The new ad for suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) arrives at an opportune moment, with the world preoccupied with the many controversies surrounding the football World Cup in Qatar, and the pressures on players immense.
This context makes the vision of Rice (who plays for West Ham and England) appearing to flail around alone on the pitch feel even more poignant and drives home CALM’s message of the need to understand and address the prevalence of loneliness – apparently three million people in the UK say they feel lonely some or most of the time.
Titled Invisible Opponent 2, the spot follows last year’s ad starring Tyson Fury, who was shown slugging it out alone against his demons in a boxing ring.
Created by agencies AMV BBDO and Seven Stones in partnership with production company Prettybird and VFX houses ETC and the Hot Spring, the ad was technically challenging to create. A mix of footage from England games was used along with additional shot footage of Rice playing. The other players were then painstakingly removed, with lighting and interaction edits in post-production used to make the final effects convincing and unnerving.
Creative Agencies: AMV BBDO, Seven Stones
Creative Director: Zac Ellis
Production Company: Prettybird
Director: Robert Wilkins
Edit: Trim Editing
Lead VFX: ETC
VFX support: The Hot Spring
Sound Studio: Factory Studios