There’s a few things we’ve come to expect from a new FIFA ad: a star-studded line-up, fast-paced editing, high-impact visuals, and footage of players and fans battling it out on the pitch or at home.
The latest commercial for FIFA21 doesn’t disappoint. Directed by Keane Pearce Shaw, it brings together some of the game’s brightest new talent – from Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappé, to Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Atlético Madrid’s Joao Felix – along with veteran Eric Cantona.
Created by production company Riff Raff and the design team at MPC, and set to music from Bobby Sessions, the ad offers an insight into each player’s story and passion for the game, and combines analogue effects with some striking artwork from London-based collage artist and fashion designer Jazz Grant.
As the ad was made under lockdown – making large shoots or IRL kickabouts impossible – MPC and Riff Raff had to come up with some clever workarounds to capture footage of players and fans. Footballers were tasked with filming themselves at home on a mix of old and new cameras, which helped to give the film a more intimate and personal feel.
MPC then worked with Riff Raff and Pearce Shaw to create a series of collages that would complement Grant’s artwork – a process that involved experimenting with typography and cell animation as well as digital imagery and scanned textures.
“Keane wanted to develop two separate but complimenting aesthetic styles for these films – the handmade, analogue style from artist Jazz Grant and our own digital collage animations,” explains Donal O’Keeffe, art director at MPC. “Our task was to develop and create a visual style that bridged the gap between the two, and to evoke a real sense of time and personality in our graphics. We also needed to consider and incorporate the more contemporary aesthetic world of FIFA 2021.”
“Once we established the look, the team quickly took to creating 19 bespoke graphic vignettes for the main film,” adds Paul Hunt, senior designer at MPC. “Along the way, we had to develop other looks to complement moments where the digital collage didn’t quite fit.”
Combining such a wide range of footage and visual styles was a complex process – even more so with teams working remotely – but Hunt says daily chats with the director and more frequent check ins helped ensure the project ran smoothly. The end result is a fun and vibrant ad that celebrates not just individual players, but the teams and cities they play for.
Production: Riff Raff Films / MPC
Director: Kane Pearce Shaw
Art Director: Donal O’Keeffe
Senior Designer: Paul Hunt
Collage: Jazz Grant