Football gets a bit too real in campaign for Fifa 21 on next-gen consoles

Who needs real-life football anyway?

EA has released an astonishingly realistic-looking campaign to promote the release of Fifa 21 on the recently launched PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, “Feel next level” follows eerily realistic-looking players, including Liverpool's Trent Alexander Arnold, Atlético Madrid's João Félix, Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut and Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappé as they show off their skills in the beautiful game. 

It ends as the players celebrate their respective goals, prompting the tagline “feel next level”.

Launched today (4 December) alongside digital and social activity, the ad was written by Selma Ahmed, art directed by Genevieve Gransden and directed by Finn Keenan through Riff Raff Films.

“The amazing feeling of Fifa 21 on next generation consoles is something that’s challenging to communicate; it needs to be experienced,” Paul Marr, senior director and head of creative at EA Sports, said. 

“In a year where we couldn’t get our fans hands on the game ahead of launch, we knew we needed to show them just how visceral and immersive the game has become.”

Marr continued: “With the help of our partners, we went deep on game innovation and created a full campaign that shows the depth of all the ways Fifa 21 can make you feel next level.”

It comes alongside five supporting 30-second spots, each of which showcases aspects of the game’s user experience including speed, atmosphere, visuals and player control. 

Mat Goff, joint chief executive at Adam & Eve/DDB, said: “When we saw previews of next gen Fifa 21, we were blown away with how next level the action is. 

“It goes further than ever before to get players players fully immersed and we committed ourselves to conveying this incredible experience to gaming audiences.” 

In October, EA Sports kicked off its Fifa 21 campaign with an ad narrated by French footballer Mbappé.

Goff added: "It’s all about the players – the stars on screen and the gamers who give them life in Fifa 21, and that is where we got our inspiration.”

Finn Keenan, director at Riff Raff, said: “I spent most of the first half of lockdown playing Fifa so when this job came in I was able to chalk it all down as ‘research’.

“Seeing the EA Sports team turn our storyboards into insanely realistic animation was so exciting, and it was great working with Gen and Selma at Adam & Eve/DDB creating the more surreal moments throughout.”

Fifa launched a spot teasing the release of Fifa 21 in May, with an appearance from ex-footballer Eric Cantona.

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