Pick of the Week: Barclays football film is lovely storytelling

The story of talented siblings Lauren and Reece James is brought to life beautifully.

Barclays: celebrating a 20-year association with football
Barclays: celebrating a 20-year association with football

Back in the annals of time – well, the 90s – there was a football league structure in England based around four divisions with the top one going by the “does what it says on the tin” name of the “first division”. The second one was called the “second division”, while the third one… you catch my drift.

But for reasons mostly associated with money, we now have a situation where all manner of titles prevail across leagues and cups, not helped by regular rebrands caused by the ebb and flow of sponsors.

The top flight, however, has been relatively easy to follow. The Premier League, which itself flirted with the “Premiership” moniker during the 90s, after a few years of sponsorship by Carling stuck firmly to Barclays from 2001 until 2016.

While Barclays then relinquished the title sponsorship, it remained the brand’s “official bank” and the Premier League went “clean”, as they say in sports marketing circles, dropping a title sponsor and instead switching to a roster of brand partners.

So the association is 20 years old and to celebrate the milestone Barclays has released this understated but moving spot about the successful sister and brother footballing duo, Lauren and Reece James.

During the three-minute film, viewers are gently walked through the pretty amazing story of how they rose to the top of their trade by the siblings and their father (intriguingly, there is no mention of mum). 

Cute pictures of them as kiddies have the potential to make you go gooey and the mild banter between the two and respectful glances at each other as they relay their journeys adds to the general niceness.

“We grew up with the Barclays Premier League,” comments Reece, a clever way to highlight the branding that no longer exists while managing to feel natural and not jarring.

Props go out to all concerned for resisting the urge to shoehorn into the film Barclays’ title sponsorship of the FA Women’s Super League.

Whether you’re into football or not, it’s a lovely piece of authentic storytelling.

Brand Barclays
Title 20 Years
Agency Iris
Created by Michael Boszko, Filipa Mauricio and David Missen
Director Charlie Watts
Production company Rogue

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