Facts' about the lack of diversity, fronted by tennis legend Billie Jean King

In a clever bit of purpose-driven attention-grabbing, E.L.F Beauty's continued deep understanding of their customer base took a big step out of the cosmetics world and into social activism.

Doubling up with tennis legend Billie Jean King to launch the "Serving Facts" campaign to quite literally serve a series of tennis balls at office workers that have been specially inscribed with some rather shocking facts about the lack of representation of women and ethnic minorities on corporate boards in the U.S.A.

As little as 27% of U.S. corporate boards feature representation by women, but the average corporate board is 88% white, according to a 2023 analysis of the BoardEx Non-Executive Director Database.

With E.l.f. Being one of a handful of publicly traded U.S. companies out of 4,200 with genuine representation (two-thirds women and one-third diverse), the campaign aims to raise awareness of a severe imbalance in corporate America.

Linked with the brand's association with the National Association of Corporate Boards to create an accelerator program to train and generate visibility for 20 women and diverse board-ready candidates, this is an interesting one from a brand looking to enact genuine change on behalf of a customer base that cares about the issue.

From the prayer mat to the pitch

Émile-Samory Fofana a Parisian born artist and designer has been creating functional football qamis for a number of years – with popular examples made in the style of Chelsea FC and PSG.

This time adidas has stepped in for an official collaboration. ‍

Fofana says “As a multidisciplinary artist, I’m proud to be able to bring this special project to life and execute my vision from start to finish. From making bootleg football qamis to work with adidas designers, do the styling on my models, shoot the campaign, and wear my own product.”

It’s great to see adidas recognising the creativity Fofana showed when bootlegging his originals and making a campaign around it – rather than threatening the artist with legal action as others may have.

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly email alert and receive a regular curation of the best creative campaigns by creatives themselves.

Published on: