In October 2021, FBS invited us to pitch for the production of a suite of videos for their new online global campaign, due to launch in January 2022. FBS is an international trading broker with a strong online presence in over 150 countries and is the official principal partner of Leicester City Football Club. FBS had seen some of the work we had already done for LCFC and were keen to hear our thoughts on how we could creatively link the world of online trading with the world of football… two areas that on the surface, you might not automatically think go hand-in-hand.
Our client was clear from the start that they didn’t want to hard-sell the FBS brand to the audience (primarily football fans), but instead, present a brand image that enabled FBS to come across as relatable, authentic and with a sense of humour – showing that they have a clear understanding of the football world and the fan experience. It was also essential that the creative pitch we presented could translate to an international audience, so, after careful deliberation, we decided on an approach that would build on the activity of ‘checking your trades’, which was something you did via the FBS Trading app and is an essential part of the trading process. We integrated this into the fan’s pre-game rituals of match-day (which every fan can relate to), therefore making FBS part of the routine and inextricably linking trading with the match-day journey. For example; you get up early, put on your lucky shirt, comb your hair a certain way, meet your mates at the same spot, go for the pre-match drink, check your trades, etc. We’d get the players involved too, with Jamie Vardy, Wesley Fofana and James Maddison all going through their pre-match rituals – prepping for the game whilst checking their trades, which again, links the fans to the players and football to trading.
FBS loved this idea and we were instantly selected for the commission; but with a delivery date of early December, that gave us only six weeks to produce a multi-format, global commercial. We briefed our copywriter and he immediately set to work – he was tasked to produce a script that was relatable, authentic and funny, whilst at the same time ensuring that the message and humour could translate globally. This wasn’t an easy task; implied or subtle humour doesn’t necessarily translate easily overseas; what’s relatable in the UK, might not be relatable elsewhere so there required a fair bit of back and forth between us and the various international teams at FBS to get it right. We also had to consider and factor in the various cultural differences that span across our global audience; for example, we couldn’t show alcohol (bang goes the pre-match pint) and we had to be very careful in what meat products we referenced (sorry hot dog vendor, not today).
Due to the incredibly tight timescales, our Producer had to work in parallel with the copywriter, organising the production team first, but also working from an early draft of the script to manage locations, actors and props. This meant that as the script was revised, changes had to be made quickly and reactively (we’re not sure how much sleep our Producer had during these six weeks of production!). As the script was developed, our Director began working on thumbnail storyboards, built from the voice-over script and scene descriptions. These thumbnail storyboards broke down the advert into individual shots (roughly 75 in all) and were then developed further into master boards, ready for the client and production team to view. You can see a comparison between the initial thumbnails, the master storyboards and the final result, below.
We decided very early during the conceptualisation stage that we wanted to shoot multi-format across digital and analogue, using Super 16mm and 3D photography; the idea being that this would create a subtle sense of reality, authenticity, and give the film a user-generated feel whilst still maintaining a strong aesthetic. This means that we shot on some unusual and antique bits of kit, including a Bolex H-16 (circa 1936), a Hasselblad 500CM (circa 1957) and a Nishika N8000 35mm Quadrascopic Stereo 3D Lenticular Camera (circa 1989). Check out some of the outtakes and screengrabs below.
The first day of filming was based at a suburban house on the edge of Leicestershire. There were four different interior scenarios to shoot, all involving actors and set dressing that was designed to look like different houses, (which was achieved with some very creative lighting and framing from our Director of Photography and our technical production team). The longest sequence to shoot that day was the exterior sequence involving two larger framed gentlemen, cramming into their friend’s much smaller car… plenty of creative language and out-takes on that one!
Day two was the trickiest as it involved a lot of filming, all squeezed into a very tight schedule. We started the day at the incredible Leicester City Training Ground, shooting material with Jamie Vardy, Wesley Fofana and James Maddison before moving over to the King Power Stadium in the afternoon for interior stadium pickups. Footballer’s schedules don’t always work in parallel with a production team, so, unfortunately, a fair bit of frantic rescheduling was needed to ensure that we were able to pick up the key shots within our given filming window.
Day three wrapped up our filming block with an early start at a lovely coffee shop in the centre of Leicester, before moving onto Filbert Street to pick up our walking montages, and then continuing onto the King Power Stadium for the final shots of the ‘crowd’ (about ten extras and any spare crew that was willing to jump into the shot!) cheering over an imaginary goal. As with all adverts, it’s key to get the essential coverage and sometimes be a little reactive; not all shots from the storyboards go in, but there are also opportunities to collect additional material, and when these arise they should be taken. A good example of this is this series of photographic stills, taken with the LCFC players and actors during a bit of downtime between set-ups.
Seeing footage develop from a storyboard into a coherent and engaging edit can be extremely rewarding, particularly when you are working on a project right through from its initial conceptualization to final delivery. With the additional elements of the multiple analogue film formats, the edit for this advert was an absolute pleasure to put together, with our client giving us almost total creative freedom. We’re extremely proud of the final results and you can check out the campaign HERE, with some of the additional materials taken from the shoot below.
If you would like to find out more about this project, or how we can help you with your branding campaign, get in touch with our team at [email protected]
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