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LOLA & LÍBERO: Explaining it with football

“Toca, toca, toca, toca. Habla, habla, habla…” (“Pass, pass, pass, pass. Talk, talk, talk”)

Football fans in Spain have a new catchphrase on their lips this month, thanks to thelatest advertising campaign from LOLA for football magazine Líbero.

But this was just an unexpected positive from the series of four adverts, which have gone viral in the two weeks since they were launched. Not bad for the first ever advertising campaign from the independent publication.

“This great magazine is the dream of two fanatical football journalists who thought they could make a footballing product of real quality. Líbero has an exceptionally high level of design and content,” said Francisco Cassis, a Creative Director at LOLA who headed up the campaign team. “They were never able to have their own advertising campaigns before, for budget reasons, basically,” he continued. “Now that their business is growing well, they felt ready to reach out and widen their readership.”

And that’s where LOLA came in.

Copywriter Nico Gomez Cal described the process of thinking up a campaign that would resonate strongly what Líbero represents: “The truth is that the idea came from the product itself. Líbero isn’t just a football magazine; it’s a magazine that talks about lots of different topics and themes, style, culture, etc, using football. We went through quite a few concepts but we thought ‘Si te lo explican con futbol (If they explain it to you with football)’ was relevant to the brand and that hopefully people would identify with it too.”

The four ads each show situations that couples all around the world will no doubt be familiar with: a woman trying to explain something to her other half, who looks interested but totally confused by what she is saying. LOLA twisted this classic situation by having the women get their message across by using football analogies to help the men understand. Cue internal light bulb and a successful exchange of information.

There is the girl who gives her boyfriend advice for dinner with her parents by saying he should take possession of the ball (the conversation) so that the opposition (the parents) can’t make any attacks. There is the frustrated girlfriend who asks her boyfriend why if Brazilian fullbacks, who don’t like to defend, can sometimes go back and defend, can he not take out the rubbish from time to time? Then there’s the wife who tells her husband that just like Barça, who spent millions on a defender they never used, he’ll be wasting his money on an abs machine. Or finally, the girl ending the relationship with her partner by comparing him to a football manager whose favour with the fans and chairman has run out.

The creative team took an interesting decision for a football-based advert by taking the point of view of the women. “At the end of the day it’s them who get so frustrated with our inability to understand even the simplest of things,” said Francisco. “Us men find it hard to pay attention, and even when we do, we tend to do so only intermittently,” added Nico. “We loved to be able to teach them how to use football to capture men’s attention so they could get across what they wanted to say,” concluded Francisco.

The ads were shot in Madrid in November 2013, after producer Blur and Director Fede Cummins had carried out a rigorous casting process. “We were looking for actors and actresses with personality, but also people who were normal and in whom we could see a reflection of ourselves,” said Nico.

The four videos were then shared on Líbero’s official YouTube channel around the turn of the year and they have immediately gone viral. Several famous sports journalists saw and tweeted them to their thousands of followers, helping the visibility of the campaign. In only two weeks, the videos have accumulated more than a million views.

The success of the campaign, says Francisco, is “because it’s simple and because it’s true. People really enjoy it when you discover something that happens to them every day, but that they hadn’t seen before. I think that’s the key to this campaign. Working for Líbero was like playing up front for the team of my dreams – I can’t wait for the next project!”

Miguel S.

CEO MullenLowe Group W. Europe