Brazil has a passion for life that is unique. The free-flowing yet chaotic charm that can be felt at Carnival, experienced while dancing the samba, and felt while watching the waves crash on the beaches of Rio while sunbathers play soccer in the sand are some of the things that makes the South American country so special. But in many respects this culture can only be fully appreciated while breathing in the air.
With millions of fans headed to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup but many more watching from home, the World Soccer Shop wanted to experience this passion firsthand and convey that passion to the rest of the world.
The only way to achieve our World Cup goal was to travel to Brazil as the country prepared to host the World Cup and work with the local people on an authentic campaign to capture the passions first-hand. After traveling around the country, we realized the voice to tell our story was in the colorful graffiti seen on walls in the cities around the country.
The inspiration seemed so obvious once it hit is over the head. Brazil, and São Paulo in particular, is experiencing a renaissance in graffiti. The city is often compared to New York City in the late 1970’s and 1980’s when graffiti was introducing itself as a new art form.
After settling on a game plan, we started the search for the perfect team. That journey ultimately led us to Rio de Janeiro’s Acme and Recife’s Derlon, two of the most respected graffiti artists in Brazil. We commissions each of them to create a large-scale mural celebrating the passion of the World Cup.
The World Soccer Shop graffiti was created by Acme and is located in the heart of one of Rio’s favelas. The passion for soccer is probably strongest in the favela where kids chase the ball 24-hours a day and so was a fitting location for the mural.
Acme’s mural depicts a Brazilian tribal character wearing a Brazil national team jersey and holding the jerseys of Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Argentina – 4 potential scalps if A Seleção is to win an unprecedented 6th World Cup title.
The mural is the focus of the World Soccer Shop’s much talked about World Cup commercial.
After running through the alley ways of the favela, a group of children chasing their World Cup dreams stumble upon the mural. The moment stops them in their tracks allowing Acme to return the ball with a kick resuming their game. The commercial adds an animated twist with the Brazilian tribal character lifting the jerseys in his hand and the eagle on his headdress winking at the children.
The mural was captured and included as part of the New York Times Photo of the Day on May 8 (above).
“The World Cup is all about passion,” the World Soccer Shop’s Jeff Stephens Marketing Manager said about the graffiti campaign. “We strive to connect our fans with the unique experience and local passions that each host nation brings to the tournament every 4 years.”
Recife hosts the U.S.’ final group stage match against Germany on Thursday, June 26. Fans of the Stars and Stripes will see Derlon’s American-themed mural on the way to Arena Pernambuco. The mural is inspired by the famous Revolutionary War painting “George Washington Crossing the Delaware” and shows U.S. national team players in their boat heading to Brazil ready for battle. The graffiti highlights Derlon’s instantly recognizable wood stamp inspired figures.
The passion for Jogo Bonito in Brazil is un-matched and we worked to bring some of this magic home to the fans watching back in the U.S. The time for stories about the World Cup is drawing to a close with the focus shifting to the players on the field and the fans standing behind them wearing the team colors. Get in the Gear.
The making of the World Soccer Shop graffiti campaign.