Simon Bilbo Billington

By

Simon Billington

Published on

June 28, 2018

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The Football World Cup presents a global opportunity for brands (connected to one of the biggest sporting stages) to show true creative flare. All eyes are more often than not on the campaigns flowing out from the likes of McDonalds, adidas and Coca Cola. For me, the BBC captured the true essence of the World Cup in its opening credits. Its creativity is likely to be indelible as it knitted together a visual tapestry of Russian nostalgia with iconic moments in football.


Pele, Maradona and that goal in 66’ remain synonymous images of The World Cup . It reminds football fans of years past. With every year that passes, fans become more and more emotionally connected. Its history becomes part of the viewer’s personal history. When the BBC had to create a promotional piece for the Wold Cup it could have done what many would do. Looked for the latest and greatest technique to tell the story. It didn’t, it looked back.

In order to capture the history and prestige of the World Cup, the creative team of Hart and Usher modernised a centuries-old process to pay tribute to Russian art and embroidery.  In total more than 227,000 meters of thread were used to make over 600 unique frames of tapestry. So when we talk about the formulation of a creative idea being as much a part of the story as the output, then look no further. If laid out, the end-to-end the tapestry would measure over 1,200 meters in length!

The BBC’s use of material, along with iconic football images, in the style of Russian visual culture has enabled it to make something that not only is unique and new. But, something so familiar, we almost feel like we have seen it before. Such is the power of using traditional methods. The nostalgia it evokes can immediately make us connect with a creative. So, the next time you want to do something “New School”, consider “Old School”.

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