In the run up to Christmas, World Cup fever was sweeping the nation. Was football finally going to come home? Whatever would happen, friends and families wanted to be together to witness the Three Lions journey to potential glory. And for Google, this presented a unique opportunity.
Having just launched its new Pixel 7 handset – one that would rival the most popular mobile phones in the country – we needed a way to convey the power and brilliance of the product at a time when every brand would want a piece of the action. The problem was, while we wanted to have an authentic role in football and the tournament, it was a new playing field for the brand. And it’s an incredibly tough community to crack.
Our aim was to put the Google Pixel 7 at the heart of the action. We wanted to get football fans closer to the game they love, powered by the Google Pixel, deliver tangible benefits to fans, through content and feel-good moments, and link the activation to Google Pixel’s wider creative of ‘Feelings of Football’.
But being at the centre of the competition was geographically and ethically difficult. Qatar was a seven hour flight from London. What’s more, many fans didn’t want to travel to the host country given the wider issues surrounding the tournament – namely their attitudes to the LGBTQ+ community and workers’ rights.
WHAT WE DID
So, our idea was to bring football home, taking the emotion of the World Cup and enhancing it with the technology of the world’s most advanced phone.
As the world’s most engaged sports publisher with a monthly audience of more than 3 million people, SPORTbible knows a thing or two about engaging football fans. And we knew authenticity was going to be key.
So our media idea was to create a groundbreaking partnership with Boxpark – the legendary experiential space in Wembley, London, official World Cup venue and the world’s most famous fan event. We set up Boxpark’s most integrated partnership ever, turning the space into a Google experiential zone that would be remembered as the new home of football for this landmark tournament (#limbs).
First, we created videos from across the nation that showcased a diverse range of football fans, finding out what representation in football means to them and some of their favourite football memories. All the while showcasing the Pixel’s unrivalled Real Tone technology, accurately and gloriously presenting them as their true selves.
On match days, we brought the atmosphere of the space to everyone, demonstrating the video capture quality of the Google Pixel 7 to our audience and giving them a first-hand view of our editorial World Cup coverage on SPORTbible, live from Boxpark.
Within the venue, experiential units showcased some of the Google Pixel 7’s unique features, including Magic Eraser, where users were able to recreate a moment of football history, saving a famous goal by erasing part of the scene around them. Guests could also take home a branded keepsake – a ‘Panini-esque’ sticker using the Google Pixel 7’s Real Tone feature.
Our on-the-ground host Maz met with fans at the games to provide native content for our audience. Using the ‘Live Translate’ feature on the Pixel 7 Pro, he learnt famous local football phrases and chants from around the world. Our creator network built hype around the partnership and showcased it as the most desirable place to watch all the games, driving fans to a competition to win tickets to watch the final at Boxpark.
Finally, we rigged 30 Google Pixel 7s across the venue to capture up close and personal reactions throughout every England game, sharing the content as fan reaction videos. The phone’s Super Res Zoom and cinematic blur were in full effect. Everything was shared across all four SPORTbible social channels, which have a combined reach of over 20 million and amplified the fan experience.
Despite creating one Fanzone, our media idea made Google the World Cup’s most viewed tech brand.
More than 16,000 fans descended on the Google Pixel 7 Fanzone, with over 1,900 interactions with the handsets on the ground.
Across social, we delivered a monumental 600,000 engagements, 3.5 million views and 44 million impressions, and SPORTbible led Google to having the most viewed content compared to the official England team sponsors.
Check out some of the content here.