DFGW uses animation for BBC World Cup ads

DFGW has created an animated campaign to promote the BBC's coverage of the World Cup, which concentrates on the quality of its reporting coverage.

The BBC commentators Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Ian Wright and John Motson all feature as Manga-style super-heroes in the campaign, alongside a phalanx of international players in the tournament.

The strategy recognises how the quality of the commentators is the key differential in rival channels' World Cup coverage. Lineker and the rest of the BBC team will go up against ITV1's Des Lynam, Ali McCoist and Terry Venables for the tournament.

Two 30- and ten-second teaser ads will launch on 4 May, showing a mysterious room dotted with football memorabilia. The camera pans over a montage of famous football stars and the World Cup stadium in Korea before cutting to the strapline, "There's only one team in it", and a shot of the BBC commentary team.

Two further executions, breaking on 12 May, show the pundits in action at a control desk, with Lineker pressing a red button to summon the players to the tournament.

The Brazilian star Rivaldo does magic tricks with a football in the streets, while David Beckham has his foot repaired. Other players start to make their way to the stadium, performing ball tricks and stunts, and passing a girl tuning into BBC Radio Five Live's coverage.

The ads will air on all BBC TV channels and BBCi. The TV campaign will be supported by a national radio campaign featuring Alan Green and Jonathan Pearce running on all BBC stations. There will also be national poster coverage, which will run throughout June. The campaign was planned and bought by PHD.

DFGW's account director, Elliott Wilson, said: "The BBC didn't want just to promote the World Cup, as it would have been joining just about every other advertiser on air this summer in picking the theme. This campaign is all about highlighting the BBC's role in bringing coverage to football fans."

He added that the staggered launch of the TV spots, supplemented by three different poster executions which will run on key sites throughout the UK, would cement the BBC's authoritative position throughout the duration of the tournament.

Wilson said the creative idea was ideal for all media: "It works on all conventional above-the-line fronts, but translates superbly into online activity."

The campaign was written by Brendan Wilkins and art directed by Paul Hancock. The TV spots were directed by Passion Pictures' Peter Candeland.

Wilkins said the Manga-style animation was perfect for the task: "Using animation allows us to have fun with the characters in a way which would be impossible if we were using real people."