DFB-WOMEN – YOUR GAME, YOUR BEAT, YOUR BANK

Short List
ClientCOMMERZBANK AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
Category D04. Excellence in Brand Integration & Sponsorship / Partnership
TitleDFB-WOMEN – YOUR GAME, YOUR BEAT, YOUR BANK
Product/ServiceBANK / BRAND PARTNERSHIPS DFB
Entrant THJNK Hamburg, GERMANY
Idea Creation THJNK Hamburg, GERMANY
Media Placement SYZYGY MEDIA Hamburg, GERMANY
Production MARKENFILM Hamburg, GERMANY
Credits
Name Company Position
Tobias Grimm thjnk Hamburg Creative Managing Director
Raphael Schils thjnk Hamburg Creative Director Art
Niklas Schachtebeck thjnk Hamburg Creative Senior Copy
Christina Duskanich thjnk Hamburg Creative Art
Clemens Wolff thjnk Hamburg Creative Copy
Marco Hackmann thjnk Hamburg Strategist
Jessica Kiesel thjnk Hamburg Account Director
Isabella Düvelius v. Klass thjnk Hamburg Account Manager Senior
Thomas Nabbefeld thjnk Hamburg Agency Producer
Mario Feil Markenfilm Hamburg GmbH Director
Mortimer Hochberg Markenfilm Hamburg GmbH Director Of Photography
Moritz Dreifke Markenfilm Hamburg GmbH Editor
Uwe Hellmann Commerzbank Head of Brand Management
Georg Habedank Commerzbank Head of Corporate Marketing
Stefano Morelli Commerzbank Campaign Manager
Marcus Ballhausen Commerzbank Campaign Manager
Gabriele Scholz Commerzbank Campaign Manager

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

In the world of highly polished German sports communication our film broke the mold. Female players being more bold, more funny and more self-ironic than any German professional football player was a huge fun to watch. Especially after the 2018 World Cup debacle of the male team threw the whole country into bitter disappointment. Our film was a welcome change in the typically German no-fun attitude and helped greatly to lighten the mood and make a point for equality. It became a trending topic, was used in hundreds of videos on TikTok alone and inspired other teams to follow suit.

Background

Summer 2019: the best female footballers are battling it out for the world championship title in France. But nobody in Germany was interested in the women’s football World Cup. Even worse, our female players faced discrimination in the social web: “Women are just there to have babies ... they don’t belong on the pitch”. It seemed that the debate about equal rights after #metoo was already forgotten. Or has never arrived in the conservative football world. Time to fight against this social injustice. Together with Commerzbank – Germany’s second-largest bank and sponsor of the women’s national team since 2008 – we wanted to create a strong statement for equality and against female discrimination.

Describe the creative idea

We built our film around one key insight that grabbed everyone's attention: The football crazy German audience did not know the names of their most successful football players which were not the male football stars but in fact their female counterparts which raked in more titles and success on the football world stage while earning almost no attention at all. This helped us to highlight the bias and adversity German women face not just in football but in everyday life. This helped us to reach a broader audience and make a stand for women in our society.

Describe the strategy

Instead of running the usual sponsorship campaign, we came up with the idea of giving the women’s national team a platform to raise awareness for the lack of appreciation – not only on the pitch, but in all areas of social life. We wanted to make a big, visible statement that gave women and girls courage and power in everyday life. To not stand in men’s shadows. To be proud and confident about what they can achieve. For such a big message we put the brand Commerzbank in the background and gave the players all the attention they deserved.

Describe the execution

With a courageous and self-ironic film, our players discounted hate comments and disarmed prejudices. To achieve this we let our female players speak and act by themselves and recorded a stunning commercial within a 4 hour timeframe. Every scene tackled a known stereotype, fought a dirty comment from the web or a sexist point of view with humour. They came up with statements like “We don’t have balls. But we know how to use them”. Additionally this statement was supported by our campaign hashtag “Pferdeschwänze” which literally translates as “ponytales” but also suggests these ladies have got balls. Our film was aired in social channels at the moment the German squad for the 2019 Women’s Football World Cup was announced. It ran from May till July 2019.

Describe the outcome

Within a short time, the polarizing video went viral. German and international press as well as TV broadcasters picked up our provocative film in their regular schedule. One bold and funny phrase from the film became a viral hit in social media. More and more prominent supporters, like the German Federal President spoke out for this self confident women's attitude. But that's not all. The message of the spot became a real movement and the #pferdeschwänze became a strong symbol for equality. Our campaign raked in: - More than 280 Mio. Media contacts (Online and TV) - reached people in more than 47 countries - and generated a PR Value worth 30 Mio. Euros