Following the launch of the ECB’s new campaign ‘Express Yourself’, Sport Industry Group caught up with Jenny Smith, Head of Marketing at the ECB, to find out a little more.
What involvement did Eoin Morgan have in Express Yourself? Any creative input directly from him?
We wanted to create a campaign that would feel truly authentic to the DNA of the England ODI team so we took the initial approach of talking to Eoin about the team’s culture, philosophy and the transformation they’ve undergone since 2015 under his leadership. The insight and input that Eoin gave us through these conversations was invaluable and his words provided the inspiration behind the campaign concept, Express Yourself. This authenticity was key for us as we look to inspire the next generation of England fans with this campaign and engage younger audiences.
Which agencies and other companies have helped you with this campaign?
It’s been a truly collaborative effort. We work with creative agency Matta on all our England brand work and they developed the Express Yourself campaign concept and art direction. Agile Films did a great job of bringing Matta’s brilliant script to life for our hero campaign film. Threepipe are our media buying agency and have put together a really strong plan, whilst Freuds have led on the PR and influencer aspect of the campaign. Our digital team have been supported by Sunset + Vine on content production.
Express Yourself is a key line from New Order’s World in Motion song used as an anthem for England football team in 1990 World Cup – was this part of the inspiration?
I love that song, but our young target audience wouldn’t have been born when it was released! The inspiration was very much Eoin’s insight around the way the team approaches their cricket, and our desire to bring to life their personalities both on and off the pitch.
The campaign is said to “capture the fearless, disruptive and innovative brand of cricket” of the team. Can you explain what you mean by this?
Eoin and the team management have led a transformation in the way that the ODI team approach their game. They’re always taking the game to their opponents and playing on the front foot, which is really exciting to watch for fans. This is an incredibly skilled and talented group of players who look to go out and play without fear, to express themselves.
Our high pace film edit and accompanying content series is designed to bring that energy and dynamism to life for an audience who might not be as familiar with the way the team play. They’re also a genuinely fantastic group of guys and the campaign has the flexibility for us to bring to life how they express themselves off the pitch as well as on it, to showcase their personalities and connect them with the next generation of England fans.
Can you tell us more about the “innovative partnerships” you will use to help amplify the campaign?
We’ve worked with influencers to connect with that younger audience in a relevant way and to provide an insight into the players’ lives and interests away from the cricket pitch. Tom Curran, for example, is a keen photographer, so we teamed him up with a travel photographer, while Moeen Ali loves his football, so we paired him with YouTuber SV2. We’ve produced some great content which these influencers will put out on their channels.
We’ve also looked to do things a little differently, such as our emoji challenge, where we communicated the names in our world cup squad in the form of emojis. We’ve already seen really good engagement with that and pick-up from media, which has been an innovative way to kick off our campaign. Here’s to an exciting summer of cricket!